We're getting all sorts of big promises with no possible way they will be delivered by multiple people as I type this blog. I, of course, didn't expect that same sort of mentality to creep into NBA Gaming -- but it has.
Both EA and 2K promised big things once the NBA season got underway. For EA, there was a vague promise of updated rosters which seemed to indicate there would be post-release support. For 2K it was regular roster updates to get everything up to speed for the new season.
Fast forward to today, January 17, 2012. The NBA season is 23 days old, and neither company has even come close to fulfilling their promises to customers.
In their announcement blog, EA Sports promised roster updates in the following quote, "More NBA JAM Hotness: Online roster updates, more NBA superstars, legendary NBA players, over-the-top animations, JAM challenges, secret teams and unlockable characters than ever before!"
Now granted, that statement is vague enough that EA could have simply meant that the rosters were updated in the game so good luck to you -- and in fact that could be their eventual line they run with. I won't accept it and neither should you.
But to me, to our friend Pasta Padre, and to most of you -- that line meant that there would be roster updates provided online for the game as soon as the lockout was over.
Being able to update rosters was one of the key features being touted with the new NBA Jam -- today we sit here with no updates and no sign that one is coming.
How many people bought NBA Jam: On Fire Edition on that promise? If it was just one person, that's still one person too many. Surely the folks at EA have to see exactly how damaging this kind of a move could be to the relaunch of EA's sim NBA series later this year.
What gamers want is an explanation -- and a good one at that -- about what exactly is going on with what was seemingly a promise to update rosters.
2K is another story entirely. In a game built around being authentic, updated rosters is a simple necessity. The initial efforts to catch NBA 2K12 up to the action were solid with a single initial updates, but those efforts have ultimately fell short, especially now that the update well has gone dry.
Many players who are either injured or suspended are still on rosters -- ultimately some players are on the wrong team as well (it'll get worse as the season goes on). There are several second round draft picks which are missing in action as well. All of this results in rosters which look outdated each day the season progresses.
Something is going on, and I don't like it when it comes to either of these games. Remember NBA 2K12 also has an art-updating feature where the art within the game could be updated on a regular basis. The announcement there was entirely vague, but the delivery has been non-existent regardless of the intent.
What we have right now are two NBA games which made big promises for a post-lockout period and neither of which have delivered.
The question now becomes: do we see both companies act on behalf of their customers, or do we see them give us the preverbial middle finger when it comes to video game basketball?
As with the political season, only time will tell if the promises made months ago are kept. Hopefully, as with the political season, customers hold EA and 2K accountable by not voting for them with another willing $60 for undelivered promises and missing features when their time to vote comes up again.
Update: EA has confirmed to Kotaku that a roster update for NBA Jam: OFE is forthcoming. "We will be providing roster updates for NBA Jam: On Fire Edition this season." She didn't say when or how many, specifically, adding only "more information to come."