Home
MLB 2K11 News Post


Take-Two Interactive's chairman Strauss Zelnick believes the company could walk away from its third-party MLB exclusivity deal when it expires in 2012, according to Reuters. At this point, he feels like Take-Two is not reaping enough benefits from the current deal.

Quote:
"It's a losing proposition and we don't have any interest in pursuing losing propositions."

While that comment almost makes it seem like it's a foregone conclusion that Take-Two will walk away from the MLB deal in 2012, Zelnick also made it clear he was not opposed to renewing the exclusivity agreement if the terms changed.

Quote:
"He said the company is open to renewing its game licensing agreement with Major League Baseball, but only if the economics change."

The "economics" he is hinting could deal with how the game sells in the coming years or how much cash has to be doled out for the license, but in the grand scheme of things that does not really matter.

In fact, I could have just typed "blah blah blah blah MVP Baseball 2013 could happen blah blah blah blah" and it would have sufficed here, especially for Xbox 360 owners out there who have not been able to get their grubby green hands on The Show during this generation of consoles.

Source - Reuters Summit-Take-Two sees opportunity in digital (Reuters) via (Kotaku)

Game: Major League Baseball 2K11Reader Score: 5.5/10 - Vote Now
Platform: NDS / PC / PS2 / PS3 / PSP / Wii / Xbox 360Votes for game: 17 - View All
Major League Baseball 2K11 Videos
Member Comments
# 1 Stroehms @ 12/02/10 10:28 PM
Yes!!!!! <3
 
# 2 PVarck31 @ 12/02/10 10:41 PM
Great news. I think the same thing will happen with football. Things at EA aren't exactly going swimmingly.

By 2012 there exclusivity will be a thing of the past.
 
# 3 SoxFan01605 @ 12/02/10 10:41 PM
Of course the exclusivity deal was a bad idea...they tried to respond to completely losing the most popular American sports brand (NFL) by only partially securing rights (meaning leaving open 1st party competition) to what was maybe the second most popular sport at the time and maybe 3rd now. Plus, they did it when they're game wasn't a heavyweight to begin with. Emotions and business don't mix...lol.

To be fair, I do see his point about the annual releases. It can obviously work (see The Show and 2K's own NBA series), but it's a major burden to a franchise trying to dig out from a hole...and the exclusive license binds them to such a rigid schedule, making it worse.

Fine with me though. Not renewing means a chance for open competition (though I would expect it to take a while for legit titles to filter out). Hopefully they don't give up all together though...the game is still rough, but they seem to finally have some things to build on moving forward IMO...and despite having a personal favorite, I like as many viable options as possible for my favorite sport.

Now we just need Peter Moore to catch such feelings...lol.
 
# 4 Artman22 @ 12/02/10 10:51 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by 31
Great news. I think the same thing will happen with football. Things at EA aren't exactly going swimmingly.

By 2012 there exclusivity will be a thing of the past.
I really hope so.
 
# 5 paptester @ 12/02/10 10:53 PM
Even though MLB The Show is one of the greatest games ever. It will be nice to see MVP Baseball back and running again
 
# 6 Artman22 @ 12/02/10 10:58 PM
I also hope this doesn't motivate EA to try to buy the MLB license. I hope it's no more exclusivity.
 
# 7 SoxFan01605 @ 12/02/10 11:02 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Art1bk
I also hope this doesn't motivate EA to try to buy the MLB license. I hope it's no more exclusivity.
I think we're relatively safe there...EA isn't really in position to be taking on a the MLB exclusive, I don't think (hopefully not in shape for the NFL either).

But yeah...any exclusive deal (by anyone) is no good. Just let it open up.
 
# 8 khaliib @ 12/02/10 11:05 PM
For the life in me, I can't understand why these companies are spending money for these rights when having "Backbreaker" type of customization would allow them to keep the money spent. 90% of the time, the first thing gamers do to sports games is edit rosters or team gear (if available). I think hardcore gamers are at the point were they are would buy a generic packaged sports game as long as they can customize the teams they want to be represented in the game.

Because sales have not been what they anticipated since they purchased the exclusive rights, I would suggest that 2k put out a generic game with customization and see what the sales would look like. They're not going to make huge sales in the last year and payment has already been rendered, so they should try it.

They would see that they don't need the exclusive rights for football or basketball games.
Just off their name alone and desire for their product, a generic College Football game w/full customization would sale like crazy. I'm quite sure taking a chance in this area would be cheaper than the est $40 million spent.

