2K Sports benches NHL sim for 2011

Take-Two label confirms it will not come to market with a new pro hockey title on consoles, including the Wii, this year.

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EA Sports' absence from the NBA basketball simulation market has proven to be a boon for 2K Sports, which confirmed this week that NBA 2K11 has now sold a franchise-best 5 million units. However, just as EA Sports won't be fielding an NBA competitor in 2011, 2K Sports will once again be skipping its annual outing to the hockey rink.

NHL 2K12 won't even make an appearance on the Wii.

As part of a postearnings conference call today, Take-Two chief operating officer Karl Slatoff confirmed that the 2K Sports label will not be releasing a new installment in its NHL simulation franchise for consoles this year. "2K Sports once again does not plan to release a NHL title for consoles this year," Slatoff said.

Take-Two confirmed for GameSpot that NHL 2K's absence includes Nintendo's Wii. Last year, NHL 2K11 was released exclusively for the Wii and mobile platforms, after the publisher confirmed that the series was "taking a year off." Take-Two had previously said that it was "in the process of evaluating" its sports portfolio.

Prior to being benched, 2K Sports' hockey simulation was routinely walloped by critics compared to its EA Sports competitor. The most recent match-up, from 2009, yielded a Metacritic score of 88 for EA Sports' NHL 10 to 66 for 2K Sports' NHL 2K10 (based on the PlayStation 3 version of the games).

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