NBA 2K12 Lasts Only a Single Month on Top 10 Sales Chart

Posted December 14th, 2011 at 4:15 pm

The effect of the lockout was expected to have significant impact on NBA 2K12 and that has definitely materialized – sales numbers were well down in the first month of release and now that has been followed by November which saw the game fall out of the top 10. Many will remember the stunning run that NBA 2K11 had by staying in the top 10 for 9 consecutive months.

While Xbox 360 and PS3 activity levels were well down demonstrating just how quickly it had fallen off  – 2K11 was in the top 10 of games being played for a full 11 months and 2K12 could only hang there for 2 weeks – it still is somewhat surprising to see NBA 2K12 absent from the charts completely after just a single month on the market. 

There is no doubt that now with the coming season there will be a significant bump in relevance for NBA 2K12 but it will not be near enough to recover what has been lost in the past two months. The lockout had a huge effect on perception of the league and the game that represents it – and without rookies, roster movement, and league events the excitement typically generated for a traditional release was clearly absent.

2K12 was unlikely to meet the sales levels of 2K11 regardless of the lockout – it had an astonishing rise culturally due to the addition of Michael Jordan and by 2K12 the novelty of legends and historic teams had already started to wear off to an extent. Beyond that though has been weak word of mouth as the game has struggled mightily with online performance, popular modes were stripped out in deceptive fashion, some major bugs plagued modes including My Player, and deficiencies in gameplay (such as the passing) have been griped about more.

All of that simply became difficult to overlook when the current-day rosters were essentially the same as those already found in 2K11. Introducing for the first time downloadable content (which hasn’t sold well) under the circumstances only increased levels of discontent.

Those who stuck with 2K12 will now be rewarded with the quasi re-release. Rosters being refreshed (which began this week) is absolutely huge – and then there is the matter of the comprehensive patch which has just arrived. It’s a good time to get started with 2K12 and it becomes a much more appealing holiday gift option particularly with a number the number of deals being offered. Amazon has it back to $40 (360PS3) for the time being.

Meanwhile Madden NFL 12 got the typical holiday bump for the series and ended up in 6th place selling well over 700K copies for the month. Madden NFL 11 pulled in approximately 600K last Novemember. Word of mouth on Madden 12 has been much stronger than Madden 11 – coinciding with a dramatic NFL season – and the corresponding sales have held better in part due to those factors.

  • Vance

    Good. Hopefully theyve learned from all their fails this year. Got lazy and thought people would buy it just cause 2k11 was good.

    • Guest

      Lazy? Online Association is easily the best online feature i’ve played in a sports game since the innovation of NCAAF’s Online Dynasty….

      • Kram

        Do you work for 2K or something? Online Association was the most disappointing thing about 2K12. It doesn’t work for hardly anyone. They should have kept the regular leagues at least.

        • Guest

          I guess I’m in the minority because i have had almost nothing go wrong in my OA. 

  • T232

    thats what happens when a company takes its fans for granted and thinks theyll buy any crap they put out

    • Kinda like Madden?

      • Guest

        Amen! Not regretting my choice to not pick up Madden one bit. First year i’ve ever made the decision after 10 consecutive years of purchasing it.

        • Fredrinick Barnes

          u missed the best madden that they have ever made. but i understand dude. 

          • No3456

            Most bug filled you mean

  • oreok

    Motivation for 2K13 hopefully will come with EA back.

  • Muzz_Tech

    unrelated a lil, but why was the madden comment needed in the article. It seemed a lil uneccessary. Love your articles, just a comment I had.

    • Tish

      pasta is back on the ea payroll. haven’t you noticed in his writing the past few months?

    • So, in a sales analysis article, I should not mention the only sports game that made the top 10 and how that relates to last year? 

      • Mattnyg86

        obviously the lockout killed sales. i’m not expecting it to come anywhere near last years sales #s and nobody should. but it will pick up once the nba gets into gear.

      • Edlover

        Pasta why are you do biased? I have 2k12 and madden 12 and while both games are good, I haven’t played madden since 2k came out. I’ll give you the fact 2ks servers sucked the first 2 weeks but now they work fine. You are starting to sound a little pathetic with all the 2k bashing. C’mon son!

  • I was holding out til 2k13, new cba and maybe new assoc features. I only buy college football every year now. Take breaks from Madden and NBA

  • Adfletch71

    Maddens12 sales wont reach 5.3 million like Madden11. The game isn’t that good. I never hear pasta say that though.

    • Tish

      nba 2k12 was a disappointment, i already traded it in. But the game is still 10 times better than madden. Ridiculous how pasta is all on madden’s nuts but takes every opportunity possible to rip on 2k12. NBA 2k12 won sports game of the year at the VGAs and madden wasn’t even nominated lolololol

    • Madden 12 was a pretty well-rounded game. Still has a ways to go obviously but was a drastic improvement over 11.

      • Modman

        It was still backwards from Madden 10

      • Anonymous

        The homerism is getting too obvious my man.

        Deep down inside you know it to be true….

      • JJ


        Pastapadre, you’ve received payment from Electronic Arts.

        Madden 12…err NFL Blitz 12 is a laughable attempt at improving 11.

        Who’s developing Madden 13, Pasta? Who’s actually working in that Tiburon studio right now?

        Answers: NO ONE

        Long live Ian Cummings. The man who had a clue and left EA’s inept Madden studio behind.

  • Anonymous

    They need to fix this speed issue, it’s ridiculous really. Glad I didnt buy it this year. Ill just wait for 2k13 or for this to hit 20 again.

    Speed issue:

  • Anonymous

    wtf happened to my comment! i didnt post anything crzy

    • Anonymous

      weird im seeing it on disqus dot com but not on pastapadre….hmmm

  • Keith.

    EA has basically been giving Madden away thru various holiday sales this year — I’ve got to believe that’s due to lackluster sales. Meanwhile, it’s been next to impossible to get 2k for below $59.99, until this week. Pasta can put whatever slant he wants on things, but Madden didn’t clean house because of booming sales — just the opposite.

    Takes fewer sales at $59 to match revenues from fire sales like Madden and other EA games have had since thanksgiving.

  • DNA

    For 2k and Nba haters this is great news!!! Nba 2k12 has been bashed more than any other game that I can remember on this website….weekly roster updates From Madden 12 and constant negative posts for Nba 2k12

  • smithy08

    Madden 12 still sucks

    • JJ

      M12 sucks? No, you’re being far too kind.

      I’ve been in/run a very successful Madden league since ’07. We even played Madden 09 (a horrible game as well) until April. At this point, 1/4 of the hardcore members have traded in Madden 12 and another 1/4 are done playing it. It is December, people!

      Madden 12 is simply unplayable unless you enjoy watching the cpu do inexplicable things time and time again.

  • can we have DLC add-on for more historic teams on NBA 2k12
    1963-64 Cincinnati Royals(55-25)(mvp) Oscar Robertson,Jerry Lucas,
    1960-61 St. Louis Hawks(51-28) Bob Pettit, Lenny Wilkens
    1966-67NBA Champions Philadelphia 76ers(68-13) Wilt, Hal Greer, Cunningham
    1968-69 Baltimore Bullets 1st(57-25) Wes, Monroe

  • Woo2k

    I agree.  This game is only a shell of last year’s stellar product, especially when it comes to online play.  I sold my copy of 2K12 on Ebay after only 2 months.  It’s just not as much fun as last year’s version.