Though no official confirmation has come from 2K Sports it appears as if the MLB 2K franchise might be coming to an end. This year’s entry MLB 2K12 was the last in a legacy deal between 2K and the MLB, and the publisher doesn’t seem to be giving any indication they are interested in re-upping.
In a conference call with investors, 2K notably left MLB 2K13 off its list of upcoming titles, and later mentioned that within the next year the losses associated with the game will be zeroed out. They might not spell it out directly, but in all likelihood MLB 2K12 was the last entry in the franchise.
It’s not something completely unheard of, a sports franchise buckling under the annual cycle and stiff competition — just look at NBA Elite — but this particular situation is somewhat unique.
Normally the departure of a competing sports franchise might spell good news for sports game fans, but in this case the situation is a little different. While MLB 2K offered a multi-platform experience, and a pitching challenge worth $1 Million, MLB: The Show was a PS3-exclusive. Ostensibly, by losing MLB 2K, gamers on the Xbox 360 have also lost any chance at playing a baseball title.
Now that doesn’t mean that MLB: The Show could seize this opportunity and strike a new deal with the MLB, but most likely this means that 2013 will be a year without baseball for the Xbox 360. 2K Sports, on the other hand, still has their NBA 2K franchise, which is apparently extremely lucrative, and helps keep the publisher/developer afloat.
Maybe in the next console cycle, or maybe a little bit after, but at some point gamers are bound to see a time when only one franchise exists for each sport. With gamers already struggling to keep up amidst high prices, it was bound to happen, and this feels like another big step.
How would you feel if 2K Sports stopped putting out MLB 2K and the only baseball franchise was Sony’s MLB: The Show? Is it about time that the multiple sports franchises stop?