EA and 2K Struggling to Meet Consumer Post-Release Expectations

Posted November 14th, 2012 at 5:45 pm

A reasonable expectation now from yearly sports titles is to get strong post-release support in the way of additional content and patches to address issues or improve the experience. Unfortunately both EA Sports and 2K Sports have been failing in some regard with their recent releases and their communication has been severely lacking. 

EA Sports assured consumers that Madden NFL 13 would have better post-release support. They were called to task for the weak support of Madden 12, which followed Madden 11’s surprising five patches making it all that more disappointing, and for the most part they have responded well. To the surprise of some they even added in passionately requested features like player editing and Fantasy Drafts in Connected Careers. There has also been the ultra-reliable extensive weekly roster updates and constantly flowing new items within Ultimate Team.

Still there is much that people are looking for out of a fourth patch for Madden NFL 13 – which has not been confirmed but almost certainly will be coming in the next few weeks. That one is necessary in order to fulfill the idea of truly improved support.  Player editing, added in a patch, had to be partially removed due to a body size bug. For some reason even the highly publicized gaffe of having the Bears wear orange pants on the road has not been corrected.

“We will have every uniform available in NCAA 13 this year. The cool thing is, is that we’ve been working with Nike and Adidas for almost a year to make sure that everything is correct and perfect for all of you jersey fanatics. And, what is really cool is that we know about all of the alternate uniforms that have been approved before that schools’ student body has any clue. It is quite exciting, and all of those will be in the game as well. So, yeah, we’re pretty stoked about the options and I know the fans will be too.” Ben Haumiller – Gamepro Interview

NCAA Football 13’s promise of uniform updates have not been completely fulfilled. While EA did deliver many of the default unis for free a ton of other jerseys introduced this season remain absent. Presumably EA made an agreement with Adidas but not Nike, Russell, Under Armour, or Reebok to add them in as the season goes. When it comes to patches there have been three that addressed issues but none have had anything to really get excited about as opposed to Madden. That seems pretty par for the course with the two products this year. The Roster Share feature was even down for over a week and EA either paid no attention to that being the case or simply didn’t care to fix it immediately.

NBA 2K13 has disappointed greatly with roster updates. 25 players are still completely missing from the rosters. Injured players have not been designated as such. Only three players have had their ratings change at all so far. As far as the company is concerned they’ve shown no desire to improve in that area and no care that consumers are frustrated by their inaction. On the plus side the art updates which have resulted in court changes have been handled really well.

A patch, desperately needed for issues like the second half of a season auto-simming, has not yet arrived and the original target is said to be late November. There’s even the issue where many users have been switched from “VC” to offline “SP” which can not be converted back resulting in the need to restart modes completely and no website for Online Association or other use like uploaded media. The time frame puts it well behind the pace of 2K12 which got it’s first patch on November 3 last year. Multiple patches for Madden, FIFA, and NCAA Football were out within that same span of time following their respective releases but the wait for a single one from 2K continues.

Xbox SmartGlass functionality which had been planned for Madden 13, FIFA 13, and NBA 2K13 has not emerged and the no comments from the companies implies that may not be coming this year. That is unfortunate as it could prove really useful and take some of the appealing features implemented with the Wii U for use on the 360. Maybe that is why they’ve chosen to bypass it though. Their first goal may be trying to sell the Wii U versions of the games and without unique features that would be more difficult.

Both EA Sports and 2K Sports could be said to be meeting their obligations but neither one is doing so in a shining manner. Where post-release support is reflected in sales occurs primarily down the line with future iterations more than it does immediately – though word of mouth can have some immediate effect once the first couple months have passed it becomes negligible. It’s absolutely justified for consumers to demand more out of these games than they are getting so far this year and time is running out to provide that.

  • Are these game companies not staffed to meet consumer demands? Are they penny pinching that much? Speaking of no post launch support. Two days on PS3 with crappy servers for Black Ops 2 and no mention. I think what makes it more disheartning is the lack of communication.

    • Agreed. As far as having the resources, EA certainly does – it’s just usually a business decision to them. 2K may be more strapped in that regard.

