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Will 2K Expand Their Lineup in Next-Gen?

The lineup for sports gamers has gotten increasingly smaller as the years have gone by. This is no mystery.

In what started as a promising generation with healthy competition amongst the genre, ended with a number of series fizzling out and becoming nonexistent by the end. Some of this attrition has to do with licensing agreements but many of those agreements were struck when no viable second party was wanting into the market.

So what is it, exactly, that is driving publishers like 2K Sports away from the sports gaming market?

Unfortunately, the answer is almost impossible to quantify. What we do know, is that it all starts with sales and money. The situation gets a little more confusing when you see that sales for games like Madden, FIFA, NCAA, MLB: The Show, and perhaps most importantly, NBA 2K, have generally been very good. 2K really only has a presence in two sports (basketball, and baseball if you’re even willing to count their efforts there) as it stands, and its baseball game is seemingly on its way out.

Furthermore, you have sports that are incredibly vulnerable right now, most notably NCAA Football. Not to mention, you there are wide open markets in college basketball, tennis, and baseball (one console still doesn’t have a game). So let’s take a look at some sports individually, and the chances 2K will take a shot at the market for them:

NFL Football: Not Likely

It’s no secret that football is the most popular sport in the country, and Madden’s sales reflect that. Despite generally poor reviews over the course of the generation, the game continues to sell and make loads of money for EA – certainly enough money that might make it tempting for another publisher to swoop in and take a bite of those sales. Unfortunately, a relatively cloudy exclusivity deal between the NFL and EA has allowed them to monopolize the sport. The chances that either would want to endanger their success are pretty minimal, as it stands to reason a renewal is more likely than not. However, there is certainly reason for 2K Sports to try to get into the NFL market one last time.

College Football: Almost Impossible

With the O’Bannon lawsuit going on, it’s easy to wonder if we’ve see the last of college sports games for a while. EA promises to move ahead with their series, but even that series looks liable to be shut down at any point in the future. The chances that 2K would want to get themselves into that mess are slim to nil. The only fighting chance is that the lawsuit is ended soon, and stricter boundaries on player likeness are set up. If developers know exactly what they can and cannot do, some may be more inclined to make college sports games again. For now, no one's crazy enough to take on college sports with ongoing litigation.


The return of College Hoops looks very unlikely right now.

College Basketball: Very Unlikely

NBA 2K has made its way to the top of the sports gaming world, slaughtering expectations for critical reception and sales. Two years ago, I would have told you that them taking a shot at a college basketball series was very likely. After all, why wouldn’t they want to build off of their market? But again, a deal with the NCAA would stand in their way, and the NCAA has made it very clear they aren't in the video games business anymore.

Baseball: Likely

I find it hard to believe that Microsoft is going to go into next-gen without having a publisher nailed down to make them a game. MLB: The Show is doing extremely well for Sony, and has even gotten the label “system seller” from many. Microsoft may try to nab an exclusive deal from someone like 2K, just to make sure they don’t lose the market in terms of console sales alone. If Microsoft is going into next-gen without baseball locked down from some company, it'll be a surprise to many.

Other: Very Likely

Between soccer, hockey, and golf, there is definitely a market for 2K to swoop in as a next-generation hero and build up some competition. Ultimately, it’s hard to believe that with its success in NBA 2K that the publisher won’t move on and try to expand it’s lineup. One of the key things to focus on will be how well they do with the WWE series, a massive franchise with huge sales potential. If they succeed there, there’s no reason to believe that they won’t turn that momentum towards other titles. Both Golf and Tennis have real potential, and if 2K wanted to try to take a bit out of the massive soccer market worldwide they could always try.


Member Comments
# 1 thetrueBROSKY @ 08/29/13 12:06 PM
Isn't Top Spin still active? Or is that series "dead" too? I thought it was just the pre-next gen hiatus after 4 was released in 2011?

Anyways, NFL will most likely (95%) never come (even though we all want it) as EA and NFL probably love this situation, no college games will come out for I think 2-3 years after next year EA football game. Baseball from 2K is dead, no question about that.

But, golf and football (soccer) from 2K would be very interesting. Build solid games with good mechanics and graphics, with some real personalities (golfers, leagues/teams) and build from there. It may not sell crazy at first, but with age and attention to detail they may rival (FIFA, PES) or be (Tiger) the best out there.
 
# 2 SHAKYR @ 08/29/13 01:18 PM
I would really love for them to add boxing back into their lineup. Their failure was outside developers. 2K company has potential to create an incredible boxing.
 
# 3 Retropyro @ 08/29/13 01:40 PM
Be nice to see them return to hockey. They had a few years of some good games with NHL 2K.
 
# 4 believeinnow @ 08/29/13 01:46 PM
Yeah, 2K will continue the Top Spin series on Next-gen and it will be incredible (although I'd love to see EA continue their GST series as well). I doubt 2K will jump on soccer as PES and FIFA have already established themselves and trying to throw a third game in the mix will be tough (remember Ubisoft's attempt at Pure Football?!).

Remember when there were rumors earlier this year that 2K was considering bringing back the Links series, that could be a smart move if that happens. HB Studios in Canada revealed that they are working on a golf game for next gen, so if it's not for EA, it could be Links.

But this all stems on how NBA 2K looks in next gen. The fact that we're only going to see stuff in late September is a bit worrisome. EA has been developing for XBOne and PS4 for a while and haven't been afraid to show their hand. If the 2K engine for the new consoles isn't ground breaking, then I smell trouble.
 
