Six months after their release, the PlayStation 2 versions of ESPN College Hoops, ESPN NBA Basketball, and ESPN NFL Football are losing a major feature. As of March 31, ESPN Videogames will cease supporting online league play for the games. ESPN NHL Hockey did not have league functionality.
Exclusive to the PS2 versions of the ESPN games, the online leagues let players form their own sporting organizations, each of which had its own teams and championships. The league system let users set up matches and keep track of game statistics and provided them with message boards.
But despite their features and customization, the leagues never really caught on with users to any serious degree. According to an ESPN Videogames representative, the leagues' lackluster reception was a major reason behind the decision to stop supporting them. "It just wasn't that popular," he told GameSpot.
According to the rep, another reason ESPN Videogames was pulling support for the leagues was so that it could refine them for the next generation of ESPN. "We're going to start over from scratch," the rep told GameSpot, assuring gamers that the next time around, the league system would be "bigger, badder, and a lot better."