After only 16 months, some basketball careers are over for good in NBA 2K14.
Update on 4/08: 2K Sports restored the online servers for NBA 2K14 and changed its policy regarding online support for its basketball franchise. Single-player save files for 2K14 work again. Read more here.
2K Sports, the game’s publisher, shut down the online servers for the PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, Xbox One and Xbox 360 versions of NBA 2K14 on March 31. The game released on Nov. 15, 2013 for the PS4 and Nov. 22 on the Xbox One. Along with losing online multiplayer functionality for the game, PS4 and Xbox One players have also lost their save files and progress across different single-player modes.
The game’s save files for both MyCareer and MyGM modes were dependent on the online servers to work. In MyCareer, users can create a player who begins as a rookie and develops into a potential hall of fame athlete during each 82 game season. MyGM lets players take over all aspects of a franchise, managing a team through a season to winning an NBA championship.
The save files for both modes needed an online check-in to the 2K Sports’ servers, otherwise it wouldn’t let you play. The check-in was tied into 2K14’s Virtual Currency, in-game money that could be used to boost a player’s stats, buy gear or unlock more abilities in MyGM. VC could be earned by playing the game or when something was accomplished, like completing a challenge or reaching a milestone. The game then checked into 2K’s servers to credit the user’s account with their VC balance anytime it increased or was spent.
2K announced the online shutdown for NBA 2K14 on March 1, but assured players that save data wouldn’t be affected. That data was supposed to be converted to offline saves, allowing progress to continue in those modes by earning skill points instead of VC.
Since the 2K14 servers went offline, save files for both modes no longer work. Now when trying to play 2K14 with the old progress the game gives the message, “This save requires an active connection to the 2K Sports servers.” Creating a new save is the only way to continue playing those modes.
In a response provided to Polygon, those online save files are now considered “retired” by 2K and can’t be used again in 2K14. A new save file, and therefore an all-new player or franchise, needs to be created to play MyCareer or MyGM in offline mode. Any old data is now unusable, which essentially resets each user’s career history and progress across both modes.
2K Support gave this odd message in response to the lost saves:
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!
2K’s Virtual Currency was also microtransactions that could be bought with real money. The VC was so built into NBA 2K14 that it was shared across all game modes, so spending it on something in MyCareer would lower the balance when switching over to MyGM. The system encouraged players to spend additional money on VC to speed up their created player’s skills and progress in the career mode or get more options for their franchise in MyGM. Around the game’s launch, server issues prevented users from playing those modes.
Besides losing their game saves, users who also spent real money on the Virtual Currency in NBA 2K14 are out of luck. VC bought and earned through gameplay doesn’t transfer over to NBA 2K15. Any VC used on those saves before the servers closed are now gone. 2K ended sales of the game’s Virtual Currency on Jan. 27.
NBA 2K15 is the latest game in the franchise, which released on Oct. 7, 2014. The 2K15 servers are still operational. The series is developed by Visual Concepts.