Recently there has been a discovery on how players cheated to win MLB 2K12's Perfect Pitch Challenge. Multiple users found a way to swap out the best hitters in a team's lineup and replace them with the weak links. Unfortunately for the ones who won a perfect game legitimately are screwed, and 2K has made a statement that nothing is going to change.
Here's the OS staff's opinions on the matter:
Jayson Young: The MLB 2K scandal takes me back to 2007, when 2K Sports tried to run an online tournament for All Pro Football 2K8 and it was ruined by players using an illegal field goal block exploit, as well as a nasty glitch that would freeze the opponent's system.
The lesson for 2K Sports and other game publishers is that video game contests should be held locally, and players should have to play the game in-person with officials on site. When contests are held online, it is difficult to police the rules and prevent people from taking advantage of game exploits or loopholes in the rules.
2K Sports should do the same thing they did back in 2007 and expel all known cheaters from their tournament.
Glenn Wigmore: For a contest that actually had generated some interesting buzz for the MLB 2K brand in the last couple of years, it's unfortunate that it now has to be marred by something so preventable. To not ban the offenders and create some sort of standard for the contest just breeds cynicism and apathy for future contests.
Following Jayson's example, competitions like this should be held locally. I harken back to the likes of the "Special Edition" cartridges that Blockbuster Video used for NBA Jam and Donkey Kong Country for contests back in the mid-'90s. Users generally only got one shot at those sorts of tournaments, the parameters were fixed for everyone, and there was some level of control by a third-party.
In the realm of online, people are always looking for an edge. Whether it's manipulation of the connection, collusion with other parties or "boosting" their teams/players through clearly exploitive behaviour, this type of thing is going to happen. Still, you'd think when this much money is the line that 2K would have all sorts of redundancies and fail-safes to prevent a situations like this.
Matthew Coe: I think this was inevitable. When that much money is on the line, you're gonna have players trying to cheat the system. It reminds me of the Madden tournament where guys used glitches and exploits to win and run sim players off from playing ranked matches. If there is an exploit to be found, some people are bound to find them.
It's a shame really, because the MLB 2K Perfect Game Challenge had been nothing but good publicity for the title, and it needed as many positives going for it as possible. Now with the cheating that has occurred in the Perfect Game Challenge, it de-legitimatizes the entire process and leaves a huge cloud of dishonesty over the entire concept.
The best thing 2KSports could do is to investigate this fully and weed out anyone who clearly abused the system that was in place. Unfortunately it seems that 2K is intent on sweeping this under the rug and hoping it goes away.
Chris Sanner: It's ironic that the one thing 2K Sports did right with the MLB 2K12 franchise has now turned into a big black eye as well. Let's face it, being presented with the evidence of cheating and then doing nothing about it is one of the lamest things I've seen a gaming company do in sports gaming.
Competitions like this should be programmed to have a very specific set of rules and a gameplay environment. This means that 2K should have simply given the users a choice of certain games and pitchers they could attempt the feat with. To have the perfect game competition turn into a giant sham is a complete joke at this point and unfortunately, fitting for the MLB 2K franchise.
To me, if this is truly the end of the MLB 2K series (although we really don't know either way), then it is a fitting one. The MLB 2K12 franchise is a failure at this point on this generation of consoles, with every year showing promise only to be ruined by buggy releases. It's time for another company (EA) to have their turn at the baseball mantle and for MLB 2K to simply just go away from the exclusive third-party baseball spotlight.
Caley Roark: I'll begin by agreeing with Matthew and Chris: this was both inevitable and a black eye on the franchise. To this point, the contest drew interest and spawned some creative commercials.
However, I'll go against the grain a little here. Because the exploit can't be recreated, I'm a little fuzzy as to whether it required some kind of hack or allowed users to access the opposing lineup from a normal menu. Furthermore, from what I've read, the exploit wasn't expressly forbidden in the contest's official rules.
I feel bad for those who threw perfect games without messing with the opposing lineup. But, if doing so wasn't mentioned in the official rules AND didn't require some kind of software manipulation, can this be construed as anything other than creative thinking?
I know, it falls into that grey area for both games and sports. Where does sportsmanship end and gamesmanship start? It's easy to say these actions violate the "spirit" of the rules ... but so do a lot of other things we accept in sports.
After all, it was once considered unsportsmanlike to throw any kind of deceptive pitch. And I'm not sure trick or gadget plays were intended when Walter Camp and others laid down the rules for football. But they are creative ways to get an edge on your opponent, and are within the written rules.
The blame for this mess, then, lies on 2K for not having the foresight to either lock this problem down or forbid it in the rules.
What do you OSer's think about MLB 2K12 and Cheatgate?