2K Sports Scrubs Any Sign of Connection to MLB From Existence

by
Posted January 6th, 2014 at 12:00 pm

castromlb2k13

It’s been evident for a long while now that there would be no further extension to the MLB license with 2K Sports. The MLB 2K series was actually cancelled in 2012 only to return due to a last-minute one year extension that resulted in a shameless carbon copy of the previous title. SCEA even recently touted how MLB 14: The Show would be the only baseball game on next-gen consoles. As unlikely as the scenario seemed that still left at least an opening for 2K to continue on the 360 and PS3 for another year.

Recent actions taken by the company suggest the absolute end to their run producing MLB licensed video games. The 2K Sports website no longer lists any MLB games and even searching for MLB produces zero results. The 2K forums no longer house any sections for MLB. Even more startlingly the Facebook page for the MLB 2K franchise has been deleted – pages with hundreds of thousands of “fans” don’t just disappear unless there is explicit reason for them to be closed.

Also noted by readers is that MLB 2K12, 11, and 10 have all been removed from Steam and the MLB 2K13 website has been deleted. Everything has taken place since the turn of the new year which would seem then directly related to the expiration of the deal.

While the MLB 2K franchise has been heavily criticized – and rightfully so especially considering the 2K9 and 2K13 debacles – it’s another loss of a sport that at least feigned competition. There does not appear to be anyone willing or able to step in right now and fill the void which will leave Xbox One and 360 owners without a yearly baseball game.

[Update] Following this report Polygon was able to get a statement from 2K Sports confirming they are done with baseball.

Tags:
  • Rashidi

    It’s mind numbing to me how Microsoft has done absolutely nothing with the High Heat license they’ve held he past decade, given Sony’s success with their own 1st party title, and 2K baseball’s inevitable collapse

    • http://pastapadre.com/ pastapadre

      Their best opportunity was in 2007/2008 and they let that go by.

      • gamerk2

        I’m still flabbergasted they brought the license, and did NOTHING with it.

  • Brian Mann

    I wonder why EA is not willing to resurrect the MVP series. Is MLB asking for too much for the licensing?

    • http://pastapadre.com/ pastapadre

      In the past, yes they were, and that’s why EA walked away.

      • MoneyMayweather

        But this is EA were talking if they were willing enough to pay for NFL exclusive license then they could afford the MLB license asking price. I just have a feeling EA isn’t willing to invest in the sport more then the asking price being too high.

        • http://pastapadre.com/ pastapadre

          Well baseball doesn’t sell like other sports. We’re talking under a million total each year, whereas FIFA is in the 10+ million, Madden and NBA are in the 5-6 million range.

          So building a new game that would only get a share of one million each year makes the investment appear unappealing.

          • Iown You

            Madden this year is struggling to crack 4 million across all 4 consoles, which is just unreal. It must be a MAD HOUSE right now inside the Madden team.

            I’m really trying to figure out what 2K Sports’ plans for the future are. They’re essentially down to one major sports game and currently that game is having turbulence. What else is left for them to do but give football another shot? I mean, what else can they do at this point? Badminton? Full contact Backgammon? Smh.

            WTF is up with this company?

          • Keith.

            Pretty crazy to see Madden struggling to hit 4 million when it used to sell 7-8 million in its heyday. Especially when a game like GTA V has sold something like 29 million this year. Says a lot.

          • Iown You

            As popular as the NFL is in America, you’d think Madden would be doing at least half of GTA’s numbers by now. But I guess this is the result when you produce a stagnant product. Eventually people just tune it out.

          • Iown You

            You know, why can’t 2K Sports and Rockstar team up and make a GTA game around the life of an American Football player in a fictional league with all the sex, drugs, violence and story line GTA is known for, and backdoor into pro football games again that way. 2K Sports works on the football aspect, Rockstar works on the story and world development. It would be the easiest way to get into football without an NFL license. The game would be a massive seller because the GTA label is a monster.

            I mean seriously, why haven’t they done this? It seems like a no-brainer. How could it possibly lose? The connection just seems like a license to print money.

          • http://pastapadre.com/ pastapadre

            It’s an interesting idea, but would probably burn any bridges left with the NFL for the future. What you’re describing is pretty similar to Blitz: The League also – though without the GTA ties.

