We’re at midcourt, and the ball is about to go up…it’s Monday Tip-Off! Start your week here at the NLSC with a feature that’s dedicated to opinions, commentary, and other fun stuff related to NBA Live, NBA 2K, and other basketball video games. This week, I’m tipping things off with some thoughts on the NBA 2K20 servers being shut down, and the bigger picture of losing content and modes along with online support.
On December 31st, the NBA 2K20 servers were shut down as scheduled. Of course, this isn’t anything new for the series. 2K originally guaranteed 18 months of online support for all of its titles, before extending that period to 27 months following the deactivation and reactivation of NBA 2K14’s servers. These Terms of Service aren’t hidden – beyond the fact that many of us never read the EULA in full, of course – and if you’ve been playing the NBA 2K series for some time, you’re familiar with the drill. As unfortunate as it is, it’s understandable given the way that the userbase moves on.
The problem is that over the years, bigger chunks of the game are disappearing when online support ends. It used to be that we’d lose the ability to set up online games, use the in-game file sharing functionality, and receive any official roster updates. It was still a blow, but the games were largely intact. Now that there’s a larger focus on the connected experience and live service content, server shutdowns are making major modes inaccessible. Even primarily offline moves can be affected, if your save file utilised any online content when it was created. MyCAREER is the big one though, and the shutdown of the NBA 2K20 servers has exposed a troubling approach.