MLB 2K May Just Be Playing Out The String

by
Posted December 3rd, 2010 at 2:30 pm

Hope of a future for the MLB 2K series has always been bleak. Take Two/2K Sports has taken a bath with the third party MLB license they signed in 2005. Just in 2010 alone they estimated a loss of $30-40 million due to the license. There was a reason why EA Sports passed on the opportunity to sign the deal leaving 2K Sports to snag it…it didn’t make any financial sense.

However yesterday may have been the biggest sign yet that MLB 2K is a thorn in the side of Take Two that they can’t wait to get rid of. President Strauss Zelnick ripped into the MLB side of things (Reuters: via Kotaku) which he also did last year when he cited it as a prime reason the company came in way under earnings projections. Now though he had some sharper comments about the future.

“It’s a losing proposition and we don’t have any interest in pursuing losing propositions.”

The MLB has already stated they will not renew a third party deal and instead have opted to open up the contract to multiple parties after 2012. That has many looking forward to the return of EA Sports to baseball and the likely resurrection of the MVP name. The question would then be whether 2K Sports would choose to continue producing MLB games. They would still be able to obtain a license and compete in the marketplace but they would no longer have the Xbox 360 to themselves and would be facing multiple titles on the PS3.

Zelnick added that they are open to doing a deal with the MLB but only if the economics change, however the comments strongly suggest the company is basically just mailing in the 2K series until the contract ends. Financially they have no expectation of making money and they can only try to limit losses. With the competition that will be coming in and the poor image the series has things aren’t shaping up well for MLB 2K.

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  • http://twitter.com/ajs41072 Anthony Suriano

    If they just got the MLB License to spite EA for getting the NFL License, then it serves them right to have lost all that money.

    • grf445

      Like I said before, I wonder if IGN will call the cancellation of the MLB series by 2K “courageous”

    • Anonymous

      Pasta, how do you figure they’e just mailing it in?

      I don’t see how these comments imply that course of action.

      • http://pastapadre.com/ pastapadre

        They’re not going to invest $$$ and resources into a series that is going to be dead in two years and is a guaranteed loser until then.

      • Anonymous

        REALLY RA! Might I refer you to MLB 2k8,9,10. 3 of the biggest piece of crap video games of baseball ever made.

        How can you rail on Madden like you do then try to defend the MLB2k series. You are a Joke RA. Do yourself a favor and drop the $$$$ on a PS3 and get yourself a real baseball game. Wasting another 60$ on MLB2k11 is just plain irresponsible and quite stupid.

    • Anonymous

      That is exactly why they got the MLB license and it backfired in their faces. EA is the big dog here and they have the fiscal where with all to pound 2k into oblivion. Again if 2k didn’t pull that dick move in 2005 and lower all there sports games to 19.99, then they wouldn’t be in the predicament they are in now.

      That move cost EA a lot of money that year and they retaliated in kind by taking football away from 2k. Turn about is fair play and 2k got PLAYED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • ryan

    Serves them right. Listen, I don’t root for anybody to go out of business, especially in this economy. However, when a company refuses to listen to what their customers are saying about their product and then refuse to change, then they deserve to get the boot. They continue to put out a garbarge game year after year with the same old problems, and many times the game gets worse instead of better. I’m not saying EA Sports is the king of sports video games and we should all bow down to them, but at least they listen to feedback and try to put the majority of what people want into their next game. It would obviously be brutal for 2K to lose this license but my point is this…if 2K doesn’t give a crap about us, the customers, why should we give a crap about them?

    • tish

      “I’m not saying EA Sports is the king of sports video games and we should all bow down to them, but at least they listen to feedback and try to put the majority of what people want into their next game. ”

      Like Madden? HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAH

      You sir, are an idiot.

  • Keith.

    I’d be willing to bet that the NFL license has been just as big a disaster for EA. They went from selling 7 or 8 million copies of Madden back in 2004 to the point where they’ll be lucky to hit 5 million this year. The difference is EA would never come out and say they made a mistake like 2k did.