The major problem that 2k faces is that in America, "Football" is the money maker, then Basketball, then the other sports depending on where you live (ie. hockey is not as big in California as it is in the states that border Canada). Football is your money maker, and the other sports games are like extra income ventures. As great as their basketball is, it will never make as much money as a football title of similiar quality. They simply have to utilize a backdoor (see above) to get back in the Football game and make some real money because this reflects that their is only so much the other sports can do.
 
# 9 jrivera34 @ 12/02/10 11:30 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by khaliib
For the life in me, I can't understand why these companies are spending money for these rights when having "Backbreaker" type of customization would allow them to keep the money spent. 90% of the time, the first thing gamers do to sports games is edit rosters or team gear (if available). I think hardcore gamers are at the point were they are would buy a generic packaged sports game as long as they can customize the teams they want to be represented in the game.

Because sales have not been what they anticipated since they purchased the exclusive rights, I would suggest that 2k put out a generic game with customization and see what the sales would look like.
How much did backbreaker sell? The reality is the hardcore gamer is a small piece of sales. Without names people recognize, the average fan will not buy the game and that is where most of their money is made.

I just want their to be competition in all games because at the end of the day that is what is best for the consumer and the industry as a hole.
 
# 10 LilRick110 @ 12/02/10 11:50 PM
Having The Show and MVP would be great. It would be a clash of MLB game titans. That is if EA gets the MLB license back or if they just blow it off. I how they'd get it back. MVP was a great game seeing it stack up against The Show would be exciting, especially with great new features.
 
# 11 Dazraz @ 12/03/10 12:51 AM
I think the loss of any exclusive deal can only be a good thing. It was a bum deal for 2K anyway because most PS3 owners opted for the superior MLB the Show series.
That said I would like 2K to continue to develop MLB titles as last year they made some big improvements.
 
# 12 Westside Poseidon @ 12/03/10 12:59 AM
As much as it pains you, me, and virtually everyone who regularly visits OperationSports, the hardcore gamer who values customization in a sports game isn't anywhere near 90% of the audience. Studies have shown that casual gamers are the majority by far. Look at Backbreaker's sales vs. Madden's. Madden may have had a down year, but still sold better than Backbreaker.

2K did put out a generic game with customization, it was called "All-Pro Football 2K8". Didn't sell well either. I couldn't care less about customization if the game doesn't look and play well.
 
# 13 Cubfan @ 12/03/10 02:14 AM
As long as The Show is around im happy a baseball video game fan.
 
# 14 Mos1ted @ 12/03/10 06:44 AM
I don't claim to be a marketing expert (although I am taking a marketing course this semester), but here's my take on things from a marketing perspective:

A lot of people bring up the fact that hardcore gamers make such a small percentage of the market; which may be true. They usually point to the fact that Madden outsold Backbreaker despite perceptions that Backbreaker may be a better product on the field. Here's the reason behind that: Backbreaker and Madden are at two different stages of the product life cycle.

The product life cycle works like this (and again, I'm not a marketing expert or major, just rehashing what I learned in class this semester):

- The first stage is the introduction stage. This is where a new product enters the market. This is the stage where Backbreaker currently is. Sales during the stage are almost always initially low (although the iPod and iPhone did buck this trend). The consumers who primarily buy a product at this stage are the innovators and early adopters - they are essentially taking a chance on the product in the hopes of finding a gem. There is generally more perceived risk involved from the consumer's perspective, and therefore, they will go with a product their familiar with over one they aren't familiar with (hence a gamer would buy Madden over Backbreaker because he's more familiar with it)

- The next stage is the growth stage. This is where Backbreaker is trying to get to next. As word of mouth from the early adopters and innovators who already bought the the product spreads, sales will start to grow, and hopefully, publicity will start to grow along with it. This could take some time (meaning years) depending on the product, but fortunately for Backbreaker (and any other generic football game that decides to enter the market), competition is low right now (read: non-existent), and the barriers for entry are low right now too as a result. Had this been 5 years ago when you had several NFL and NCAA licensed football games on the market, a generic game would have failed before ever reaching this stage. This is not the time for Backbreaker to bail just yet. They (and other companies) have to give the market sometime, especially now.

- The next stage is the maturity stage. This is pretty much the apex of the product life cycle. This is the stage where a product enjoys the luxuries of brand recognition, high sales, brand loyalty, word of mouth, publicity; all of the positives (and negatives) that come with having a widely recognizable product. This is the stage where Madden is currently, hence the reason it will continue to outsell any other football game that enters the market at this point. When 2K dropped NFL 2K5 for $20, this was a significant blow to the Madden brand and it's market share, causing EA to strike the deal that's currently in place. But as we all witnessed over time, no other football product - licensed or otherwise - has been able to take over Madden's market share. Like I said before, 2K came the closest, but they were later shut out of the market. Smart business move on EA's part (at the time), but it ultimately hurts the consumer. Which brings me to the next stage...

