It's not unheard of for Make-A-Wish Foundation kids to request tours of their favorite game studios, but when 2K heard that 15-year-old Make-A-Wish recipient William Floyd wanted to visit the NBA 2K headquarters in Novato, California, the company decided to go one step further. It created Floyd as a playable roster member in NBA 2K20 and made him available as a free agent to millions of players around the world.
Like professional NBA players, Floyd visited the 2K Motion Capture Studio, where 140 motion capture cameras recorded his movement. Then, 146 Pixelgun cameras recreated his likeness.
"Each player does a dance move or a celebration before he gets on the court," Floyd said. "So, I got one of those, too. I got to create it."
Floyd is now the first non-NBA athlete to be "authentically scanned" and earn a spot on an NBA 2K playable roster. Beginning today, his avatar can be found in the Quick Game mode as a free agent for players to include on any team, as well as through new MyCAREER and MyLEAGUE rosters.
Floyd's story is a reminder of how inclusive esports can be. At 18 months old, Floyd was diagnosed with a rare genetic disorder that causes muscle weakness and heart problems. He has never been able to play traditional sports, but NBA 2K allows him to compete in sports virtually. As NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said when promoting the NBA 2K eLeague, "These athletes can be any shape or size, and any age, and from anywhere."