    • KrodMandoon

      No it hasn’t. Unlike 2k,they’re not losing money. People are still buying their product. Not only that,the NFL is making money off of it. So it hasn’t been a loss for them at all.

      Madden,while it isn’t the greatest game,it isn’t as bad as some of you make it out to be. MLB 2K on the other hand,that game hasn’t been anything special since 2k3. 2K losing this license won’t be that big a deal to me. Maybe that frees up some money so they can bring back College Hoops.

      And what about this crap from the 2k president, you’re gonna blame the MLB because your game stinks? Seriously? If it’s the MLB’s fault, then why in the hell doesn’t The Show suck.

      And I do wonder what most of you would be saying if the EA president came out and said something like that.

      • Xcef2008

        EA might be in trouble next year. Does anyone know if they would/could produce a game if the NFL has a lockout next year?

  • http://twitter.com/ajs41072 Anthony Suriano

    Seems like their main priority was to stick it to EA and not to make a baseball game.

  • http://twitter.com/ajs41072 Anthony Suriano

    Seems like their main priority was to stick it to EA and not to make a baseball game.

  • Skyflame21

    Frankly, I don’t care if 2k or EA get back into baseball… they will have a hard time competing for my dollars with MLB: The Show product out there. I know alot of people will be excited for better options on the 360. I always thought the exclusivity was a bad idea, especially from a game company standpoint. NCAA Basketball, MLB both completely collapsed. MADDEN Football has been quite awful for many years now. So perhaps they can take the money they spent in getting the exclusivity and now invest it back into their products.

  • DaBoyFrom Tha Town

    2K just drop the MLB series after the contract expires and bring back College Hoops ASAP. Stick with something u are good at and that is making basketball games and also wait for the Madden license to expire and make an all-out blitz to get a deal with the NFL. Stick with what

  • Sammydavis206

    Bring back College Hoops next year and I’ll be the happiest guy out there.

  • jusmegamer

    Anyone that reads my post knows I don’t particular care for EA and there lies and marketing strategies but I would welcome MVP Baseball if it could be on the same level as it left on. MVP 05 is still my favorite baseball game. I fear that EA will not be able to duplicate that success though. A lot of people think they will be able to just pick back off where they left I think that will leave a lot of let down people when they re-enter the market.

    • Dopeboy9264

      It’s EA jusmegamer. They are known to fuck up good products and make it worse just look at Madden.

    • Dopeboy9264

      It’s EA jusmegamer. They are known to fuck up good products and make it worse just look at Madden.

  • http://www.woodsidemediagroup.com/ Amani

    Speaking of MLB the Show – any info on the game Pasta? We are about 4 months or so from release.

  • http://www.woodsidemediagroup.com/ Amani

    Speaking of MLB the Show – any info on the game Pasta? We are about 4 months or so from release.

  • HaloUnion

    isn’t MLB the show just for PS3? What are xbox gamers supposed to do?

  • http://profiles.yahoo.com/u/ABLC757UG25E6RN7OECFE57JLA Daniel

    “The MLB has already stated they will not renew a third party deal and instead have opted to open up the contract to multiple parties after 2012″

    YAYAYAYAYAYAYAY!!!!

    Also, correct me if I’m wrong, but doesn’t Microsoft still OWN the High Heat license? I always wondered why they didn’t use the first party clause (A la Sony) and make their own game, considering how bad 2k was for so long…

  • Adam2134

    3dO should make a comeback

  • Sunny1890
  • sheredia

    it just seems more and more like having an exclusive license lead to problems……it just puts more pressure on the company to release a near flawless game. if anything drives a company to make a better game, it’s healthy competition. let’s face it, not all sports gamers are the same and some may prefer one game over another and there is nothing wrong with that. if you produce a quality game, people will buy it…..

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  • Anonymous

    Hmm…MLB seems to be working out pretty well for The Show. It sounds like 2K’s trying to shift the blame to the sport or even the customers when it’s really just because of their incompetence. Sad story.

