Developers try and give a game's online servers a few years before they unceremoniously yank out the plug. Developers can't be expected to continue putting money into empty servers forever, so it eventually has to happen, but the hope is that they'll wait until the servers are just that – empty. Generally, we'd hope that developers wouldn't turn the servers off for a 13-month-old game, especially one that's currently the 12th best-selling game of the year. And yet, that's just what 2K is doing with NBA 2K11.(opens in new tab)
2K Games' plans to shut down the servers later this month is a strange move. While it technically makes sense, with NBA 2K12 on shelves and arguably better in just about every way, 13 months seems like a remarkably short amount of time, especially when the NPD says that it's one of the best-selling games of the year. The reason shutting servers down is usually acceptable is because sales drop off after the first few months. This simply isn't the case with 2K11, and 2K Games has to know that. If millions of gamers bought the game within the last few months, shutting off the game's servers now is a slap in the face.
Making things even worse is the sad state of 2K12's servers at launch. When it was first released game had numerous online problems, something 2K has acknowledged at the time. The issue led to many choosing to simply stick with 2K11 instead of jumping over to the new version. While they were the minority, it's still a shame to see them cut off so early.
The servers are to shut down later this month, and we'll be sure to let you know if anything changes. Who knows? Maybe they'll respond to the outcry and let 2K11 fans keep playing, at least for a few more months...