Parent company Take-Two Interactive has released its fiscals for the fourth quarter of 2012 and a list of its 2013 products. Its troubled MLB 2K title doesn’t appear anywhere on the list. Those fourth quarter lists were what first tipped journalists that 2K was out of the hockey and college hoops businesses.
Kotaku pressed Take-Two for a comment and got only confirmation that its current contract with MLB is soon expiring. MLB 2K has struggled more than the Kansas City Royals in recent seasons. The MLB: The Show games have consistently outsold it despite only being available on Sony systems. Take-Two has lost an estimated $30 million per year on its baseball sim. Only the New York Yankees could afford to spend that much on baseball prospects that don’t pan out.
What is likely the final season for MLB 2K ended in absolute disaster. Take-Two had been promoting the game with a $1 million prize for throwing a perfect game. MLB 2K12 launched with significant glitches, which unfortunately had become a hallmark of the fading franchise. 2K Sports announced that to keep The Perfect Game Challenge fair, it wouldn’t patch the game until after the contest ended. Even if you think that makes sense for the contest, people that just bought the game for fun got punished.
Then came allegations of cheating. Some players found an exploit that allowed you to pull the opposing team’s best hitters, yet still get credit for no-hitting them. 2K Sports has remained tight lipped on the controversy. Considering it was almost done with this baseball effort and the bad publicity it’s brought, that’s not surprising.
Take-Two’s contract made it the exclusive third-party publisher for MLB. Microsoft has opted not to do a baseball game. EA Sports, the publisher many might expect to fill this baseball game vacuum, hasn’t announced any intention of bidding for the MLB license. This apparent cancellation leaves only NBA 2K and the Top Spin tennis sim as the only sports games in Take Two’s stable.