NBA Lockout Creates Split in Consumer Interest for NBA 2K12

Posted October 1st, 2011 at 1:15 pm

Early in the week a poll went up with the intention to get a clearer picture of how consumers are viewing NBA 2K12 in light of the league lockout. As release has neared the realization of the impact on the product has started to settle in, as it will not have the typical refresh of rosters or even introduce rookies while well-regarded features such as NBA Today are negated. Despite that the NBA 2K series comes off a remarkable year in which it entered the upper-echelon of sports titles by reaching a cultural status exceeded by few others. What the poll shows is a distinct split caused by the lockout.

First, looking at the group that doesn’t expect to buy 2K12, some of those certainly are people who may have not have been potential sales anyway. It can’t be completely dismissed however. Some of the voters there may have been potential buyers for 2K12 and for one reason or another don’t feel it is necessary to do so. The number to really hone in on though are those waiting for the lockout to end.

It is a significant group – 26% which plans to wait for the end of the lockout which looks to be a long ways off if the season is to happen at all. Those are sales that are lost at least initially.

Industry analysts are predicting a sales drop of 50% but I still believe that number is a bit inflated and expect something more in the range of 35-40%. Keep in mind that even a 50% drop would just take the numbers back to NBA 2K10 levels – not a disaster by any means just not the juggernaut NBA 2K11 was.

EA Sports was expecting to lose up to $80 million if the NFL lockout had extended into the season. That is why the NFL gave them a discount of $30 million this year on the exclusive license in exchange for extending it an additional year. According to analysts 2K Sports could expect to lose $40 million if the lockout ends up continuing for an extended period of time. The effects of the lockout are real – it is just more difficult to pinpoint how it will all play out as the circumstances could change at any point in the future.

The poll results support that way of thinking. There is a large dedicated fan base for NBA 2K12, but NBA 2K11 secured a number of buyers either new to the franchise or simply intrigued by the inclusion of Michael Jordan. Those consumers are more likely to not feel the need to buy again a year later – especially given the lack of an NBA season around the corner to drive interest. Sales were expected to be down some even if there had been no lockout but it will magnify that number greatly. The “perfect storm” of last year was never going to be replicated.

There is little question that NBA 2K12 will be an excellent game. 2K Sports planned ahead well and positioned 2K12 to survive a potential lockout as best as possible. The focus on legends and historic teams was smart. Still that doesn’t prevent consumers from judging the total package and maybe not seeing the value deemed necessary to make a purchase. The excitement over the coming season and along with it new rosters are what drives many to make year-to-year purchases of sports titles. What can be expected is that if/when the lockout ends 2K12 will get a sales bump come that time – there is less urgency to grab a copy right away and due to that many who are content waiting for that moment instead to jump in.

  • CrissNoA

    i even know some people who arent buying 2k12 until the lockout ends. still didnt expect it to be that big of a percent. i understand though how anger could be directed at the nba and that makes it hard to want a game for a season that might not happen

    • Anonymous

      I think it makes it easier to buy it without a season.. we can pretend it’s the real thing and it gives us a fantasy holdover until the real NBA starts.. it works for me..

    • Anonymous

      This is like 5th thread dealing with the lockout and NBA2K12 purchase.

      MOVING ON….  

      • GEEZNUTZ

        I know man its like people are trying to poke holes for no reason its like whats the point? forget thats its a great game according to alot of reviews….but people are not buying because of rookies and the lockout?OK? …….hey everybody has the right to buy and enjoy what they want ..but its a first day buy for me

  • waiting 4 the lockout 2 end

    • Perrylarry44

      thats gona be a while

  • Wes

    Cavs fan here. Waiting for end of lockout. Cant get excited playing with them until Irving and Thompson are in.

  • Aman128ok

    Well Im personally buying it first Day of release… I just like 2k12 and the way it plays its better than last year in my opinion and I dont think 2k will just put the rookies back on after the lockout end think about it…..It would be messed Up If everyone who buys the game before the lockout ends will get the rookies for FREE and everyone who buys after the lockout they will charge U…… I know its probly not possible but im just thinking outside the box lol that would be funny….. But yea 2k12 is still better than 2k11 so im buying first day need another sports game to play..

  • lack of roster updates isn’t a big deal, it’s not like 2k11 was getting roster updates either. i’ve preordered; this game is gonna be great. i’m not expecting a huge difference in gameplay but the revamped myplayer, classic teams and better graphics is enough to get me stoked. 