      • It’s also a talent structuring issue at EA too, and within Tiburon they are very light on talent. Of course, that’s to be expected since they spend so much time hiring morons off of message boards and tournament groups who’ve never programmed or developed a game in their lives like Kane_DB (douchebag). The fact that they let Adembroski come in and screw with core code in Madden 12 (something that wound up effing up franchise mode) is still the most definitive insight into the careless thinking of Tiburon. I mean, how do you let some guy come off the street and mess around with your billion dollar baby? WTF was that?

        That would be like an NFL dynasty team bringing a QB off the street to start on Sunday when his only prior experience was playing QB in two-hand touch games on the street in his neighborhood.

        Now, as for 2K, their support sucks. I realize a lot of it has to do with their lack of personnel resources, but c’mon. For me, it became obvious that they were setting a stage ever since their ultra shitty support with All Pro Football quickly surfaced post-release. They didn’t even bother addressing minor bugs, and after the game didn’t sell well they had Ronnie make a thread asking us what we wanted. People really let Ronnie have it and it was unfair to him, but at the end of the day, the fans were right to be angry for the company coming out with that garbage question long after the game had been released and was panned.

        The future of sports gaming is bleak.

        • The community monkey for Madden was a game tester back in the day if I’m not mistaken which led to him being hired. Goes to show where EA’s passion lies within their money maker franchise. Definitely not in the game.

          But, they’ll market the hell out of it with that stupid ass cover voting and the stereotypical 2 guys on a couch playing ‘the greatest Madden ever’ commercial. The future is bleak my friend, and unfortunately we have these 2 (once great) companies to thank. At least I’ll have The Show to fall back on year after year though (the true sports GOTY).

          • Keith.

            If my memory isn’t mistaken, Ian and Philly Cheese Frazier both started as testers back in the day. Tiburon’s also hired numerous OS mods and Game Changers to be part of their football team. Guys with no videogame making experience whatsoever. It really is unbelievable when you stop and think about it. No wonder Tiburon football is so far behind games like The Show and NBA2k.

  • KeyserSoze

    There’s no post-release support because they both suck donkey dick. They got our money, what the fuck do they care about making us happy. The cock-suckers at EA have a monopoly on football and hockey games and the mother fuckers at 2k have a monopoly on basketball games. They can all go fuck themselves and each other.

    • They should care. There’s a reason that games like NHL 2K, MLB 2K, and NBA Live all died. Word of mouth crumbled them over a series of years. Poor support is a factor in that.

      • Scott Trible

        Yet College Hoops 2K was one of their finest franchises, so of course it dies, then immediately becomes one of the ultimate collector’s items out there.

        • 4 years ago smart guy.. the ones he mentioned are recent, and college hoops didn’t even sell well. On top of that NCAA Basketball 10 is a collector’s item too, that’s actually more expensive than CH2K8. Is that because it’s a quality game? No, it’s because they’re at a premium. The CH2K series was a good one but don’t get ahead of yourself.

          • Doucher^^^^^

            What!? Guys are still buying and playing College Hoops 2k8 smart guy!

  • Pasta, how dare you bash 2k?! They just released the greatest sports game ever! This is an EA bias site alright. */sarcasm.

  • I always wonder with Ea’s social sitsupposedly they say “we’ll pass the info along to the devs” do they really or is it a smoke and mirror placebo effect type thing
    they suppose passed a few bugs with madden the DE trip bug and FG wind bug before the first patch dropped and those still haven’t been patched

  • Kyle Singler started and played 40 minutes for the Pistons tonight. Let me fire up NBA 2K13 and…oh yeah he’s not even in the game.

    • Khadeem

      exactly….man 2k never pays attention to important stuff…they need competition

  • leo

    day one patches should not be counted for obvious reasons

  • K2

    If EA (and 2K for that matter) were smart they’d release some stuff before next Friday. I’m thinking something like a new Madden Patch, a new online CCM roster, or getting those last 25 players in (actually totally awesome would be putting the d-league back in but I doubt we’ll see that). Get it out by Thanksgiving and generate some positive buzz and they’ll get a bunch more sales, especially with Walmart advertising all of them for $25 each. 2K13 might be OK due to newness but Madden is getting killed in reviews and on message boards. I’ll bet even a $25 price can’t overcome that.

