Sports video games that aren’t Madden NFL or NBA 2K are in danger of dying out as quality and popularity continue to sink. We’ve already seen it happen once in 2013 with the death of EA’s NCAA Football franchise, and now 2K is killing off its MLB franchise.
Take-Two Interactive announced today that its MLB 2K sports video game franchise is no more after deciding to not renew its licensing agreement with the MLB. The franchise’s death isn’t all that surprising after MLB 2K13’s lackluster performance. Critics and fans both agreed that it was a lazy update that didn’t respect the sport or the fans.
As for 2K itself, the publisher told Polygon that it was going to focus on its more popular sports franchise going forward:
“We have decided not to renew our MLB 2K series for 2014. We are very proud of the achievements made by the MLB 2K team and look forward to their contributions to our future titles, including NBA 2K — our industry’s #1 rated and #1 selling basketball franchise.”
It’s quite possible that NBA 2K is responsible for MLB 2K’s death in a roundabout way. The team at Visual Concepts had to make two sports games every year, and NBA 2K was consistently the better seller. Why waste time on a product that can’t compete with Sony’s own MLB The Show when you rake in the dough on a franchise that hasn’t had any competition for three years now thanks to EA’s mismanagement of its NBA Live franchise?
Speaking of Sony, MLB 14 The Show is already confirmed for a showing in 2014 when the latest game in Sony’s successful baseball sim hits the PS4, PS3 and PS Vita. It’s already looking pretty fantastic, and the visual upgrades in the PS4 version are sure to excite MLB fans. It’s just a shame that baseball fans will now have to commit themselves to one platform unless EA decides to revive its well-received MVP Baseball franchise now that 2K no longer has an exclusive license with the MLB.
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