# 5 believeinnow @ 08/29/13 01:48 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Profit89
The Sports genre is really suffering last 6-8 years. Almost no healthy competition left. Maybe soccer. That's about it.
there has been good competition in tennis with Top Spin, Virtua Tennis and to a lesser extent Grand Slam Tennis. I think if EA took it seriously, GST with their IGNITE engine would be incredible.
 
# 6 Fiddy @ 08/29/13 02:00 PM
2K should add a few titles back and have them release every other year.

Say NHL 2K15, then Boxing 2K16, then NHL 2K17 etc etc.

No need for yearly releases IMO.
 
# 7 Methlab @ 08/29/13 02:15 PM
If a great tennis game was made, instead of a yearly update, they could slowly add players to the game in the form of paid content. It would be great.

The game would need to be really good, and play realistic enough to where new players would play a similar game to their real life counter parts. I just can't see how a great ping pong or tennis game coul dnot be made on a next gen console. It is almost mind boggling how developers struggle to with such perfect sports that are tailor made for console gaming.
 
# 8 huntt26 @ 08/29/13 02:51 PM
I miss college basketball video games a LOT. It is sad it has ended.
 
# 9 Tomba @ 08/29/13 03:18 PM
2k will not expand and due to how next gen is going to be they will even have a hard time with their NBA 2 series

Theres only three ways 2k can move into next gen sports titles effectively.

That is

1)Golf

2)Lacrosse

and

3)

College Basketball
 
# 10 Dazraz @ 08/29/13 03:59 PM
Very little chance of seeing any expansion. With new technology comes even greater expectations. It costs big money to create a game that can meet those demands.
 
# 11 eaterofworlds888 @ 08/29/13 04:02 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by huntt26
I miss college basketball video games a LOT. It is sad it has ended.
me too man. I really want them back.
 
# 12 DJ NEO @ 08/29/13 05:05 PM
nextgen NHL 2K needed
 
# 13 poloelite @ 08/29/13 06:21 PM
I really wish some game maker would post the bones of a great sports game (boxing, basketball etc) and let the community run wild with a creation suite similar to what they use. No license fees and minimal work on their end perfecting actual likenesses.
 
# 14 tabulaRasa @ 08/30/13 03:18 AM
NHL 2k1-nhl2k6 were kings of realism. Nhl2k5 was a hockey masterpiece!
 
# 15 dal_hawk @ 08/30/13 04:32 AM
I think business wise it would make sense for them to try arcade versions of their current lineups. While MLB Bigs didn't do too hot, I'd be surprised if 2k couldn't do a successful arcade basketball game, but yet still have a lot of depth to playable modes. Also could do something interesting for a football game that sold on creating your own highschool and playing online. Never been done before and I'm sure it'd strike the interest of the younger audience.

But it's hard to say. 2k is a pretty insconsistent brand beyond what they've been known for in football and basketball.

NHL, boxing, tennis, mlb, mlb bigs, and All pro 2k have all been flops in the sales.
They usually develop pretty capable teams designing the games it just seems they fall short between finding what the buyer really wants and running effective promotions/advertisements.
 
# 16 dal_hawk @ 08/30/13 04:38 AM
But what I think they should really do myself, is for all their titles that release anually. Create two different design teams and develope the games on a two year cycle. So no longer would it simply be 2k 14 15 16, But maybe 2k Finals 1, 2, and 3 and 2k Swish 1, 2, 3

Same idea as what you see with Call of Duty. Less worry from the buyers of just getting a standard roster upgrade. I think this would help much more with things going on to nextgen.
 
# 17 SkillzKillz719 @ 08/30/13 04:53 AM
Well this is depressing.

The 3 I want the most are the 3 least likely. Why does it have to be like this???? Ugh I'm getting fed up! :/
 
# 18 SHAKYR @ 08/30/13 08:28 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fiddy
2K should add a few titles back and have them release every other year.

Say NHL 2K15, then Boxing 2K16, then NHL 2K17 etc etc.

No need for yearly releases IMO.
I totally agree.

Quote:
Originally Posted by poloelite
I really wish some game maker would post the bones of a great sports game (boxing, basketball etc) and let the community run wild with a creation suite similar to what they use. No license fees and minimal work on their end perfecting actual likenesses.
I have saying this about a boxing game for the longest.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dal_hawk
I think business wise it would make sense for them to try arcade versions of their current lineups. While MLB Bigs didn't do too hot, I'd be surprised if 2k couldn't do a successful arcade basketball game, but yet still have a lot of depth to playable modes. Also could do something interesting for a football game that sold on creating your own highschool and playing online. Never been done before and I'm sure it'd strike the interest of the younger audience.

But it's hard to say. 2k is a pretty insconsistent brand beyond what they've been known for in football and basketball.

NHL, boxing, tennis, mlb, mlb bigs, and All pro 2k have all been flops in the sales.
They usually develop pretty capable teams designing the games it just seems they fall short between finding what the buyer really wants and running effective promotions/advertisements.
2K failure with the boxing was outside producers fault. If 2K used in house producers I really think the results would have different.
 
# 19 rtkiii @ 08/30/13 09:15 AM
I miss 2k football and college basketball.
 
# 20 daflyboys @ 08/30/13 11:01 AM
2K should fund Perfect Parallel.
 

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