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Server shutdown for NBA 2K14 threatens career save files (Update: Servers restored)

Owen S. Good is a longtime veteran of video games writing, well known for his coverage of sports and racing games.

The servers for NBA 2K14 — this is the version of the game released in 2013 — will be turned off at the end of March, 2K Sports announced this weekend. Though the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One versions had offline career save files dependent on server access, 2K Sports has clarified that these files will still be usable after the game's online support is retired.

Update 4/7: In response to vehement user outrage over the servers' shutdowns and the loss of career progress, 2K Sports has restored the NBA 2K14 servers for the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One editions, and promised that all games in the future will get at least 18 to 27 months of online support. More details are here.

Update 4/6: Users are reporting that they have no access to MyCareer or MyGM files created online, and are being sent a form email from 2K Support saying those careers have been "retired" along with the servers, despite 2K Sports' claims otherwise. For more, see here.

Update 3/2: A 2K Sports representative told Polygon on Monday that "online files will not disappear, but rather they will turn to offline saves and earn skill points as opposed to VC."

The remainder of the original post follows.

NBA 2K14 had a disastrous launch on those two platforms back in November 2013, largely owing to balky online servers that 2K Sports seems never to have gotten right despite annual promises otherwise. In this game's case — and only on PS4 and Xbox One — save files for the MyCareer and MyGM modes depended on access to the 2K Sports servers.

The question, then, is will turning off the servers for NBA 2K14 wipe out access to those career save files, even if they're predominantly played offline?

The post announcing the server shutdown says only: "You will no longer be able to play ranked games/online association."

NBA 2K14 was not — technically — an "always online" game. If you couldn't access your save file because the NBA 2K14 servers were down, you could still play MyCareer or MyGM — but you had to create an entirely new, offline save file to do so.

The server shutdown does not affect NBA 2K15, the most current edition of the series. That said, without a clear signal from 2K that the shutdown won't affect save files (or the game will be patched to remove the server check-in) more casual players who bought the game and forgot about it may log on later and find their careers abruptly cut short.

While NBA 2K14 was a free offering on PlayStation Plus last year, it was only on PlayStation 3; that version's career savefiles do not face the same online requirement.

I have reached out to 2K Sports representatives for clarification, and will update this story with any reply I receive.

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