2K Sports pulls MLB 2K games offline, not renewing series for 2014 (update)

MLB 2K publisher Take-Two Interactive seems to have erased the now-defunct simulation baseball franchise from the internet, reports Pasta Padre.

The Major League Baseball 2K series began in 2004 with ESPN Major League Baseball 2K4; it originated in Sega's World Series Baseball franchise, which debuted in 1994. Take-Two published the MLB 2K series under the 2K Sports label, and gave no indications after the release of Major League Baseball 2K12 in March 2012 that it was planning to release another MLB 2K title.

Last January saw the surprise announcement from Take-Two of Major League Baseball 2K13 (screenshot above). It was released in March 2013 and widely criticized as being essentially the same game as its predecessor, except with updated rosters.

All mentions of MLB 2K titles — game pages, press releases and more — have been removed from the 2K Games website, along with the MLB 2K section of the 2K Forums. (You can see a press release from MLB 2K10's launch day in 2010 here via Google Cache, but if you try to go directly to the page, you'll be redirected to the 2K home page.)

The Major League Baseball 2K series began in 2004

Searching for any of the MLB 2K games on the 2K website returns no results. In addition, the franchise's Facebook page — which had more than 328,000 Likes as of Dec. 27, 2013, according to a cached version — is also gone. And the Windows PC and Xbox 360 versions of Major League Baseball 2K10, Major League Baseball 2K11 and Major League Baseball 2K12 are no longer available for purchase on Steam or Xbox Games Store, respectively.

The deletions appear to have taken place at the turn of the new year, which would seem to indicate that Take-Two's licensing agreement with Major League Baseball for MLB 2K13 expired on Dec. 31. At this point, with no other publisher stepping in to produce a baseball title, Sony Computer Entertainment's MLB 14 The Show will be the only MLB-licensed simulation baseball game on new consoles this year, leaving Xbox One owners in the lurch.

We've reached out to 2K Sports for comment, and will update this article with any information we receive.

Update: A representative for 2K Sports provided Polygon with the following statement: "We have decided not to renew our MLB 2K series for 2014. We are very proud of the achievements made by the MLB 2K team and look forward to their contributions to our future titles, including NBA 2K — our industry's #1 rated and #1 selling basketball franchise."

Both the MLB 2K and NBA 2K series are developed by Visual Concepts. We've also asked 2K Sports if online play for existing MLB 2K games will be affected by this announcement, and will report back with any updates.

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