          • Iown You

            You’re right about the bridge burning, but I look at it like this, Pasta: the last time 2K had an NFL license was 2004. It’s 2014. If it doesn’t come open this time, then it may not be possible again until 2020 for all we know, maybe even longer, who knows? If a renewal happens then it’s time for 2K to sack up and just accept that they may never get the NFL again.

            Blitz The League had some similarities to the GTA 2K Football idea, I agree. However, it lacked any kind of physical life off the field outside of cutscenes and cellphone messages. You couldn’t physically, drive, shoot, fight, or bang chicks in Blitz, you could only watch things happen. But that’s where GTA’s dev team would shine, because they’d be able to give us the full world immersion and interaction with that virtual world off the field that Blitz completely lacked.

            I know it’s just wishful thinking on my part. Not only has 2K probably never considered it, but I doubt they even have the guts because they’re so scared of losing something they don’t even have, haven’t had in a decade, and aren’t exactly likely to get again anytime soon, and this is all while their sports label seriously needs new properties to maintain growth going forward. They’ve really let the NFL situation punk them, and quite frankly it sickens me.

          • Skopin

            Personally, I like the idea. But at the same time I think it would be a niche market. Not everyone would want to control both aspects. A lot of gamers would only want to play the GTA side and a lot would only want to play the football side.

            But if done right it really could be an amazing idea.

          • Iown You

            You have a strong point about the niche market thing.

            I suppose the best way to deal with it is to allow people to sim past games or sim past world situations similar to how you’re allowed to in other sports games with franchise/career modes. This way, no one would be forced to focus on something they don’t want to focus on and can instead do more of what they want to do in the game, with the understanding that if you sim past parts you give up certain factors of your players development to chance.

            Also, if you just want to play football you can choose an option to skip the story and just play a season/franchise/career in the normal way. I think the main thing is, if you just put out a regular non-NFL licensed game with nothing to grab attention, people aren’t going to buy it much. You might do 4-500K in units, but that’s about it. Without a story of sex, drugs, and violence attached, it’s hard to get noticed with an unlicensed football game.

          • Seriously?

            Because that idea sounds terrible. Like literally terrible.

            Either they would go very heavy on the sports-side and you would be playing 25 to Life the other half of the time. Or they go heavy on the violence side, ala GTA V and you’d be playing a lackluster football game similar to the tennis or basketball minigames that past GTAs have had.

            Plus, pour all those resources into a game that would only be popular in the United States? This sounds like a bigger bomb than Alien vs. Predator.

          • Iown You

            That’s a lot of exaggeration with the supposed balance issue. Blitz The League had a similar concept and there was no problem at all with balance, so your angle there has no steam. That game was a classic and it sold well for an unlicensed NFL game that was also very, very low budget. It basically was GTA with football, except it wasn’t as fleshed out as we’d expect from GTA. Go play BTL 1 and then try to tell me with a straight face that a big budget version of that game with sim-style football wouldn’t be a monster.

            And if you’re telling me 2K Sports–the most talented football developer the business has ever seen–would produce “a lackluster football game” then you’ve gotta be kidding. That’s laughable. The football part would be the least of things to worry about in terms of quality. I’d be more concerned with the lifestyle part, but not if Rockstar is taking care of that.

            I don’t mind if you don’t like the idea, just tell us a better one. And here is the big question: other than releasing another game like All-Pro Football with no story, and no identity which already proved a commercial failure, what other option do you have besides going the Blitz route and doing a GTA-like situation? Blitz The League 1 is the ONLY unlicensed football game since Madden 64 to have success, so I don’t think my idea is terrible at all, I think it’s literally the only realistic option to sell better than 400,000 copies like APF was only able to, or 250-300K like BackBreaker which also failed. 2K doesn’t want those puny numbers, they want a hit and they’re not going to get there without something to grab attention.

            Lastly, if only being popular in the United States is a worry, then you should tell EA that they should’ve quit producing Madden 26 years ago, because last I checked that game is pretty much only popular in the United States, as was every other American Football video game released since the 1970’s. That’s a total non-issue.

          • Seriously?

            OK, a few big problems here.

