Going into the fall, a lot of the eyes for sports gamers was focused on the release of NBA 2K14 for the PlayStation 4 and the Xbox One. The trailers for the game was magnificent and tongues were wagging at the sight of the game and the new features that 2K had put in the game. MyCareer has been a fan favorite for years and the new MyGM mode lets users pick their favorite team and build them in their own particular vision. Once the game was released, it received high marks from numerous gaming outlets that complemented how great the game looked and how well 2K transitioned over to next-gen systems above their counterpart EA Sports and their rebooted NBA Live 14 game. While handshakes were going around, a funny thing happened after the release of NBA 2K14 ... it kinda just stopped working.
While people were celebrating the release of the game, users began experiencing massive crashing issues. While games crash and shut down, the problem was that NBA 2K14 relies heavily on the online aspect to get things done within the game. MyCareer, 2K's flagship mode, is dropping out randomly and making the mode pretty much unplayable. According to most, the entire game is unplayable and completely broken. Over the holiday weekend, the troubles for 2K increased as their servers were down for both current and next-gen systems. A weekend when you have the most people playing video games and your servers are down? Bad move 2K.
Last month, 2K released a massive patch that many assumed would fix the issues that players have been experiencing. Upon further review, the patch helped a lot as the game has become more functional but the main problems (crashing, disappearing VC) was not fixed. While many websites are starting to notice all the complaints and venom coming from NBA 2k owners, the website Pasta Padre has been at the front of the pack when reporting this story.
"There are other areas of the game though such as online play that has also been adversely affected, "said Bryan Wiedey, owner and editor of Pasta Padre. "Lag has worsened - so much so that scattered complaints before (fairly typical relating to online performance for any game) have amplified greatly with extensive discussion taking place on forums, through social media, and those directly contacting me about how online has become unplayable. Besides the lag, consumers have been unable to play friends on the Xbox One, something that was not rectified in the patch and continues to this day. The useless Online Leagues also were not helped in any fashion by the update."
What makes the issues so much worse for 2K is that they are simply not saying enough about the problems which is making them look bad for longtime 2K fans. They released a statement in December saying that they knew about the problems about the game and the freezing issues and that they were working on the problems. Fast forward a month later and there is still nothing to report on the issue. After the Holiday Weekend Massacre, Ronnie from 2K responded and said that the company's servers are almost back to normal.
Made dev aware of MyTEAM concerns & will update but looks like we are almost back to where we were last week otherwise in terms of online
— Ronnie 2K 2K14 (@Ronnie2K) January 1, 2014
As a long-time fan of the NBA 2K series, it hurts to see this situation. The problem isn't with gameplay itself but it goes back to 2K themselves. They have done nothing to earn the trust back from the public this entire time these issues have existed. A simple statement acknowledging the problems is great but its not enough. They came into the next-gen stratosphere with a significant advantage over EA Sports and NBA Live and they may have wasted that edge and goodwill completely. With EA acknowledging their shortcomings with NBA Live 14, they are and have been very honest about their situation. 2K is taking the other route and totally taking advantage of their popularity into thinking that this will not hurt them long-term.
Instead of sitting and fixing the crashing issues in secret, the team at 2K needs to be transparent and daily updating the NBA 2K community about their progress and what they hope to accomplish on a daily basis. This type of commitment to keep users in the loop will show those people who pay 60 dollars for your games that you care about them and about the quality of the the games you put out. Without doing this, the negative feelings will continue and will affect future earnings and people's attitudes about the product. If they don't start talking, things could get worse for 2K.