Players of both NBA 2K15 and NBA 2K14 can breath a little easier now knowing that their game save won’t be ruined by a planned server shutdown from 2K Games. Earlier today 2K confirmed that it’d put the servers for NBA 2K14 back online. It’s also extending the amount of time users can play NBA 2K15’s online modes.
In a statement sent to video game website Polygon late yesterday, 2K Games confirmed that it had already put the servers for NBA 2K14 back online saying, “ [we have] restored the NBA 2k14 servers and all online services.”
That’s very good news for NBA 2K14 fans who likely started up their consoles this week only to realize that they couldn’t use their single player game saves because they were still reaching out to 2K’s servers for some reason. 2K Games shut down the servers for the popular basketball title on March 31st. Everyone expected that their multiplayer and online saves would stop working, but no one was expecting that to hamper single player experiences.
The NBA 2K franchise has long offered a career mode that allows users to simulate a real career in the National Basketball Association. The game offered players a choice of playing offline or online. Playing online included some perks. The root of the problem seems to by that 2K Games didn’t make it clear enough to users that they were choosing to play online. What’s more, there’s no way to switch an online version of career mode to an offline version. Also, the Xbox One and PS4 versions of NBA 2K14 included online checks for the game servers even when they were playing something in a single player offline fashion.
The public outcry about server shutdowns seems to have had a positive effect on the franchise going forward to. For years, 2K had one of the most aggressive release and upgrade schedule in gaming. Every year there’s a new entry in the franchise along. To keep costs down, 2K Games would shut down servers for older titles in the franchise after just 18 months. Compared to other video games, this server retirement policy was pretty aggressive. For example, Microsoft’s Xbox 360 still offers Halo 3 online play. Madden NFL 12, another sports game, still has online servers running. Madden NFL 12 arrived on store shelves back in 2011.
The statement to Polygon confirms that going forward the developer will wait to shut down online servers and features for 27 months after a game’s release. This change means that NBA 2K15, which only arrived on the Xbox One, PS4 and other platforms last fall, will run correctly until the developer is presumably ready to debut NBA 2K17 in 2016. Presumably, still having online play intact will allow some gamers who’d have upgraded to the new version immediately to keep the version they already own. Of course, that’s just theory.
Wasn’t isn’t theory is that this move saves NBA 2K14 players from loosing a lot of their hard work and from having to upgrade within two years if they’d like to continue playing online.
This likely isn’t the last time we’ll hear about video game developers being forced to keep their servers online longer thanks to feedback from the wider community. A growing number of games are abandoning single player modes and entirely focusing on multiplayer. For example, Respawn Entertainment’s Titanfall game for the Xbox One has a campaign that still relies on multiplayer and online servers. Charging users $60 for just a multiplayer experience is more acceptable, but only as long as developers are committed to providing support for those games over the long-term.
NBA 2K15 is $56.99 on the Xbox One and $47.99 for the PS4 at Amazon.