- The final stage is the decline stage. This is the point of the product life cycle when sales of a product start to fall, almost to the point where sales cannot recover from where they were before. Some would argue that Madden is at this stage, or at least, about to go into this stage. Consumers lose interest; there's too much competition; another alternative comes to market; there's a variety of reasons for a product to hit the decline stage. Either way, it's the most dreaded part of the product life cycle and is a foreshadow of an eventual exit from the market. Think NCAA Gamebreaker, NFL Gameday, EA's Nascar series, 2K's NHL series, Acclaim's All Star Baseball series (which was a good series IMO, it just couldn't compete with the MLB, World Series Baseball, and MVP Baseball series), High Heat Baseball series (same fate as the All Star Baseball series)

So if Backbreaker is wise, it will stay the course a la President Bush (LOL). If 2K was wise, it would have never abandoned its All Pro Football series so soon. You have to give the market time. Companies too many times expect to hit a homerun at their first at bat (had to throw in a baseball reference since this is an article about baseball), and bail on products too quickly.

Products enter the market to serve a need; plain and simple. As gamers, we have a need: we want the most authentic representation of our respective sports possible. This same need existed 20 years ago. Remember, Madden got its start as a generic football title, and look where it is now. During that time, people didn't necessarily care that a game was licensed; that was just icing on the cake. Of course, over time licensing became a must have, but I would argue that right now the market is back to where it was before: An authentic sporting experience > licensed game


Right now, Backbreaker is changing the way we play video games. To me, that's bigger than a license at this point, because they are changing a formula that has grown stale over the past 20 years. That's call innovation. As long as they continue to work on their product and make refinements, than may start to make a dent into EA's football market share.

When consumers tire of a product, they look for alternatives (otherwise known as elasticity of demand). From EA and 2K's perspective, when they inked their exclusivity deals with the respective leagues, they were counting on inelastic demand, meaning no (viable) alternatives in the market exist and consumers would have no choice but to choose their product. Unfortunately for 2K, they didn't forsee SCEA putting out a stronger product on the PS3 market, virtually making their game non-existent to half of the baseball gaming market. And for EA, they banked on the popularity of the NFL so much, they didn't forsee consumers growing tired of their product in the long haul. 2k tried to capitalize on this opportunity by releasing All Pro Football, but marketed it poorly (poor choice of release date, poor pricing strategy) and bailed too quickly on it in my opinion.
 
# 15 boomhauertjs @ 12/03/10 07:00 AM
Maybe 2k would've realized more sales from the deal if they produced a quality game.
 
# 16 DickDalewood @ 12/03/10 08:16 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by 31
Great news. I think the same thing will happen with football. Things at EA aren't exactly going swimmingly.

By 2012 there exclusivity will be a thing of the past.
Man I hope you're right... to be able to play MVP Baseball and NFL 2K again seems like little more than a dream right now. Hell, just having OPTIONS again is what I most look forward to. I really believe we will someday be able to look back at this gen and say, "Remember when companies had all those exclusive deals?"... then laugh and go back to playing our four football titles and six baseball titles
 
# 17 bigfnjoe96 @ 12/03/10 08:22 AM
Looks like 2012 will be an important year in sports gaming.

Sent from my Awesome Phone via tapatalk
 
# 18 jethrotull @ 12/03/10 08:29 AM
This game is the sole reason I bought a PS3. They have been putting out an inferior product to MLB: The SHow for years now. Take Two should back out, MLB: The Show is now 200 laps ahead of the MLB 2K series. I actually should thank them, because I found a more complete game in MLB: The Show
 
# 19 DickDalewood @ 12/03/10 08:31 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by jethrotull
This game is the sole reason I bought a PS3. They have been putting out an inferior product to MLB: The SHow for years now. Take Two should back out, MLB: The Show is now 200 laps ahead of the MLB 2K series. I actually should thank them, because I found a more complete game in MLB: The Show
It's embarrassing how ignorant that is. Yes, The Show is awesome, but no, 2K should NOT back out. Competition creates better products. How do some of you not understand that?
 
# 20 boomhauertjs @ 12/03/10 08:33 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by jethrotull
This game is the sole reason I bought a PS3. They have been putting out an inferior product to MLB: The SHow for years now. Take Two should back out, MLB: The Show is now 200 laps ahead of the MLB 2K series. I actually should thank them, because I found a more complete game in MLB: The Show
What are 360 owners supposed to do? I'm not buying a PS3 just for a baseball game.
 

« Previous12345Next »

Post A Comment
This thread has been closed for new comments.