2K Sports Finally Addresses The Online Struggles of NBA 2K12

Posted October 28th, 2011 at 5:45 pm

It’s been covered well here since the release of NBA 2K12 – the online troubles that have been at the root of the ire consumers have directed towards 2K Sports regarding the title. General performance issues with connections and lag affect nearly everything online related but that has been compounded by the removal of popular modes and options (even lobbies) and a terribly disappointing Online Association offering.

Today Kotaku posted an article on the subject that includes discussion with director of development at Visual Concepts (2K Sports dev house) going over the state of online play for NBA 2K12. It includes references to the specific problems being experienced and the first time the company has even said the word “Crew” in months – though does not make mention of why the website which houses expected features still has not launched. 

“Going into NBA 2K12 the code was still the same code from the modem days of the Dreamcast,” Thomas said. Added-on and modified to account for broadband communications and other modern developments, it still was a relic from the old NFL 2K1 days, the first sports console title with online multiplayer capability. Though fondly recalled for dazzling celebrities at the 2K booth at E3 10 years ago, it had to go. This was the year to do it, 2K Sports decided.

The decision to change online codebases affected everything about the game’s online offerings. As this would be a first run, Thomas directed the team to remove complex features that, although manageable in the old creaky architecture, couldn’t be integrated with the new code in time for the game’s shipping date—which, of course, is set by the NBA…..Though Thomas cannot promise anything, he also sincerely did not rule out My Crew’s return in future editions, attributing its absence in NBA 2K12 solely to the new codebase.

The explanation of having completely re-written the code is questionable however as the company made that very same claim heading into 2K11 – and now as it turns out that apparently wasn’t really the truth given that code from the Dreamcast days remained (the same dramatic thing they stated last year)*. At a minimum now though there is some explanation of why ‘Crew’ was taken out and that it could possibly return in the future.
*Edit: Re-checked and found references regarding Dreamcast “tech and servers” rather than “code” so, though maybe parsing words, it is possible they undertook a different project for 2K12.

The whole article is a fascinating read so make sure to check it out. It was one thing to have severe issues with online play – but another to not publicly address them and be transparent with consumers through the process. Even if it took nearly a month 2K now gets the credit for at least doing that much and working towards solutions.

  • RidgedLne

    Reasonable take Pasta. Nothing more irritating then having company guys tweeting or facebook-ing about how great they are and the game is when they have all these actual problems they should deal with. 

    • Anonymous

      Yah man, this was some straight bull!!!

      Meaning 2K…

    • Charlesmane27

      Y do this shit frezz every time I win the championship n my player this shit is wack

  • CLL4

    lmao those 2k guys are such liars. ronnie2k was in the forums last year telling everyone how 2k11 had all new online code. now they are using the same excuse for 2k12. dont buy their bs people.

  • Kal_Low

    Results are all that I care about. I dont care why something is hard for them they just need to put out an acceptable game with all the features working. 

  • Anonymous

    I do feel for them to a certain extent – it wouldn’t be easy to develop a game like 2K12 in 12 months.

    • They all develop incrementally though. It is the reason why BETAs don’t work for yearly sports titles – but doesn’t make for an excuse for not delivering on advertised features. 

      • RussMac316

        It also doesn’t explain why they were using code that was used on a system in 1999. 19 fucking 99. Do you comprehend that, people? I know that’s before most of you 2k fanboy’s birthdays, but seriously, come on.

      • fjmstcsc

        This is a change in the right direction.  This will be rock bottom for online play because the code had to be re-written.  They will only go up from here.  It could be worse.  They could implement changes to an aging system that would disguise the growing issues year after year and eventually releasing a  terrible product from lack of innovation.  I’ll take the changes for the better now with the bad, than have the developers try and cover up an aging system….And yes this is a shot at EA read between the lines -m-a-d-d-e-n-

  • Ace

    Thank you to Pasta, Kotaku, and even OS had an article about online. Finally forced 2K to respond. 

  • Colby

    Now that they admit to screwing up all the 2k fanboys who act like pasta shouldnt talk about problems with the game can stfu

    • Anonymous

      Now the reaction will be that Pasta bought off Kotaku to fabricate an article to hate on 2K.

      That, or this is going to turn into the always reliable spin of “At least they acknowledge their mistakes and they’re trying to fix them.”

      Until the same problems crop up again (probably to a lesser extent) next year.

  • ninnyjams

    All we hear about when it comes to the Madden NFL series is that EA has no competition so the game lacks innovation. Now, while I’m rather satisfied with the latest Madden offering, that’s not really the point. Maybe people need to start getting on 2K about it. They’re running virtually unopposed in the basketball department considering EA’s bumbling efforts of late. Maybe they’re just not putting all into it that they can? Maybe they’re cutting costs even more because their profits are reaching record numbers and the rich want to get richer.

    That being said, that’s just another one of my wild crackpot theories, and all this really says to me is that they quite enjoy backpedaling and didn’t trust in their product to begin with, letting all the issues mount up. I’m legitimately surprised the ol’ “too many people on the servers!” didn’t pop up, which is even more an admonishment of a company’s inability to trust in what they’re putting out there.

    Their handling of this situation is among the worst I’ve seen, second probably just to EA and how they’ve handled the online issues of the last two “skate” titles. Oh, and by the way, new games should include new code. That’s not something brand new to the world.

