NBA 2K12’s online issues became a hot topic as soon as the game released and there were issues. Players complained about random disconnects, not being able to get a game started, and several other issues. And then there
were are the issues with My Player mode but I won’t get into that here. It seems that more than the issues players have been experiencing online with NBA 2K12, players have been getting frustrated with the 2K Sports lack of information about what the issue is and how they plan to get it fixed. Even though it may be a little late for some, 2K Sports has finally come out and acknowledged what could possibly be the culprit in an interview with Kotaku.
It seems all the problems this year stem from the little known fact, until now that is, that Visual Concepts decided that this year was the right time to completely rewrite the online codebase for the modern generation of consoles. The old code that has powered the online portion of the 2K franchise dates back to its days on Dreamcast (which I actually owned and loved by the way). Rather than try to explain this ourselves, we will let Jeff Thomas, the director of development at Visual Concepts explain.
Going into NBA 2K12 the code was still the same code from the modem days of the Dreamcast,” Thomas said. Added-on and modified to account for broadband communications and other modern developments, it still was a relic from the old NFL 2K1 days, the first sports console title with online multiplayer capability. Though fondly recalled for dazzling celebrities at the 2K booth at E3 10 years ago, it had to go. This was the year to do it, 2K Sports decided.
The decision to change online codebases affected everything about the game’s online offerings. As this would be a first run, Thomas directed the team to remove complex features that, although manageable in the old creaky architecture, couldn’t be integrated with the new code in time for the game’s shipping date—which, of course, is set by the NBA…..Though Thomas cannot promise anything, he also sincerely did not rule out My Crew’s return in future editions, attributing its absence in NBA 2K12 solely to the new codebase.
So there you have it folks, blame it on the new codebase. While it sucks that it has to happen at all, this should mean that the online experience in NBA 2K going forward should be much better. Ultimately, we would wish that developers could get out all the bugs before a game releases but with these yearly sports titles it almost guaranted that games will see issues when they make major code adjustments rather than making tweaks to an existing code base. I have written in the past about the need for a two developer team for yearly sports titles, similar to what they do with the Call Of Duty franchise. If they did this then it would allow them time to make major overhauls to a game’s codebase when they needed to without having to put players through these growing pains. As a fan of the NBA 2K franchise this doesn’t really make me feel any better but I am glad to finally know what has behind all the issues and to know why Crews didn’t make it in the game this year.
So what do you think folks, do you understand all the issues or is this just unacceptable?