    • They’re both getting executed on message boards believe it or not. It’s a shame, I actually really do want to purchase 2k13 (I can deal with the shitty presentation, the auto-save, and terrible soundtrack) as much as I bash it, but every time I visit the 2k or OS forums I’m reminded why those $50 are being kept in my wallet. Sad situation for sports gaming fans lately.

  • kjeet

    2K and EA need to fix their shit games. 2k13 and Madden cheat like a bitch. I sent 2k13 back to gamefly because the Brooklyn Nets and the Kings were playing like the fuckin Jordan’s Bulls teams of the 90s. Go look at ronnies twitter page, he tweets about everything except 2k13. Then madden has this fucking A.I rubberbanding bullshit and fuckin punk ass calls by the refs.

  • kjeet

    The thing is these could be really great, enjoyable games it’s just the shitty support, lack of communication, and lack of competition that keeps these games from being good.

  • JerseyPatriot

    Always appreciate a good rant Pasta. I kind of consider sports games to be similar to when the NHL finally comes back, all you will have are the diehards. EA and 2k have chased away a lot of the mainstream fans. It seems the M.O. of these companies is to take one step forward and two steps back.

    The sports games of this generation of consoles had so much potential and so little of it utilized. The HD graphics and sound are great in some games, but mediocre in others.

    The Xbox 360 never got a decent baseball game thanks to 2k. Madden improved this year, but is not great and the game has never been great in this generation and still most video game football fans are clamoring for 2k5, which was released nearly a decade ago. NCAA Football showed promise and then completely imploded. The NHL series which used to be so great, came up with NHL 13, and it is average at best with the cheapest AI that I’ve seen in years. EA won’t even bother patching it too, because hockey is so dead right now.Even FIFA took a step back after a great version last year. How 2k can’t even fully update a roster is laughable, but at least it is a solid product, better to have a solid product with a minor flaw.

    I haven’t paid the full price for a game in years. I wait a month or two for a price drop and a patch or if there is a discount for buying it on release date. Some games I buy every two years instead of every year.

  • MoneyMayweather

    meeh I really don’t care just give me NFL 2k14 with Default rosters all year long and I”ll be a happy man.

  • Keith.

    Madden doesn’t even deserve to be mentioned in the same paragraph with NBA2k13, which is in a league with The Show as GOTY.

    • 2K13 is still a half-assed product, but since EA is EA it’s not a monumental feat for 2k’s game to be in the running. For the sake of not starting an argument though, 2K13 has the potential to be Sports GOTY if the mass amount of flaws and kinks get worked out.

      Pasta, we need the ability to italicize for emphasis.

      • Keith.

        My only real issue with NBA2k13 is the lack of the play art in MyCareer. If that gets fixed in a patch, I’m good until March when the next Show comes out. Again, I’m not a huge basketball fan (I wrestled instead back in the day), so basketball purists may have more legitimate complaints than I do with the game. I’m a huge baseball fan though so with the Show, there’s no doubt in my book.

        • Amen_Ra

          This was once again a lost year for gamers..

  • Booger

    RG3 tucks his laces in his shoes and they are clearly untucked in madden! Please get this right Donnie! Also I’d like to see more yellow Gatorade on the side lines because that’s my favorite player! Another thing please bring back franchise mode. I know connected career coach mode is the same thing but what the hell?

    • Following up

      Wow! Shoe laces?

  • maddengod415

    Madden 13 needs to fix the negative a billion glitch in the ccm like come there have been hundreds of leagues that have been left because they cant fix the negative a billion glitch Im in a league now where 1/3 of the owners are negative a billion to resign players this is not right and we dont know what caused it MADDEN NEEDS A PATCH FAST

    • Following up

      Nelson the bully says : “Ha ha” finger points at your face

  • maddengod415


  • lonnie

    what is irking me is all the talk before the season about ea making a promise about keeping up with the uniform updates but don’t even have them right in the game

  • JackPackage

    Probably the most frustrating aspect is that it’s not even a costly, labour intensive thing. One guy, working 40 hours a week could quite easily get the job done. Update player ratings, add/delete players as applicable and add new photos when needed. It’s such a small aspect on their part and causes such negative opinion amongst the hardcore fan base that I really cannot understand WHY 2K don’t just solve the problem. It’s not only in our best interests but theirs too, it’s almost like they are trolling us. If you were a 2K executive and saw such a petty problem causing such a negative view of your company, wouldn’t you be asking the developers why they aren’t fixing things? Exclusivity really screwed over the sports gamer this console generation.

