2k Kills Servers for NBA 2k19
Is MyCareer in 2k21, 2k20, or Future Titles worth investing in??
Now you're very understandably probably expecting a pure hate piece. Which for a moment would feel, pretty good, and I admit: I was extremely vexed, miffed, peeved, riled, and roiled to great magnitudes upon finding this out the hard way after enjoying a good chunk of my New Year's Eve trying to make headway with my 2k19 MyCareer Player.
However, that really wouldn't get us anywhere and isn't fair or useful to the big picture. I also get that this decision does make all the sense in the world from 2k's perspective and does satisfy several Ferengi: Rules of Acquisition from the much worldwide beloved, and for me personally, treasured Star Trek Franchise. Rules 2, 10, 16, and 19 come to mind and very much apply just from the early ones to name a few:
II: The Best Deal is The One that brings in the Most Profit.
X: Greed is Eternal.
XVI: A Deal is a Deal... until a Better One comes along.
XIX: Satisfaction is NOT Guaranteed.
It's understandable. 2k does not want me to just continue playing 2k19, enjoying the ride. Possibly and probably for free as I was content to just earn and farm my VC, Virtual Currency, for the foreseeable future just enjoying my MyCareer, my MyLeague, and my MyGM Modes Primarily. That doesn't earn them any new money. They want me to buy 2k21 or eventually buy 2k22 and get hooked on buying the VC for shortcuts, because that is their highest profit margin from my interest and purchase power.
And backing up to the beginning of my 2k Story is actually a triumph for them as I'm largely a casual basketball fan, thirsting for a competent FIFA, Madden, and NCAA Football in my more preferred sports of Soccer and Football. I'm that type of Football Fan that rightfully chides Kansas for being a Worthless Basketball School, and perhaps wrongly still tries to with the North Carolina Schools. (Admit it, being from NC State has held Phillip Rivers's Public Perception back, very hard. While paradoxically Russell Wilson gets a pass because of his Grad Transfer Year After with Wisconsin.)
Back when EA was competent and was all about "if it's in the game, it's in the game", I was a happy EA Customer content to enjoy my Basketball Adventures with the NBA Live Series and specifically 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, & 2007. Which was very good fair and NBA Live 2005 stacks up very, very well in the lore of Top Basketball Video Games. Point is I'd been very reluctant to embrace the inevitable switch to 2k as when I'd played 2k Titles against friends I was having a very hard time switching to 2k Controls instead of years of NBA Live Controls. Similar to not really wanting to switch to PES after Decades with FIFA.
2k, in a similar smart business decision, used to pair the current NBA 2k Title with the current MLB 2k Title, for which I'd already made a similar reluctant transition after enjoying a full half decade with legendary MVP Baseball 2005, in a Bundle Pack. Which while I did enjoy a little tinkering with NBA 2k13, I largely didn't get anywhere with it because of the control switch and had to play with heavily favorable sliders to enjoy it and get it to essentially play like an NBA Live Game instead.
Well 2k Story Short, 2k's Baseball Series died while MLB: The Show got their exclusive Sony Playstation Contract. And I waited 6 years before trying again. I was actually at Gamestop Replacing my poor Xbox 360 for NCAA Football 14 and my Classic Games because the damn disk tray finally wouldn't open anymore. When I decided, hey let's do this. Sports games across the entire board are all underperforming to laughably tragic levels. I'd better try out the one competent and satisfying title in our entire genre while it still is all those things. I'd watched YouTube Series on the Storylines for the recent offerings of MyCareer, and craving an experience that FIFA, Madden, and Baseball in General couldn't offer since I didn't want to buy an entire Playstation for MLB: The Show like some others have: MyCareer got me to try 2k again.
Sadly and forebodingly I neglected MyCareer for a long time because the sheer depth and attention to detail in MyLeague and MyGM got my attention, as I tried to patiently farm the VC to upgrade to the best skill available to start the story with from playing my MyLeague & MyGM. Heck I made a Season Mode of just the 30 All-Time Teams because playing as the All-Time SuperSonics/Thunder and editing our version of treasonous Kevin Durant to be in as much pain and unavailable as possible was very, very fun. As I needed all the help I could get for my lacking stick skills before diving into MyCareer.
As time went on I actually learned and came to understand 2k's Control Philosophy from having an Actual, Enjoyable Sports Game. And over time I found a balance between MyCareer, MyLeague, and MyGM. I've mentioned before about 2k's Customization Suite in one or both of my FIFA & NCAA Football Articles as a huge plus and example of what's lacking everywhere else. Except perhaps some recent editions of EA's NHL Series. Which to date I've only seen on YouTube because I haven't really felt like investing in NHL yet. Hockey is a great video game sport, and good cousin to Soccer. I've really enjoyed NHL 07 and NHL 14 the Two Titles I've spent significant time with. NHL 07 might just have the Best Soundtrack in all Sports Games. Maybe Video Games in General. However I just don't get into Hockey in real life outside our Team USA in the Winter Olympic Runs, usually.
