MLB 2K12 Perfect Game Challenge dogged by cheating allegations

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2K Sports’ baseball games haven’t exactly been award-winning in recent years. Even so, 2K has managed to drum up sales and interest by offering a $1 million prize for throwing a perfect game.

Now, there are serious questions about how that contest is being run.

An article Kotaku mentions an exchange of text messages between two contestants: Scott Young and William Haff.  Young alleges that Haff used an exploit in which he removed several of a team’s best hitters to throw his perfect game. Among the changes 2K Sports made to 2012’s contest was an algorithm that ranks perfect games based on degree of difficulty. That way, using a weaker pitcher against a strong team earned more points. 2K didn’t implement anything preventing players from tampering with the opposing lineup, however.

There was apparently nothing in the game’s official rules to prevent players from doing this. Haff initially denied using this exploit. Kotaku’s Owen Good confronted him with text messages in which he admitted it and expressed his belief that other contest finalists had done the same. Haff would then say only that he stood by 2K Sports’ verification process. In any case, Haff is one of eight finalists who will journey to New York for a tournament to determine the contest’s winner.

2K Sports released only a brief statement saying the contest was run properly and it looks forward to crowning a winner May 10, 2012.

Publisher Take-Two Interactive likely wants no part of a scandal for one of its biggest PR promotions.  Even before it started giving away million-dollar prizes, MLB 2K12 has been a money-losing proposition. Analyst Michael Pachter estimates Take-Two loses $3o million every year on the MLB 2K series. Those grim financial facts lead many to suspect MLB 2K12 is the series’ swan song anyway.

If so, it’s going to leave bad memories for a lot of baseball fans who tried to achieve perfection.

Read [Kotaku] Also Read [Pastapadre]

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