  • beater29

    Am I the only one that thinks that playing agains the computer on Madden needs to be harder. My CC league is on madden and has all the sliders turned up to 100 for the cpu. We have started moving the USER sliders down (right now they are around 20) and the users are still beating the CPU teams by 50+ points per game. We will have to take the sliders down to 0 just to make it competitive pretty soon. All that will do is stop our receivers from being able to catch a pass that our quarterbacks can’t throw anywhere near on target anyway. This is not challenging, its just cheap, not to mention we can still win. They should be able to make the game harder as programmers, right? I guess that it why they have online gaming. The computer will never be as tough to beat.

    • blakk

      Bad news is it will be the same thing next year, with new animations.

  • blakk

    I dunno how the nba title is, but If its like the madden franchise. They dont have to fix it until its broke. If everyone keeps setting records by buying crap year after year, they will never get the message that we are tired of buying games If they cant improve them with a whole year, to prepare for it.

    • RandomGuy

      Not enough people care. Just as long as the regular “Play Now” gameplay is spectacular, all this minor stuff in the CC mode isn’t going to affect gameplay…and EA knows this.

      • Following up

        Especially bench players missing

  • dirty dee

    so stop messing around with this 2k/madden bullshit. the new black ops is for real. MUY CALIENTE, that black ops. go cop a disc and see whats actually worth your time.

    • Retard^^^^^^

      Hahahahahahahaha!! Nooooooooooooooo…. O_o

  • RandomGuy

    I haven’t bought either one. I don’t buy a product and then hope they’ll get it right. I buy it when they get it right. Still playing Madden ’12. My franchise mode has all the 2013 rosters and schedule. So I’m good. Y’all have fun complaining.

  • As much as I’m upset about post release support, I have to say the game itself is top notch. Love this game for its game play alone. However, with that being said I’m still disappointed with the roster situation along with other things that have been highlighted as well.

  • DNA

    Why are you buying these games then!!! don’t buy them!!! rent them, get gamefly, do anything but buy these games its not that hard! they haven’t met any of your expectations for years now! it seems like people are buying these games looking for shit to complain about! or to put another company against one another just because they are close to some of the developers (meaning they get certain perks) which is fine but its obvious! bias!

  • meeksboy561

    2k lazy as f*ck… its been long enough to see who hooping and who aint did shi…
    its so dumb how u can barely grab a rebound on the game and dont tlet me get started on the bap ah post defense

  • Pssssssh!!!

    What ever happened to the days where companies would release a “FInal” product? Now, due to the ability to patch the game post release, these companies have gotten so damn lazy and put out half assed game with the comfort of patching it up when the customers complain. Pretty ridiculous when the AI in Maddens Default settings suck so bad that you have to wait a good 2-3 weeks for a decent slider set. On top of that the bugs that they need to patch, so with all that waiting it actually pushes you back to about a month and a half after release to really “enjoy” the game. A month and a half is kind of being generous too, guys are still waiting for Madden to complete their game. Fucking shame that these guys make so much money and put out this kind of performance. In any other professional field, 95% of the team would have been cleaning their cubicles a loooong time ago due to the lack of production and satisfaction of the customers.

  • Matthew

    Like society as a whole, gamers feel like we’re entitled to something. Some of the greatest sports games of all-time didn’t have real people, but there wasn’t much complaining those days. Nobody complained at school about Mike Tyson’s Punchout only having Tyson as a real boxer. Same goes for Ken Griffey Jr baseball. The list goes on.

    And before someone mentions it, the price of games plays no role in gamers deserving more because based on inflatation and amount of money in circulation, it all evens out. Yes, the global economy sucks right now, but again, was there much complaining about video games during the hard recession in the late 80s / early 90s…nope.

  • Jfin

    Just bring the nfl2k series and everything will be okay.