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NBA 2K14 server shutdown ends players' career modes (Update: Servers restored)

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

When NBA 2K14's online support was scheduled to shut down March 31 after 16 months in service, 2K Sports told PlayStation 4 and Xbox One players that their career save games would not be affected, and they could continue playing those careers offline. Turns out that's not true.

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.

On March 31, 2K Sports deactivated servers for all editions of NBA 2K14. The PS4 and Xbox One edition, which launched with those consoles in November 2013, had a different save procedure for the MyCareer and MyGM modes: The default file save required an online check-in. Players discovered this when server problems at launch kept them out of playing their careers, even offline by themselves. It was possible to create a new offline file save, but that required starting all over.

When the shutdown was announced at the end of February, NBA 2K gamers mindful of those troubles wondered if this would render their save files useless. A 2K Sports representative told Polygon that the files would be converted for offline use, even if they would no longer accrue Virtual Currency, which also is being retired on NBA 2K14.

"Online files will not disappear, but rather they will turn to offline saves and earn skill points as opposed to VC," 2K Sports said at the time.

Not so. According to a form response 2K Support has been sending users, which one provided to Polygon, these save files also are being "retired."

"This means that if you had created a MyCareer or a MyGM online save file that was once connected to our servers it too sadly has retired and is no longer available for use and it would be necessary to re-create these files as offline saves," 2K Support says.

They go on to say:

Sadly this may come as an inconvenience to some of you and if so we truly do understand and can feel for how upsetting this may seem as there always is a special bond that occurs between a player and their MyCareer save but all good things must come to an end and rest assured your MyCareer or MyGM went out while on top!

What's left to play in NBA 2K14? The career modes still are accessible — but players will need to start from scratch with them. "Basically, you can still play quick game and off-line modes," the support email says.

"We hope you enjoyed your amazing experience with NBA 2K14's online services and you can look forward to the continue experience [sic] they provide in NBA 2K15!" the email adds.

Polygon reached out to 2K Sports this morning for comment — particularly if NBA 2K15 will face the same problems whenever its online support is retired — and will update this story with any reply.

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