NBA Ball Stars has been launched by Netmarble, which is a free-to-play puzzle-based mobile basketball game developed by the recently purchased Kung Fu Factory studio of the company.
The game is now available on Android and iOS. The fast-play of the game and the franchise-building strategy are aimed at general sports fans, every casual gamer, and players of all levels.
As its cover athlete, the game highlights 2019-2020 NBA Rookie of the year, Ja Morant, as it is licensed from both the National Basketball Player’s Association (NBPA) and National Basketball Association (NBA).
“We saw that if we could make the game very casual, with a focus on the increasingly popular sports genre, it could be very appealing to mobile gamers,” said Netmarble US president Simon Sim said in an interview with GamesBeat.
“Mobile gaming is bigger and bigger, and the gender diversity is increasing as well,” Sim said. “We think that mobile games appeal to wider age and gender groups, and the same is true for sports games. So, we looked for a casual gaming mechanic, and we found it with the puzzles. We think that casual NBA games will easily catch on to our games.”
The NBA game is a strategic part of Netmarble to make the game more popular in Japan, Europe, and North America. In 2020, the company’s revenue was more than 70% outside South Korea.
In the game, players are able to power up their roster by bursting gems, increasing both defensive and offensive skills, and unlocking their signature moves. Players need to train their stars and use the formation system to bring the ideal lineups.