When it comes to video gaming, fans of College Basketball are simply out of luck. How did we get to this point? How is it even possible that there are no NCAA hoops games available? Let’s go back to 2007.
College Hoops 2k8 was released by 2k Sports and was a hit. It certainly wasn’t the best basketball sim ever, but it was solid. It had nearly every D-1 school in the game and a majority of their actual arenas and gyms. With a player editor you could change the names, numbers, and features of any player in the game to make them like their real life counterparts.
Sadly, after an alleged dispute with EA Sports, this would be the last iteration of the College Hoops 2k franchise. That was nearly 5 years ago.
EA Sports meanwhile was continuing to release it’s very inferior NCAA March Madness. It would change the name over to NCAA Basketball in 2008 after 2k bowed out. NCAA Basketball 10 easily had the most potential however.
Not only did NCAA Basketball 10 utilize full ESPN broadcast presentation and graphics, it also incorporated CBS Sports broadcast presentation as well. This was completely ground breaking. Most regular season weekday games would of course use ESPN and their broadcast announcers, Brad Nessler, Dick Vitale, and Erin Andrews. However, during key weekend dates, big games, and all of the NCAA tournament, you’d get the CBS overlay with announcers Gus Johnson and Bill Raftery. That right there was a big reason this game could’ve been great.
Unfortunately, the game play was atrocious and nearly unplayable. So it was over 2 years ago when EA Sports put a halt to their NCAA Basketball franchise. There hasn’t been a game made since, and there hasn’t been a single confirmed announcement about future NCAA hoops games.
2K should be jumping at this golden opportunity sitting in front of them. First off, they have NBA 2k which is in its 2nd year of greatness. 2k11 won Sports Game of the Year across the board. Utilizing their NBA game play engine would be the obvious step into re-solidifying a once thriving franchise. It also makes for an incredible alternative to those who don’t care for the NBA.
On top of that, 2K doesn’t excel at anything else. MLB 2k12 is rumored to be the final version of its baseball series because, well, it isn’t very good. MLB 2k hasn’t held a candle to EA Sports’ MVP 05 since they took the exclusive license from them. Not to mention MLB: The Show has been a vastly superior product on the PS3. It’s laughable really that they put resources into a terrible game…on top of giving away $1,000,000 every year to someone who throws a perfect game. Think about how much the game could improve with a million bucks.
Obviously, there is no football from 2k as that belongs to EA Sports and Madden…another highly overrated product.
2k hockey has been put on brief hiatus as well, even on Wii. EA has hockey down and even if 2k came back, it would be very inferior.
Clearly there is a void here that needs filled. November of 2012 would be the perfect opportunity to release College Hoops 2k13. The game engine is there, the fans are clearly there (many consider CH 2k8 the best sports game of all time), and 2k doesn’t have a lot else going on.