  • I44i

    With no NBA season theres no reason not to wait. Ill get it on Black Friday for cheap or when the lockout ends.

  • Waiting for the lockout to end as well.  I want to see Kemba and Biyombo on the Cats.

  • Dominator

    Also, depending on when the season starts too…if it starts in January or Feb I still may not get because only will get a short season to really play and enjoy.  NCAA comes out in mid July and my focus will be towards football again.  2k 11 was so good, it is worth playing again for one more season !!!

  • Jack Johnson

    I’ve been playing this game for 3 straight days and its miles better than 2k11. If the lockout is preventing you from playing this game, you just don’t want the game. The A.I. is the best CPU opponent of any sports game to date. This is the best sports game period.

  • Jameshuck

    You realize that this game will most likely have SIGNIFICANT improvements over last year, right? This will be 2K11 on STEROIDS!!! Lockout? Who cares, just start your Association a month later and then they will update rosters with rookies in Nov. Start your My Player mode first. I will be busy with that and unlocking legends for awhile anyway.

  • Kingedwardwatkins

    Man I preordered it cause ain’t no rookies even worth playing with so I’m fine with or without rookies.

  • Sharp

    I have the PC version pre-ordered.

  • Guest

    2k share much? LOL

  • Guest

    When i voted when it forst releases or near future I emphasize the near future, as in like a month or so later

  • Jskuggs

    2k12 wont have a crew mode? WTF, i’ll just go buy madden 12

    • youngchi24

      crew mode is trash anyway.

  • Chizzle1003

    I’m gettin it at midnight. I would rather have NBA2k12 than no NBA at all. The lock out won’t stop 2k12 from being the best basketball video game ever regardless of sales.

    • youngchi24


  • Lol

    People act like not having rookies is such a big deal. There will be someone that makes a roster with rookies within the first few days then puts it up on 2k share. Stupid people are stupid.

    • Taylor

      Just because rookies aren’t important to you doesn’t mean they’re not important to others. If I can just download the rosters, then I’ll just download them to 2K11 and save 60 bucks. Stupid posts are stupid.

      • Sharp

        If you download those rosters to 2k11, does that give you 2k12 gameplay? No?
        Stupid posts.. yeah.

        • Taylor

          How much different is the gameplay? Not 60 dollars worth for me. I loved 2K11’s immensely. If I am gonna play with last years rosters, then I’ll stick with last year’s game.

          • Tip

            The gameplay is MUCH DIFFERENT! Much better to! I just played it and you’d be a fool not to get this game because of some weak ass rookie class! Hey, your lost dude. 

  • Acarson53

    fuck it im getting it the end and who cares but i understand y they dim down the faces from 2k11 for they can match up with the legends faces its hard to get back in the day faces like that so in order not for it to look weird yeah

  • Noone

    Pastapadre, whoever that might be, is a truly horrible writer

  • sheredia

    will the nba give 2k any compensation due to the lockoutif it is extended?…..just curious. i wish 2k luck since they decided not to lower the price of the game on the initial release.

  • I won’t be buying since association is the same. I also think the NBA won’t have a season.

  • Jerry Seinfeld

    Who cares about other people, I still on buying it day one

  • chiuaha5734

    2k12 doest look good the demo was okay but not spectacular. i guess I will pass. im trying to get a new phone anyways.

  • Yaboythecib2

    don’t know why so many people are surprised.. a die hard 2k fan wouldn’t care about the roster update etc. i’m buying the game regradless of the lockout. those car about trade free agent etc the reason 4 not buying the game is understandable….

  • Mark harris

    what is the lock out

  • Victor L

    Im not going to rush out and get it. But I’ll probably get it eventually. Played 2k11 the other day, its still a great game.

  • Pasquiniandrew

    I bought NBA 2k11 and i loved it. I am not buying 2k12 for the simple fact of there is going to be no season. I like the idea of the legends. If they include all the legends for 2k13 and have the right rosters 2k13 will be purchased.

  • Jz

    NBA 2k is a first day buy every year. I would still bu it with no nba season. But no rookies makes me pass on the game. Ill grab it when rookies get put in though if it ever happens.Wont pay $60 if its months later though.

  • Perrylarry44

    breaking news nba2k12 will have crew through dlc…u guys are welcome, researched it my self

  • Megatron

    Still undecided on my end….Game looks great and I need a new sports game seeing as how I have played Madden and NCAA 12 to death

  • T Bird8239

    Iam very confused why what is going on in real life has to do with playing a fantasy computer game. I play 2k2 and dont even watch the NBA. Iam not sure what one has to do with the other. Create your own rookies if thats the problem…..Do you only play the game after watching a real one on TV?