  • In anticipation of the lockout and such a big code restructuring, why not just take the year off and develop a solid game for next year?

    • The license requires release every year. EA had to pay a big fee for not releasing Elite – and the NBA probably only let them out of that because they knew they still had 2K.

      • Anonymous

        a few days late (learning how to work disqus notifications), but thanks for the clarification

  • guest

    This is flat out a bunch of bs coming from 2k sports!!! What happened to the code that they used for NBA 2K8…That game had very functional online code…Please people DO NOT believe this bs that 2k is giving us…2k online has been broken since NBA 2k9 which was a game that was released in 2008!!!

  • Ibb

    doesnt even make sense tho. so they had to take out online modes to focus on coding but then they add a big feature with online association (half assed)??? more bs’ing from 2k cant believe anything they say

  • Perrylarry44

    online is trash

  • Dominator

    2k12 offline might be enough for some but having it broken online really sucks with me.  I will just keep playing 2k11.

  • solooooo

    are they gonna address the freezing in my player

  • Clubguru35

    I can care less about playing online so my condolences to those that just get the game to mostly play online.Offline this is still hands down the best NBA game money can buy PERIOD.

    • Anonymous


    • Bruut

      i think 2k11 was better actually. got more arcadey this year and trade logic is so bad in my player/association

  • Anonymous

    As someone who plays association & my player, it obviously doesn’t affect me but I’m sorry for all the people who genuinely want to play online but have massive problems with it year after year.

  • frish

    reminds me how i think after mlb 2k9 months later they came out and talked about all the problems. years later that series still is an utter fail so dont get your hopes up about 2k actually fixing online anytime soon

  • GrimY

    How are there people that still like 2K Sports as a company? They always lie and deceive. Say what you will about EA but at least they tell people what to expect out of their games. Even they come out and tell you things like how online franchise wasnt going to be improved. That way you can make the right decision on whether to buy or not. 2K is deceitful about everything.

  • You can’t tell me VC didn’t know about these errors before hand. They should have told 2k that they need more time.

    The large majority of consumers would wait for a working product, over this mess.

  • Fofoman23

    Pasta whole different topic here and you may not know but are you aware of any updated rosters for the 2011-2012 season on NCAA Basketball 10? It’s starting to get that time of year.. Thanks in advance

  • big-EASY88

    “Excuses so paper thin, they blow away with the wind” – Eminem

  • Anonymous

    God, I miss NBA Street so, so, so much. 🙁

  • Neptunebastard

    sounds like political rhetoric, just admit you screwed up and tell us you’re going to fix it, don’t make excuses and give long answers to short questions…

    and why does the NBA dictate the release date? Aren’t they in a work stoppage? Don’t tell me you couldn’t have take 2, 4, even 6 more weeks to fix the game instead of releasing it with broken “features”. Not buying it…..and I’m not buying it.

  • Anonymous

    Pasta how long did it take the NCAA 12 team to respond? I don’t recall you getting on your soapbox about them?

    • Guest


    • Finally got them to respond by going into details – about 3 weeks after release I believe. Definitely took them too long and that’s why I showed frustration about it and they finally changed their way of dealing with it.

  • Anonymous

    Pasta I read all your post about NCAA 12. You talked about the issues but nothing the way you cry about 2k. Both companies have issues . But clearly that EA brand on your azz cheek limits how how speak about them .

    • Guest

      Wish there was a double like button, because you nailed it. 

    • Considering my coverage of NCAA 12 drew complaints that I must have “had an agenda against EA Sports” I seriously doubt that.

      Just comes with the territory. I hold these companies accountable. It’s sad that people ask “why?” and I suppose that’s because most sites act as marketing arms for these companies and don’t dare question their actions.

  • chicken rib

    i love playing offline celtics already won championship

  • Nickelz114

    im a big fan of 2k basketball game and it hurts me to say this but 2k12 sucks really bad online play first off needs to not be mentioned on top of that there are too many threes in the game even on sim and you can defend them fast enough because for some reason it takes the defender too long too gather a jump to defend the shot and if begin too talk about all the bullshit ball deflections and steals especially from ai i might brake my keyboard wow what a way to mess up a almost perfect game of hoops 

  • Anonymous

    You will know their code actually changes when you and an opponent can both make changes when someone hit’s the pause button online.

    I’ve been saying this for years that they were still basically running the same code from the Dreamcast.

    That was my first clue. When someone presses pause why can I not make changes while they make their changes just like in Madden.

    It’s like your playing next to someone instead of online. Because the code was never updated.

  • i’ve been tellin’ people for years that they got Dreamcast code in that bitch. And it’s not even heresay. Some developer lets slip something about it every year. Especially when it comes to netcode. Anybody that has taken a data communication class in the last decade will tell ya stop-and-wait style schemes are retarded for nearly all modern applications.

  • Dtp3579

    are u able to use alternate jerseys online in 2k12?

    • jimmer

      sadly no

  • Lebronjames0

    when i play 2k12 PS3 it keeps saying ” synchronizing nba today please wait.. ” then when i play online, i cant find a match and it just sits there! Can anybody help

  • Lebronjames0

    i didnt pay 63 dollars + tax for online mess up


    My prroblem with the onliine play,is people diconnecting(especially when losing),waiting for opponent…then YOU get the loss.Whats the point of records,and or progression,when your online is that terrible?Ridiculous.