Both EA and 2K Fail to Meet Post-NBA Lockout Expectations

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Posted January 17th, 2012 at 8:30 am

The anticipation and excitement of a returning NBA stretched from fans to game publishers as EA Sports and 2K Sports hoped to capitalize on a quasi re-release period and make up for some of the losses that had been incurred due to the league lockout. The extent to which they have been successful though has been limited. NBA 2K12 was able to get a decent sales bump out of it but in terms of support have come up short while EA flat out misled consumers by advertising a feature that has not been delivered. 

In terms of authenticity it was NBA 2K12 that felt the brunt of the impact from the lockout. The lack of roster movement from the previous season and no ability to add rookies became incredibly damaging – while even features like NBA Today were negated completely without a season to track alongside of – and a drastic drop in consumer interest was the result.

2K did an admirable job at first in trying to play catch-up with a series of roster updates that rolled out over a short period of time. Since opening day though there has only been a single roster update provided. Now over three weeks into the season and there are still several second round draft picks (including the likes of Isaiah Thomas) missing and other players not in the game that long ago should have been. That has also led to injured or suspended players remaining so in the roster long past their return date and those who have since gotten hurt who are still operating at full strength. Another feature advertised for 2K12 was how just about anything art-related in the game could, and would, be updated regularly – but that feature has yet to be capitalized on.

There really is no excuse for having just a single update over the first 23 days of the NBA season – especially when the feature is said to be “living rosters” and meant to represent the league on a day-to-day basis. There are those out there who have waited for fully up-to-date rosters to start their Association and still can’t even do that in mid-January and no one would have predicted that would be the case.

Meanwhile EA Sports made it their marketing campaign for NBA Jam: On Fire Edition to tout added features which were anticipated due to their absence from the earlier NBA Jam reboot. Among those were the introduction of roster updates. EA has not only failed to provide an update but have actively avoided the topic at all costs – a clear sign that they have no intention to actually deliver on their promise and hope the topic just fades away. That isn’t acceptable and I’ll continue to shine a spotlight on the topic at every opportunity possible and can’t recommend any digital-downloads from the company until support and communication in regards to them improves. Though not directly related the return of EA’s sim series in fall 2012 isn’t getting much help here from NBA Jam in terms of rebuilding trust in EA within the basketball gaming universe.

Both companies seemed to take a minimalist approach to the return of the NBA. 2K tried to take advantage of it marketing wise and the early string of roster updates brought about additional attention to the product – but since then they have clearly lost the motivation that drove the push of early support. EA on the other hand has decided to abandon NBA Jam hoping that consumers won’t care that they didn’t come through on an advertised feature presumably because the game was just $15. Regardless both sides have been a disappointment or worse and that is something that shouldn’t be forgotten come next time they start with the marketing spin.

  • OrO

    nice to see them both called out and glad you keep drilling ea for the roster update thing

  • Jimmermania

    The rosters are one thing, I am still getting rookies with black arms. Is there a solution for Jimmer Fredette Black Arm Syndrome yet?

    • Anonymous

      Let’s be honest–you have to be at least a little bit black to play in the NBA.  2K just embraces that…

    • Anonymous

      Let’s be honest–you have to be at least a little bit black to play in the NBA.  2K just embraces that…

  • Pbickone

    Right I’ve been waiting to start my association but the full roster has yet be released. 2k this sucks and y not they haven’t released statement or anything…what’s good pasta

  • Kish

    lol online association is still coming soon on 2ks website too

  • Hugo

    I’m not sure, but have you guys heard a reason from 2K explaining why they haven’t release a roster, art, etc., etc., update?…I mean, last year was great, you could see a roster update every single week. I’m just wondering what is the issue?

    Christmas, New Year, MLK day?

    • http://pastapadre.com/ pastapadre

      No reason given and Im not sure any reason would be a viable one anyway. They’ve just not been concerned about it since getting the rosters somewhat in line on Christmas.

  • Anonymous

    I’m beginning to wonder if EA was just advertising Roster Updates as a feature because they thought the season was going to be cancelled and they figured they wouldn’t have to actually deliver.

    • http://pastapadre.com/ pastapadre

      That’d be a risky tactic. Not sure the upside (doubt anyone bought Jam ONLY based on there being roster updates – its just a reasonable expectation to have) would be worth potential false advertising claims and lost trust.

      • Anonymous

        Oh, I know. It was more of a joke than anything. I just can’t come up with a legitimate reason why they would completely ignore something that they specifically advertised about the game.

        Even just one single update would at least prevent it from being considered false advertising.

      • guest

        they already getting away with false advertising the fact that there are still no tuners for Madden 12. They dont care about the consumer.

  • Keith.

    Interesting to see what’s been happening with these companies in the stock market these last few days.  EA’s been taking a pounding while 2k’s stock has actually gone up some, even though it’s said it lost money for the quarter.  The gap between the 2 companies is now less than $3 — can’t remember the last time that’s been the case.

    • Anonymous

      The stock market is not really indicative of a company’s strength.

      A company can rise if it lost less money than expected and decrease if it made less than expected.  the fact that this occurs is evident that many “assumptions” are accounted for in the stock price at all times.

  • Anonymous

    Good job calling it down the middle Pasta.

  • Darealroot82

    ive waited all this time to start my franchise as well!! IT IS MID JANUARY AND the game is still missing key rotation players, such as I.Thomas…along with key 2nd round players too.. the ART update needs to be made ASAP, the only one we recieved thus far is a slimmer Kendrick Perkins. There are many more guys that need updates, such as nick young and his fro, michael beasley needs to lose the hair, also THE WIZARDS AWAY jerseys are AWFUL!!! the red and blue is way to bright and shinny. if you take a look at their away uniforms the blue is a much darker navy blue. Also a rating update should have been made by now. BYRON MULLENS from the BOBCATS is now a starter and averaging 12.7 pts 5.5 rebs and is still a 40 overall in the game! This is unacceptable!!! @pastapadre:disqus 

  • Justin Nelson

    Unfortunately at the end of the day all that matters is that us as consumers great screwed. That is why I really loathe the $60 price tag for sports games every year. Why not just have us buy one game and then allow for updated rosters for a nominal fee, such as $15? 

  • Pingback: NBA Jam: On Fire Will Receiver Roster Updates After All | Video Game Strategy

  • CRACKHEADSTEVEN

    2k was doing a good job with roster updates right after the lockout ended, but the past 3 weeks have been pathetic one update and they are still missing players, players have the wrong numbers, and no updated player models or courts. The back of NBA 2k12 says the most accurate NBA 2k ever…bullshit

  • O_chino7

    I bet this news will surface soon: 2k stops caring will sell to EA …and so on wait till next year and just the hell with it enjoy what we have now It’s an okay game could have been better,but just hope for the best expect the worst scenario “2k sports It’s in the game!,and we sell out”

    • MoneyMayweather

      Sports gaming is over dude. time to switch to the winning genre. Online FPS

  • DB

    Sure the raptors aren’t a very good team but the fact that barbosa is the best player on their team at 71 overall is a pretty big injustice…

  • Chris

    When will IT be added? I’ve been checking daily…

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/XVZ42JIKXKYITBXFHDN5IMWNVY Brad Ervin

    ok now its 6 weeks with no updates

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