            First off: The balance issues would be pretty bad, because you aren’t making Blitz The League here, you’re making a mix of Blitz the League and GTA, where you’re actually running around and shooting. So the balance issue here isn’t because of the concept, it’d be the actual execution. You want to be able to move seamlessly from the field to a drive-by shooting, which don’t traditionally go well together. That’s where the balance issues originate.

            Second, they did make a great football game in 2007, and 2004. But the question is, are those same developers still in-studio? And from there, will the quality of the game be the same? Yeah we can pretend that they’ll make “the best football game ever made” and so on and so on, but if I remember correctly you were amongst those who were heralding NBA 2K14 Next-Gen as the second coming. You were burned once with that one, now how about this one.

            Rereading my first post, I can see that I came off as rude, but that is an insane line of thought in my opinion. This comes down to, “Sales are bad, so lets emulate something else successful coming out of studios. Even two things that don’t mesh well together.” I know, I know, Blitz the League sold well, but I honestly don’t come away from watching Sunday Night Football thinking, “Man, I wonder if Richard Sherman could shoot people after games.” or come away from a game of Madden wishing that I could hold-up a convenience store on the way back to the next menu screen.

            Lastly, with the sales portion. Imagine splitting that sales base in half, because you’re completely taking away a huge portion of purists (because I think the last thing people who like Franchise mode want is another huge distraction to take away from improving their mode of choice) and completely alienating casual gamers who are just looking for a quick shoot-em-up or pickup game.

            This concept is a waste of resources in my opinion, and the most optimistic outcome I can think of, is that one of the two gameplay fronts comes out as fine, where as the other would most likely be bad. The outcome I imagine would happen though, is that both fronts would be half-assed, because not only is 2KSports a dwindling sub-studio now (with only 1 sports title to their name), Rockstar is currently developing 2 games, as well as supporting GTAV for the foreseeable future with their DLC and GTAO promises. Pipe-dream, and unnecessary gamble IMO.

          • Iown You

            >>>>First off: The balance issues would be pretty bad, because you aren’t making Blitz The League here, you’re making a mix of Blitz the League and GTA, where you’re actually running around and shooting.<<<>>>So the balance issue here isn’t because of the concept, it’d be the actual execution. You want to be able to move seamlessly from the field to a drive-by shooting, which don’t traditionally go well together. That’s where the balance issues originate.<<<>>>>I know, I know, Blitz the League sold well, but I honestly don’t come away from watching Sunday Night Football thinking, “Man, I wonder if Richard Sherman could shoot people after games.” or come away from a game of Madden wishing that I could hold-up a convenience store on the way back to the next menu screen.<<<<>>>>Second, they did make a great football game in 2007, and 2004. But the question is, are those same developers still in-studio? And from there, will the quality of the game be the same? Yeah we can pretend that they’ll make “the best football game ever made” and so on and so on, but if I remember correctly you were amongst those who were heralding NBA 2K14 Next-Gen as the second coming. You were burned once with that one, now how about this one.<<<<>>>>Lastly, with the sales portion. Imagine splitting that sales base in half, because you’re completely taking away a huge portion of purists (because I think the last thing people who like Franchise mode want is another huge distraction to take away from improving their mode of choice) and completely alienating casual gamers who are just looking for a quick shoot-em-up or pickup game.<<<<>>>Pipe-dream, and unnecessary gamble IMO.<<<<<

            It's a far better bet than All-Pro Football was. You want to talk about a gamble, lol, THAT was a gamble, and I knew that was going to fail the minute I heard about it and how barebones and uninteresting it was going to be. But I knew Blitz The League 1 was going to be successful. Why? Because they understood the cross-over appeal concept and how to properly execute it. BTL would've sold even more copies if it had better graphics and an even deeper storyline, Midway just didn't have the budget. Hell, most people who bought BTL complained more about the storyline being cool but needing more to it than they did about the low-budget graphics.

          • Seriously?

            Oh, and one more thing. Take-Two IS going to want something that’s a hit. So why would they create such a niche product for a single market?

          • Iown You

            US and Canada will be the target, and that combined market is more than large enough for the game to be successful. Besides FIFA, most sports games have only sold well in North America, so this isn’t a new thing. Lots of non-sports games only appeal to certain countries, in fact many games only release in certain countries.

