NBA2K17 and Fitbit want you to swap steps for in-game rewards

That's one way to get gamers to drop the controller and get outside
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Putting a new spin on gamifying fitness, game publisher 2K has teamed up with Fitbit to let gamers unlock in-game bonuses in NBA 2K17 by putting in some exercise time off the virtual court.

2K is using the Works with Fitbit program, so players can strap on a Fitbit Charge 2, Flex 2 or any other Fitbit and complete step-based challenges to get a temporary boost to player performance over the next five games you play in the game.

Read this: Does gamifying wearables really work?

So hitting 10,000 steps in a day will see a boost in areas like agility as well as improve the ability to dunk on opponents and scoring layups. Currently, only steps counts are supported but there has apparently been talk of future updates recognising when you've been shooting hoops out on a real court.

The 2K17 and Fitbit tie-up will appear in the Xbox One and PS4 version of the game, which launches on Black Friday (25 November). Both companies are exploring the idea of letting retailers like Best Buy and Target bundle Fitbit trackers with the game so you can start unlocking those features as soon as you get home.

This isn't the first time we've seen companies attempt to make fitness more fun in the quest to get more people off the couch and burning calories. The makers of the motion-sensing Moff Band partnered up with Bandai Namco Entertainment to turn the wearable into a controller so you can swing your arms to move Pac-Man. We shouldn't of course forget about a certain Pokémon Go that managed to get people out hunting for virtual pocket monsters.

We're intrigued to see if 2K and Fitbit's experiment is a successful one and it manages to get people to spend a little more time away from their games console.

NBA2K17 and Fitbit want you to swap steps for in-game rewards


How we test

Michael Sawh


Michael Sawh has been covering the wearable tech industry since the very first Fitbit landed back in 2011. Previously the resident wearable tech expert at Trusted Reviews, he also marshaled the features section of

He also regularly contributed to T3 magazine when they needed someone to talk about fitness trackers, running watches, headphones, tablets, and phones.

Michael writes for GQ, Wired, Coach Mag, Metro, MSN, BBC Focus, Stuff, TechRadar and has made several appearances on the BBC Travel Show to talk all things tech. 

Michael is a lover of all things sports and fitness-tech related, clocking up over 15 marathons and has put in serious hours in the pool all in the name of testing every fitness wearable going. Expect to see him with a minimum of two wearables at any given time.

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