2K Sports benching NHL series?

NHL 2K11 absent from Take-Two Interactive release schedule for next year as publisher rethinks its sports lineup.

Source: In a post to his Pastapadre site, former SportsGamer writer Brian Wiedey pointed out that Take-Two Interactive neglected to include NHL 2K11 on its 2010 release schedule.

What we heard: As Wiedey pointed out, Take-Two's fiscal fourth quarter report (released yesterday) has been the publisher's preferred opportunity to confirm new installments in its long-running ice hockey series.

NHL 2K10 cover athlete Alex Ovechkin, understandably furious, heartbroken, and/or surprised at rumors of the series' demise.

That alone might not raise eyebrows, as Take-Two's preliminary 2010 lineup is far from inclusive, consisting of only seven games. However, the publisher did specify that it would have MLB 2K11 and a new NBA 2K11 game next year, leaving NHL as the only annualized Take-Two sports franchise unaccounted for.

Dropping the NHL series would make some sense for Take-Two. 2K's games have been a distant second to EA's efforts this generation, both critically and commercially. And while the recent Wii edition of NHL 2K10 was warmly received by critics and vigorously supported with TV advertising, that hasn't significantly boosted sales over last year's edition. With the publisher's stated focus on AAA game development, a middling licensed franchise with a limited potential audience up against tough competition every year might be a tempting target for cutting costs.

Take-Two also seems to be shying away from the need to compete with EA in the sports genre. It was the desire to compete that led the publisher's management team (a group since ousted) to shell out for third-party exclusivity on the Major League Baseball license, a move that executives said will cost Take-Two $30-35 million during its current fiscal year alone.

The official story: "We are currently in the process of evaluating our sports portfolio and have not announced any new NHL titles at this time."--A 2K Sports representative.

Bogus or not bogus?: Tentatively not bogus, but no matter how one slices it, the outlook isn't good for NHL 2K11. Take-Two proved itself willing to walk away from an unprofitable series after it canceled its College Hoops series in 2008. And given how strong EA's puck sims have been in recent years, there's likely not much of a near-term opportunity to increase NHL 2K's market share without a significant investment.

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Discussion

125 comments
sonnyworld
sonnyworld

I've always loved EA's hockey games, but I hated their NBA Live games. I've been a fan of 2K's NBA series since the Dreamcast days. 2K Sports makes an excellent NBA game...but just an average hockey game.

xXcash-_-moneyX
xXcash-_-moneyX

mjl259 "Thats a shame.... NHL 2k7 was fun and 2k10 was outstanding - much better looking, controlling, and overall better layout than NHL10. I hope EA hires 2k's hockey team so they incorporate 2k's menu systems and graphics with EA's gameplay - that would be sick!" not graphics but presentation

videlsports
videlsports

I just hope 2k will gets the college licsence to make football games. They will make their profits again. ALl it takes is a few good meetings with the CLC and 2k College football will be the most anticipated sports game until 2k can make NFL games again.

TylerMeyer88
TylerMeyer88

that would be a good idea 2K hasn't put out a good NHL game since 2K6. they flat out suck now.

mjl259
mjl259

And yea, EA's hockey games will go down the pooper if they dont have any competition! So hopefully they'll stick around for you EA fanboy's sake!

mjl259
mjl259

Thats a shame.... NHL 2k7 was fun and 2k10 was outstanding - much better looking, controlling, and overall better layout than NHL10. I hope EA hires 2k's hockey team so they incorporate 2k's menu systems and graphics with EA's gameplay - that would be sick!

Domenico54
Domenico54

Also, Gamer082009, you're a dick.

Domenico54
Domenico54

Got NHL 2K9 for the wii. And i could of gotten NHL 9 by EA. I'll tell you when i start to care.

zwgiantsfan
zwgiantsfan

all 2k sports suck. they should just cancel them all. they already cut the 2k football games a while ago. i only own one, and i absolutely hate it. EA Sports is the way to go.

REAL_BALLER_69
REAL_BALLER_69

this is only bad news for wii users because 2k's only real sports game is nba 2k. every other sports game 2ksports has made has sucked compared to easports games (except for nfl 2k5). I also remember when ea wanted to buy 2k. just imagine if they joined forces and made games they would be so good.

dwd_27
dwd_27

nooooo a loved nhl 2k10 on wii wtf that was 1 of the best sports gmaes on wii

era81
era81

Right around the time 2k lost their Nfl licence this series lost my interest.

soreros
soreros

NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO....... Please, please, PLEASE 2K, do not let EA go unchecked!!!!!!! NHL '10 is a great game, but if EA doesn't have any competition, they'll NEVER fix the glitches and exploits!!! I was really hoping 2K would kick EA's LAZY ASS one of these years!

rhinoballz
rhinoballz

T2 needs to drop MLB as soon as the license is up. The MLB is enjoying all the revenue but not putting out enough promotion to justify the super high cost. MLB games just do not sell. They would do better developing a killer soccer/football title.

jbfraser
jbfraser

Nuttyprof if the NHL didn't recover from the strike how come the cap has gone up every year since the strike???

nuttyprof
nuttyprof

This really isn't surprising, the NHL has never recovered from the strike. If fewer people are watching their games, it is safe to assume that the video game will also suffer in sales.

jeffv541
jeffv541

My uncle was turned into a wii by a witch, I still can't believe it's happened...

