Called "Mamba Forever," the premium editions feature Bryant apart from Portland Trail Blazer Damian Lillard for PS4, Xbox One and Nintendo Switch. He also appears in conjunction to New Orleans Pelican (and third cover star) Zion Williamson for the PS5 and Xbox Series X versions of NBA 2K21.
2K also disclosed their pricing for each game's version, with the current generation editions respectively costed at $59.99 USD for the standard edition. The NBA 2K21 Mamba Forever Editon comes at $99.99 USD, with a free upgrade to the standard next generation version.
Players starting off their PS5 or Xbox Series X libraries with 2K21 could get the standard edition for $69.99 USD, while its Mamba Forever Edition comes at the same $99.99 USD price as its previous gen version. It's also worth noting PS5 and Series X players get the PS4 and Xbox One versions for free.
Under the refined MyTeam system, all points, tokens cards and progress feature cross-platform saving. This also means players can maintain the same progress on any console they play on. For players waiting for the PS5 or Series X, they can expect to resume their progress after upgrading to a next generation platform.
The next generation 2K21 is also marketed with enhanced graphics, added game modes not seen in the current versions while featuring two-second loading screens.
But 2K21's own Mamba Forever Edition is also a celebration of Kobe Bryant and his 20-year career. Players can expect to see an in-game tribute and special jerseys for their MyPlayer. The special edition also adds 100,000 Virtual Currency and 10,000 MyTeam points.
The next NBA 2K title also comes after Bryant and his daughter Gianna Bryant were killed in a helicopter accident on January 26, 2020 during a trip to a basketball academy in Calabasas, California. Communities across NBA 2K20 held their own vigils and events to mourn Bryant, while an in-game tribute was posted before players accessed the main menu.
Bryant was previously honoured as a cover star for NBA 2K10 while he remains one of few players to appear in every game since the first NBA 2K.