            One other thing; you’d be surprised how many videos I’ve seen of BTL 1 and 2 from UK video makers. They don’t care for American football, but the violent gameplay, overall violence and storyline of BTL was appealing enough for them to give it a try even though it was American Football. That’s the thing about appealing to a cross-section. It gets people to try things they normally wouldn’t.

          • FrankWest

            This might sound crazy, but I hope all sports games drop in sales gradually. I’d really rather Bi-Yearly sports game, because without them, you see things like minor tweaks from NBA 2K13 -> NBA 2K14, with the change in control schemes. I’d rather the off year have a roster update.

          • Rebel

            Do baseball games really sell that few copies? I would’ve thought they sold more than that.

            I’m guessing the FIFA sales are international, because I can’t believe there’s any way that’s 10 million sold in the US.

          • http://pastapadre.com/ pastapadre

            Yeah that’s in worldwide sales. MLB doesn’t have reach outside NA. Madden doesn’t have much their either, but NBA is fairly strong and FIFA is enormous.

          • Rebel

            I should’ve thought about those being worldwide sales on all games since I thought that about FIFA’s.

          • gamerk2

            Here’s the issue from the NFL’s perspective: How long would it take 2k to get their football engine up to snuff. Gameplay wise, 2k5 is still the best, but it IS getting old in the tooth, and the engine does need to fresh coat of paint.

            But yeah, sales of Madden have been declining for years, at a fairly steady pace. Its stalled, development wise. And people expect more now.

  • wEEman33

    Sounds like their contract with MLB expired, and they likely had to take all that stuff down for legal reasons.

  • nutzilla13

    It’s just a contractual thing. Same thing just happened with the Marvel games. They are legally obligated to not market that license henceforth.

  • Rick

    Its a shame.. I don’t know why no one is willing to pick up the license.. I’m assuming the cost is too pricey for the ROI on a base baseball game, especially if the game hasn’t been in development for some time already… a shame for xbox & Wii U owners..

    • http://pastapadre.com/ pastapadre

      Yeah, not only does baseball not sell all that much, but whoever comes in has to build a game from scratch (multi-year process) and then will end up splitting those potential sales with The Show. Hard for a company to justify the investment.

      • Rick

        such a shame.. i have yet to get an XB1 just have a lunch ps4, but you have to imagine alot of ps4 owners will use this a notch in the ps4 belt and a good reason to own a ps4 over an XB1..

        imagine if MS had a baseball game, .. on a side note completely .. any one else think that the xb1 numbers of selling over 3 million are a little white lieish …. I mean unless they have nailed manufacturing techniques this early in the game ( which i don’t) seems to me ppl are settling on XB1 since one cannot find a ps4 anywhere.. ( shame on Sony for not meeting they’re demand)

        • Skopin

          I actually opted to pick up the XBox One first, and I’m glad I did. I like the new Kinect for navigating around the console and a lot of the features are really cool. Granted, I like that it’s more than just a game console.

          Don’t get me wrong, I will definitely be picking up a PS4 in the future. But for what I was looking for, the XB1 suits me better for now.

      • bltzkrieg666

        I was shocked by the sales figures for the show on PS3. I would have never suspected that a game that good would have such a huge disparity in sales over games like Madden or FIFA, especially with the install base of the PS3. I guess Americas pastime isn’t so in the console world.

  • IX

    You would think MLB would be trying somehow someway to rectify the situation. Sorry but I am not buying a PS4 just to be able to play the The Show, and I will 100% admit it is one of the best baseball titles i have every played.

    • fantasyboi

      U sir, are making a huge mistake

      • IX

        It what way, I have played the show many times over on the ps3, it is a great game, but it isnt a system seller. If decide to pick up a ps4, i will most likely pick up The show when baseball season comes around, either this year or next year, but it isnt GTA, it is going to make me run out a buy a system just to play it.

  • Brian

    I guess the yearly player face comparison will be between The Show and the real thing? Sure it was like the Harlem Globetrotters going up against the Washington Generals, but it always made for an interesting read. :(

  • ChicagoBear

    Sad that it ended the way it did. The earlier versions had so much promise and the commentary and pitching mechanics were so much better than The Show.