Padrepride
Padrepride

I'll be ok with this as long as EA brings the next NHL game to the Wii

Garudyne
Garudyne

Hmm... It seems 2K cant take the heat of NHL Live... At least their NBA game is better

joce667
joce667

@oneligas no we are not man we like good hockey games not nhl2k !

joce667
joce667

@TheUndisputed9 Yes buddy go habs go ! ( like the montréal canadiens )

oneligas
oneligas

Canada must be in a uproar over this announcement

Skargamer
Skargamer

i havent played any of the 2kNHL games but im guessing its not as good as EA NHL. they should take the feedback from everyone see what to improve on and do it. thats really all i have to say...since i havent played any of the 2k MLB or NHL games! but really, isnt this what theyre supposed to do?

lostcali8
lostcali8

No! Don't do that to us hockey fans! Sure EA's NHL is rarely poor, but having the choice every year is awesome. 2K's deking physics were fantastic..

joce667
joce667

@joevit Right you are only one thing i disagree ! go habs go ! lol!

SavoyPrime
SavoyPrime

As long as nothing happens to the NBA 2K series, then I'll be okay. I couldn't imagine NBA Live being the only basketball game in the market. *shudders*

joevit
joevit

If they made a good NHL game they would not be in this spot. I'm not big on EA but they make on hell of a game when it comes to NHL. GO WINGS!

Benficafan_101
Benficafan_101

People actually believe PastaPadre? Dude is bias against 2k lol he hates it for no reason and has always been and admitted an EA fan. People don't seem to forget that 2k10 went through the same thing as 2k11 is going through now, 2k10 wasn't an announced game until AUGUST!

chelseaman99
chelseaman99

A bit of a shame. EA now will just update licenses and so on ... it's a bit like with FIFA/PES, PES is struggling so EA can't be bothered to fix all the glitches ...

BlinDShoT95
BlinDShoT95

In the realm of NHL, 2K just can't compete. Wise move, but a bad move for gamers. Competition has been pushing EA to stay miles above the pack, now they have no incentive to improve ...

-Canas-
-Canas-

awww man. I always thought the 2K series at least had more variety, and provided EA with a reason to try and make their stuff better. sad news indeed. Although I never played a single one of their titles, the Wii version seemed like a riot.

halosniper52
halosniper52

PASTA!!!!!!!!! This is bad for EA NHL I think. Since we all saw what happened when EA got Madden all to there self's. Madden just keeps falling, and falling. And if NHL 2K drops than EA will not be pushed as much and maybe, I say MAYBE. NHL could start to fall like Madden.

mack10
mack10

Speaking strictly of the NHL series, 2K has been behind competition by a long shot since EA released NHL 07...I don't know why it took them so long to see this.

BonoBoy
BonoBoy

'bout time...no surprises if this is the case

endocrine
endocrine

2k has really slumped in the past couple years. They used to have top notch sports games, and now they are just another mediocre company.

BigBacon87
BigBacon87

@xialon We Canucks play NHL10 because we know hockey.

Scarface67898
Scarface67898

good they should focus 100% on NBA games cuz 2k10 is bad. Laggy .when it came out you couldn't do anything but quick match against te cpu. and no jerseys and shoes im sorry but EA has way to many features i might pick up Live 11 next year if they add my player

sensei_hEnRY
sensei_hEnRY

2K Sports is easily beaten by awesome sports games by EA Sports

terpriders
terpriders

everyone complains about EA. 2K has called it quits with two sports titles becuse EA out sold and out rated them. They bought the 3rd party licenses because their baseball sucked compared to MVP. It is sad there will be no competition. Competition is what made the NHL series evolve. I hope EA does not rest for the next few years.

rahul_batta
rahul_batta

As sad it is to see this franchise die, coming from a huge Hockey fan the 2K series has absolutely nothing on EA. Graphics, gameplay, online, everything is better on the EA series. I guess EA is reaching the point where its just too much to compete with. I do wish however that 2K could make an NFL game, it was definitely a stronger series then Madden

xialon
xialon

There is no need to make the Canadians sad.

guilhem_r
guilhem_r

I understand that with dev costs for all versions and the TV commercials they bought to promote the game, it might not be worth it. True, hockey fans are kind of happy few. But still, they are loyal. They should can the 360/PS3 version (a lost cause against EA's games), cut down on the advertising and keep the Wii version alive with a small dev team. The Wii version of 2K10 was well received, doesn't need a huge overhaul, and given the lack of competition, it might sell some 200K. Another idea would be to port NHL 2K10, only with new rosters and a new cover, to the PC as NHL 2K11. Maybe the hockey starved PC audience (especially in Europe) would buy some of those. It would sure beat the miserable PC version of EA NHL 08.

guilhem_r
guilhem_r

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

nomorepain4u
nomorepain4u

EA isn't spectacular either as 09 and 10 are practically the same.

MastaP110
MastaP110

This is bad news. I have purchased NHL 07 08 09 and 2010 made by EA and i think they do a great job of changing up the game every year. I hope 2k stays in the market and continues to compete even if their next game is just released for the wii.