2K Sports Not Expected To Renew MLB License

by Matthew Kato on May 23, 2012 at 04:37 AM

2K Sports' Major League Baseball 2K series hasn't always been the best baseball game on the market, and there are indications that 2K and parent company Take-Two Interactive may not renew their licensing agreement with MLB.

Take-Two's financials were released yesterday, and in them the company mentioned it expects the losses brought on by the franchise should lessen by 50 percent. Given that even Take-Two's chairman and CEO Strauss Zelnick has said in the past that the license was a money loser for them, it's believed that Take-Two's buoyed outlook is not because it thinks MLB 2K12 is going to all of a sudden sell millions of copies more than the series ever has.

In fact, Kotaku says it talked to a Take-Two spokesman who said, "Our legacy Major League Baseball agreement will sunset in fiscal 2013. MLB 2K12 is our last offering under that agreement. At this time, we have no further comment."

Furthermore, MLB 2K13 was not listed among 2K's upcoming titles – something that happend to both 2K Sports' NHL and college basketball series before they were dropped.

If 2K Sports does not renew its baseball license, this would create a weird situation for the video game sport. It would leave Sony as the only creators of an MLB-licensed game (under Take-Two's agreement with the MLB, Sony is allowed to make its own MLB games because it is a first-party console manufacturer), giving the PlayStation 3 and Vita de-facto pro baseball exclusives.

The absence of the MLB 2K franchise also means that developer Visual Concepts is down to one series – NBA 2K.

Competitor EA Sports has been out of the baseball game because of Take-Two's agreement, and it's unlikely that EA Sports would put out its own MLB baseball title until the next generation of hardware – not to mention the fact that it might not even scoop up the license.