  • http://pastapadre.com/ pastapadre

    Not having the license any longer does not mean a company has to pretend the games never existed. Seriously…come on.

    Just as a few examples, the NHL 2K Facebook page is still up and EA still has pages on their website for games like NCAA Basketball.

    I’m not even sure what your point really is since the story is about these steps being taken by 2K confirming they are absolutely done with baseball now.

  • CSaint

    In other the news the 2k servers are down once again :D

    • MoneyMayweather

      welp keith. taking it on the chin again.

  • Details

    I won’t be surprised if in a couple years we’re down to only 3 or 4 sports games period smh.

    • Rebel

      Sports series are really dropping like flies now, and the ones that are sticking around tend to have significant problems. It’s hard to believe it was just a decade ago most sports had multiple games out, and almost every one of them was good, or at least decent, and without major issues.

  • Shane Spencer

    What,no response from Keith? I am stunned

    • Keith.

      You must be new here. I’m a huge Show fanboy and have never liked 2k’s baseball game. Why should I care about this news? One more bad sports game down, two to go (Madden and Live).

  • bltzkrieg666

    ……And in other news, Keith is looking at the latest stock quotes to figure out an excuse for this. Perhaps its everybody’s inferior internet connections that is the culprit here. I think we need to launch a congressional probe to get to the bottom of this. Keith…..head this up and get back to us ASAP.

    • Keith.

      Just biding my time until we get word that your NBA Live series is canned, too, Daley.

      Like I’ve been saying, games with sales numbers like Tiger Woods, NBA Live (40,000 copies sold after 5 weeks?! Ouch!), and MLB 2k don’t get sequels, they get canceled. EA’s next set of financials is due 1/28/14. Let’s see how Live fares after that — assuming we don’t hear before then that it, too, has been shit-canned.

      Btw, what’s with the blitzkrieg name and why did you stop posting under your name Daley?

      • There’sAShill

        Why didn’t you ever post MLB2K’s sales figures in the MLB The Show posts? Shill?

        • Keith.

          Never cared enough to bother checking MLB2K’s sales figures as I was too busy enjoying The Show.

          • Kyle

            …but you’re NOT too busy enjoying NBA 2K14 to check the NBA Live sales? I thought it was the greatest game ever that has no problems whatsoever.

          • Skopin

            Well, it doesn’t look like he did check them because he’s off by around 90,000.

          • Keith.

            WTF are you talking about?

            After 6 weeks, NBA Live 14 has sold a whopping 48,000 copies on the PS4 here in the US, and another whopping 51,000 for the XBone.

            http://www.vgchartz.com/game/74703/nba-live-14/USA/

            http://www.vgchartz.com/game/74705/nba-live-14/USA/

            Those numbers are pathetic no matter how big of an EA homer you are.

      • Skopin

        40,000, 130,000, same thing…

  • X go2sleep X

    Welp, looks like I’m getting a Ps4 whether I like it or not….. I wonder if 2k are going to shut down the servers on 13. They should at least leave the servers up so people can upload rosters for the upcoming season.

  • clubsteve

    wow….that is kinda extreme.

  • Joe

    I’m curious to know as to how many people will be going with the PS4 over the X1 because of The Show… I know it will have a big impact on my decision… I’m a huge fan of 360 but have a PS3 for the show

  • Drew Hallock

    and sadly… MLB the show has been a carbon copy of itself since 08… so an MLB game for me this year is very unlikely

  • cubs223425

    Microsoft needs to just round up the MLB-based VC staff and get to work or something. Prepare a game for 2015. That, or EA should do it.

    I still say that the #1 untapped market that NEEDS to somehow be explored is prospects. Carrying over a player in Road to the Show sounds cool, but carrying over a team in Franchise would be SO MUCH BIGGER. Do something where you can play one season of Franchise in a game, then carry the roster over to the next season’s rosters (of course leaving the multi-season Franchise options intact).

    The other thing that they need to get into games is sabermetrics. I’d love to see someone come out with a game that was created with the help of FanGraphs.

  • Joe Siegler

    Their servers for mlb2k13 are still up and running. I wonder how long that will last.

Sponsors
Categories
Featured Video