  • Moneymayweather

    let EA do baseball and 2k do football and we will have a perfect world get it done EX! we gone have boatloads of cash. lots of people equate baseball with MVP greatness and other people consider 2k to have a foothole in football. so get er done!

    • Doyema6

      Sounds like a decent idea… but a better one is to allow free competition. If you notice EA’s great MVP games came out when they had good competition from 2k and honestly Madden 04/05 was great even though 2k football was slightly better. Fact is all the franchises were at their peaks when the other was still making a competing game.

  • yourname

    The Show is the best baseball game….period!

    Sony just needs to bring it to other consoles. If that happens their won’t be a need for any other company to make a baseball game, cause they ain’t touching The Show.

    If you haven’t played it, you don’t know what you’re missing and this is coming from someone who’s not a huge baseball fan…that game is just that good.

    • Anonymous

      Why would Sony want to put their baseball game on other consoles? The reason first party titles never go multi-platform is that it is a selling point to buy the hardware.

      However, I agree that The Show is the best console baseball game ever. If EA gets back in the game in 2012, the competition will heat up. MVP was awesome.

  • Smsixx

    Thats disapointing.

    I played last years version of 2k baseball (Longoria on cover) and was actually impressed with the batting interface. Taking pitches, drawing walks, and being paitient to hit the long ball were all very realistic aspects the game that they tuned in perfectly.

    The game still lacks in some areas like fielding, overall online play, and simulation stats (pitchers, especially the bullpen have outrageously high ERAS over a season)

    To be honest I would love to see EA back in the baseball market…the three years of MVP Baseball were great…the only reason I ever played 2k was when EA produced the dogshit “Triple Play” series and again when MVP got cancelled.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_HQXECCUE72SKUDDBVIBP5DWIR4 Akeem

    MVP Baseball was the best baseball franchise in the history of baseball video games, perfect overall game, and the deepest Franchise mode i have ever played, the farm system, player growth, and statistics were perfect

  • Meanonsunday

    Zelnick is talking garbage because the drop in MLB sales nowhere near explains why they missed their financial projections. If you believe his numbers he is still projecting MLB to sell 2 million every year when it has never sold more than 800K. Sure they lose a lot of money on MLB, but he’s known that for 5 years and if he is using 2005 projections in 2010 then that’s flat out lying.

  • Meanonsunday

    Zelnick is talking garbage because the drop in MLB sales nowhere near explains why they missed their financial projections. If you believe his numbers he is still projecting MLB to sell 2 million every year when it has never sold more than 800K. Sure they lose a lot of money on MLB, but he’s known that for 5 years and if he is using 2005 projections in 2010 then that’s flat out lying.

  • http://twitter.com/charlieryczek Charlie Ryczek

    This may seem like a dumb comment but I’ve always wondered why if 2K has the “exclusivity” contract with MLB then how does Sony make another baseball game?

    • Anonymous

      The deal doesn’t exclude first party developers i.e. Sony, Microsoft, Nintendo.

      • http://twitter.com/charlieryczek Charlie Ryczek

        Ah alright I wasn’t sure about that. Thanks for clearing it up.

      • http://twitter.com/charlieryczek Charlie Ryczek

        Ah alright I wasn’t sure about that. Thanks for clearing it up.

  • Anonymous

    Yeah, and people knock EA for pulling a lack luster game from the shelves and here you have 2k just mailing in another substandard game. Which company has more integrity again????????????????

    The truly sad thing about this is the average gamer doesn’t have the common sense to not buy this game. 360 owners will once again run out to buy this likely piece of crap just for the sake of having a baseball game for the 360. Truly, a sad state of affairs and the reason why 2k just keeps putting out crap games, with the exception of NBA2k11 which they actually did a good job with surprisingly.

  • MBKJA

    this is what happens when you put out bullsh*t games that suck. they fail, often times miserably.

    good job 2K, can’t wait for EA to get back into this.

  • dren

    I never could get into baseball games. It’s to slow paced and boring. I’m suprised that a lot of people care, obviously there are a lot of people that love baseball and play in High School and College but most people I no think it’s boring and a waste of time. Baseball games could disappear and I would never notice.

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