Thankfully my Cincinnati Reds, Real Baseball Logos and All, from the majestic Raising Cane's Center in my MyGM Mode is safe and My Last Standing Somewhat Modern Satisfying Sports Game Mode Remaining. Because, thankfully I built them from the ground up in MyLeague and MyGM. But my MyLeague, GONE, because I downloaded other community created teams namely the Las Vegas Aces, Kansas City Firebirds, St. Louis Flyers, and Alaska Eagles. No more server, no more access to that community content.
And of course all of 2k19 MyCareer is now shutdown for everybody. I should've seen it coming, but I'm not hanging on all the news. Again just a Sports Gamer and Casual Basketball Fan Trying To Enjoy the Last Good Sports Game Series.
I guess my quandary for the 2k and the Larger Sports Gaming Community is this: How are we supposed to fully invest in a MyCareer Mode, when you are Never, EVER, are going to be allotted enough time to actually play a Full MyCareer all the way to when you decide you want your guy or gal to retire?
I get that I doodled and I wasn't the main target audience for this game mode and surely some people did make deep runs with their MyCareer Players. But it's just the Sport that is being played here that is the problem. Football is 16 Regular Season Games, with enough dedication, playing through an entire NFL Career in a 2 Year Server Cycle is doable. Soccer varies but European Leagues are a minimum of 30+ League Games and potentially almost double that if you Qualify for all possible Cup Games. Not to mention Internationals. But that is actually somewhat doable when playing 90 Minute Games with FIFA Video Game Length Halves. Basketball & Hockey at 82 Minimum Games & Baseball Especially at Minimum 162 are just not feasible to fully enjoy and fully play every MyCareer Minute this way. I only managed to play and win 60 Games out of 65 for the Milwaukee Bucks in the year and a half or so I've owned 2k19.
I, like many of your consumer base, 2k, EA, whoever and whomever else, work for a living and have limited gaming time. Even kids who make the poor choice to pool their full free time into these games have to go regularly to school. Sadly too true in my case with FIFA, Madden, & NCAA Football back in the day, but at least they were all really, really, good back then. And in NCAA's Case at least it still existed period.
'Copenhagen Halo Bubble Boy' from the The Big Bang Theory Episode: The Peanut Reaction would only barely, maybe, get close to completing a full Basketball, Baseball, or Hockey MyCareer in 2 Fully Dedicated Years. Now the Big Picture Possible Solution for Sports Games would be switching to the Subscription Model. But that topic in full deserves its own article.
Instead let me suggest this, make MyCareer at least transferable from game-to-game if we're still sticking with Annual Releases. The Returning Customer is still hooked, gets his save file adapted to the new game, and gets to continue in his league: yeah boy!! And there's always fresh starting points for new players, or to try to get the returning player to dabble in the new story modes with a new separate player save slot as they come. Similar to some MMOs where creating multiple characters is necessary to fully enjoy the full game.
I don't know, or at least something else close. Otherwise what's the point in playing a Basketball, Baseball, or Hockey MyCareer. Especially Baseball with its Number Chasing and Trying to get a .400 Batting Average Season and Trying to Take the Home Run Record back into Fair Hands from Barry Bonds would be impossible while giving the CPU some of your at-bats. Or at least not very enjoyable if the simulation was that easy. I wasted too much time on that with MLB 2k11 & MLB 2k13. Which I finally decided to do a Starting Pitcher instead of a Pure Hitter. 25 or so games a season is more Soccer Doable. But Baseball still takes a LONG Time to play, playing every pitch.
All I know is that personally, I'll take my NBA 2k19 MyGM as far as I can go with it. Which just got very much harder, since I can NO LONGER access my 50,000 Earned VC: Thank You Very Much!! Hard to sell people on intentionally buying that VC in Micro-Transactions when you're going to pull this plug regularly. Unless you eventually let it roll over to you new games.
Maybe I'll restart a fresh MyLeague for the less restricted version of Team Basketball compared to MyGM. After all I put too much time in making my Custom Draft Classes. Which in the Plus Colum, Props on that Feature.
Then eventually, down the road, I'll be Without ANY Good Simulation Sports Games AT ALL for a time. Unless things actually improve.
We, in my household, may not even buy a Console in this New Next Generation with this lack of selection as I'll occupy myself with Star Trek: Online and Football Manager 16 on PC. I'll bust out my classics. Like I'm considering spending some personal time with NCAA Football 11 for the Recruiting that's Superior to 14. I might even buy a New Classic Original Xbox for my Classics I don't currently have access to. While my wife might be satisfied playing Skyrim on our Xbox One until Jesus Comes Back.
Sorry about the current NCAA Football 14 Series by the way if any of those loyal readers are reading. I'm just not sure if I can get back into it. It's not really a good barometer for OU joining the SEC with me controlling and helping them. Yet, if I were to just sim it and let it ride: the random, unrealistic chaos of the NCAA Series would give us more losses than a true simulation should.
Anyways EA, 2k. Eventually when today's kids realize how bad a hand you've dealt them, you're going to run out of customers to piss off.