Scottie Pippen will appear in NBA 2K13 as a member of the "Dream Team," 2K Sports said in a statement today. "Feedback on forums, social media and community interactions were the driving force in influencing Pippen to sign a deal, as fans had shared widespread disappointment over his absence from the 1992 roster."
The basketball hall-of-famer had held out of appearing in a video game reunion of the 1992 US national team, unable to come to an agreement with 2K over the use of his likeness. He has now reversed course. Many fans expressed over Twitter and Facebook when the Dream Team roster was announced last week, and Pippen's name was the only one missing.
Pippen played small forward for the Dream Team and is typically regarded as its best defender. His defensive presence is key in a fantasy matchup of the 1992 team and the 2012 Olympic team, whom Kobe Bryant said would win head-to-head. NBA 2K13 will feature both teams, with complete rosters, in their proper uniforms.
Licensing retired players can be a high-risk proposition for a publisher looking to recreate great teams. There is a retired player's association that offers a group licence for many of its members, but superstars often cut their own deals to be paid more. Pippen had appeared on historic teams in NBA 2K11 and NBA 2K12, but apparently tried to negotiate a more lucrative arrangement this year.
Last year, NBA 2K12 introduced its "NBA's Greatest" mode, which depicted historically significant teams from league history. Some lesser players asked onto the rosters of their respective teams after the announcement had been made, but no one of Pippen's stature.
NBA 2K13 will release on October 2.