    • I do. Some times watching a real games makes more more excited to play the game. I sometimes like recreating the scenario or do a franchise with that particular team. If the sport is not on tv I don’t care to pick up and play most of the time.

  • NELL86

    2k is really trying to rape people why would i buy a half of game at 60 then pay for dlc for crew modes and to play with legand teams online. If 2k wanted to make money i would of cut the price to 39.99 then charge for dlc. I dont see enough adjustments to buy 2k12 i dont play my player mode so i see no point

  • Coldmanfive

    I don’t even like pro basketball, but I’ll be buying this ASAP.  Personally, I don’t care if it was just comprised of rosters from the ’90s…the gameplay and presentation look incredibly top-notch, and the commentary made my jaw drop to the floor more than once. 

    It’s almost unanimously considered the greatest basketball game of all-time, and more than one source has referred to it as the greatest sports game of all time, period.  That’s what has me taking notice.  And I’ll also be willing to bet that of those people that claim they’re going to wait until the end of the lockout, a majority will snap and buy it due to great reviews/word of mouth, or simply from getting tired of waiting for the lockout to end.  I’m no insider at all, but I don’t see sales being affected that much.  I’d say 20-25% tops.

  • Babe Gurl48

    i just talk to game stop just now they said the nba 2k12 is all like 2k11 all there changeing is there rosters and when the season does start there gonna chance the players that go out .this blows i was all happy to get it now im like idk now this is bs .grrrrr imma hold back now on it why pay 60 if u have 2k11 .its gonna be the same but differnt rosters

    • herpaderp

      you, sir, did not play the 2k12 demo.

    • Josh

      It would be a shame to miss out such an amazing game.  
      I am not surprised that the Game Stop employee doesn’t know crap.

      • Perrylarry44

        4real gamestop guys are

    • Tip

      My boy got the game early, just played it and it BLOWS 2K11 OUT OF THE WATER!!!! The presentation is 10xs better that last years and the gameplay has been greatly improved! Don’t be a FOOL and miss out on this game because of what some snot-nosed kid at Gamestop told you! I’m telling you THIS FUCKIN GAME KICKS ASS! 

  • Muse324

    too much of a ball fan to not buy it. no rookies doesn’t bother me as much. wasn’t this draft class considered to be weak?? be that as it may, there’s too much 2k12 is going to offer to pass up on…

  • sheredia

    i’m debating….since 2k12 seems so much more improved, should i trade in 2k11? i mean, i will probably hardly play it anymore.

    • Josh

      Keep it if you want to replay the Jordan challenges.   Otherwise, trade up to 2k12.  It IS that much better!!!

  • Buc

    It makes ZERO sense to me why anyone would NOT buy this game based on the fact two rounds, TWO ROUNDS of players are not included in the game. BTW, many of those drafted, included some lottery players, wouldn’t be in the game anyway due to teams signing those players to “Future” contracts. So all in all, you’ve got about 50 or so players that are being left out, with possibly 10-15 big names that would see minutes if included.

    It would be different if this were Madden and we are talking 7 rounds of players. But two rounds in basketball, c’mon people? I mean, seriously? How many of those drafted even made the final rosters? There are a few that won’t. Always happens that way. They get bumped to the D LG or simply get cut.

    Your loss if your not buying based on that reason alone.

    • Tip

      Who are the 10-15 “big names” in this year’s weak ass draft? U kidding me? There are no “big names” in the 2011 draft class. A couple of DECENT players at 1 and 2 then the rest fall off big time. This draft class ain’t Hakeem, Jordan, and Barkley that’s for damn sure. If people are not gonna buy as game as great as this because it doesn’t have some no-name rookies then they need they’re fuckin heads examined. 

      Got the game, and I’M LOVIN’ IT! Worth EVERY PENNY!

  • Geeznutz

    Real NBA or Basketball  fans will buy this game no matter what, its a first day purchase for me know doubt! 

  • It’s kind of sad that many people do play this game for just a roster update. That alone will never be worth spending around $65 to me. 2K12 looks like it’ll be a vastly superior basketball game compared to 2K11 rookies or not which is why I’m buying it. 

  • ben ross

    owww mah sexy body…. i like some of the improvements, but damn wehy did they remove crews, if anything they should have expanded it, mades lobbies where yuh can face legit teams and freiends….