Posted on January 6, 2014 AT 04:16pm
2K Games’ MLB 2K series had been on life support the past couple of years, and today the publisher officially decided to pull the plug.
Earlier today, sports-centric outlet PastaPadre reported that 2K had erased all connections to the franchise, expunging it from their main site, eradicating their Facebook page, removing the 2K10, 11, and 12 editions from Steam and the Xbox Games Store, and deleting the 2K13 website from the Internet.
After this development, Polygon reached out to 2K and received confirmation there will be no MLB 2K14 this year on any system, and pointing to what many suspect is the end of the series.
This decision more than likely came about for several reasons. MLB 2K13 was the tenth edition of the annual franchise, but was universally panned, with many criticizing that, overall, the game was nothing more than a roster update over 2K12.
Franchise developer Visual Concepts, also responsible for the NBA 2K franchise, has recently taken on some of the duties involved with the WWE series acquired after THQ closed down. Asking one studio to do three games each year could’ve proved taxing enough for MLB to get the axe in lieu of the studio expanding as the employees charged with MLB can now be moved to either one of those other games.
This move has sent a ripple effect across the industry, leaving Sony with the only systems (Vita, PS3, PS4) to carry baseball with MLB 14: The Show. While sports games aren’t typically known for making or breaking a system, this is surely an unexpected chink in the armor of the Xbox One—for at least this year, baseball fans will have to buy Sony to get their fix.
It also leaves many to speculate that EA could get back into the business of baseball. EA’s MVP Baseball series ran from 2003-2005 and was hugely successful by most accounts, but when EA signed an exclusivity deal with the NFL following the 2005 season, Take-Two countered with their exclusivity deal with MLB. The end of the MLB 2K franchise also likely marks the end of the exclusivity deal and this means someone else could step in to provide a third-party alternative to The Show and corner the currently vacant Xbox One baseball market.
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