An announcement of servers being shut down for past yearly sports titles is rarely newsworthy. Circumstances though this year makes the shutdown of services for NBA 2K11 especially relevant. 2K Sports has now announced that the servers will go down for good in mid-November.
Why does it matter more in this case? First of all it represents an especially short period of time that the servers stayed live – only 13 months. For comparisons sake the company shut down 2K10 after 15 months (happened without any notice) and 2K9 after 21 months. EA Sports has traditionally taken their games up to or beyond two years before ending their online services – for example Madden NFL 10 was just shut off last month and NCAA Football 10 in August.
More than that though it is due to the online problems, oversights, and design decisions that have plagued NBA 2K12 – something they finally addressed with public comments recently. There was a significant, though certainly not what would be considered large, contingent of consumers who have stuck with NBA 2K11. The lockout has also left those who primarily play online with less reason to buy the new offering when the rosters on 2K11 are essentially the same and the ability to play with historic teams wasn’t added. Those who were big fans of ‘Crew’ or Online Leagues were relegated to playing NBA 2K11 if they wanted to continue enjoying those modes since 2K12 did away with them.
The announcement immediately stirred up complaints in social media channels and on the forums. Ultimately it won’t make much of a difference – 2K desires to push everyone into their latest offering and per the Terms of Service they have every right to shut them down at this point. It just may not have been the best move to make in terms of customer relations.