NBA 2K has never had reliable servers for online gaming, and it's starting to take a toll on their image. With EA out of the NBA game for now, it seems as though 2K is wasting valuable time to recreate what is broken.
Too many times gamers are disconnected in the middle of a game, too many times you aren't able to even log on to your Online Association, and too many times (every day to be exact) are the servers down for maintenance.
So with that said, I ask you, OS staff writers, are NBA 2K12's online gaffes a major concern?
TJ Surovy: Yes, it is a major concern. The major addition to this year’s game is the Online Association mode, and if the server issues aren’t resolved, gamers are going to avoid it like Joakim Noah avoids the barber.
In addition, 2k is trying to pull in some extra revenue by requiring gamers to pay extra for the ability to use teams from NBA's Greatest Mode online. NBA 2k12 owners aren’t going to pay out that extra cash if they know that the online experience is going to be plagued with server issues.
While 2k has made improvements to virtually every other aspect of the NBA 2k experience, their continued failure to ensure a smooth online experience should definitely be a concern to those gamers who value the online experience above anything else. Issues with 2k’s online servers seem to be as inevitable as another Yao Ming foot injury. Fortunately for us, 2k hasn’t retired their online mode yet, but it appears to need some reconstructive surgery.
Matthew Coe: The online servers are a huge concern and a major problem for NBA2K12 and it's image among gamers. The online problems weresupposed to be fixed this year. Online Association was touted in the online insight as a major new feature, but gamers can barely even play the mode. Other than the removal of crews, buyers had a good feeling with nothing but positive buzz and good vibes coming out about 2K12.
Since the game's release the tone has shifted. The NBA 2K website is still in the "Coming Soon" phase and the first day of NBA 2K's online service can only be described as a disaster. With NBA 2K12's new My2K service and all of the problems, it's been a very poor first impression.
And when you look at NBA 2K's history of online service, I don't see a lot of reason for optimism that it's going to improve a tremendous amount before we're staring down the barrel of 2K13.
Phil Varckette: This seems to be a major concern and a recurring issue with this game year after year. It is unacceptable for a game to come out of the gate on release day with the servers in disarray. The guys down at 2K had a whole development cycle to make sure online worked smoothly. Rarely am I even able to access the online features, which is a big part of sports gaming these days. I finally got a roster downloaded after a week, but I still need sliders. Plus, in a year where 2K Share will be heavily relied upon for our roster fixes, I shouldn't have to try to do this more than once.
The average gamer who runs into these issues may not be so patient. 2K Sports needs to realize that just because the game itself is great, you can still turn off fans by these frustrating issues.
Mike Kilroy: Apparently, the 2K servers are in a work stoppage, too. It's unfortunate, because what is otherwise a stellar effort is marred by the online inconsistencies.
Online components of sports games are a major part of the experience in the 21st century. Having that portion of your product perform like the last man on your bench is unacceptable. That's not to say these issues can't be fixed. It's just a shame online is a mess in the early stages of release.
Steven Bartlett: If we are talking a major concern in alienating fans, then I don't think I can categorize 2K's lack of high performance servers as a big issue. NBA 2K12 has continuously focused on gameplay for years now, and the foundation is so strong that the fans take the game as it is - weak servers or not. The offline replay value in this title is endless, and will continue be the well in which 2K's success draws from. The fans will continue to love the realism behind the title. Without the brilliant gameplay, online is irrelevant. Their priorities are correct.
In terms of falling behind and losing market share to the competition, I do think the servers play a role. The success of this generation's titles across all genres, not just sports gaming, hinges on multiplayer online., such as games like Call of Duty and Halo.
It's interesting how this franchise has fallen off the path that launched its initial success on the Dreamcast. If 2K can construct servers and grow a culture around this title as a true online multiplayer game, then it's quite possible that this series could compete with other genres as a record selling video game. A new online sports gaming model might be needed to grow the interest. The NBA JAM model of a quick 10-, 15-minute match falls in line with a team deathmatch in first person shooters - super addicting and convenient to all gamers.