The Lockout Could Cost 2K Sports $40 Million

The tentacles of this lockout will spread far and wide if it drags on.  Of course owners and players are taking hits.  And we’ve already seen teams start to lay off employees as revenue streams dry up.  Soon, the businesses that surround arenas will start to feel the sting as they deal without the 15 to 18 thousand people that go to and from games.  Hotels will see empty rooms.  Restaurants will see empty booths.  Bars will see empty stools.  

Everywhere we turn, some business is feeling the pinch.  Now comes word that even the makers of NBA video games will get hit hard. 

Sterne Agee analyst Arvind Bhatia issued an investor note this morning that stated if the NBA lockout does not end, sales of NBA 2K12 will be softer than predicted.

Just yesterday, Take-Two reported its latest quarterly earnings, saying NBA 2K11 has sold 5.5 million copies. However, Bhatia’s firm is currently projecting that sales of NBA 2K12 could fall off by 1 million units over last year. Sales at this level would diminish Take-Two’s earnings by $40 million, he projected.

Ouch.  And I thought NBA fans would turn to video games to ease the sting of the lack of hoops.  But it does make sense that without the games, there will be no advertising.  And without the TV ads to really push the game, sales to more casual fans will dip.  

The move to add all the legends will help.  A lot of fans who bought the 2K11 version will flock to the 2K12 version just to play as their favorite legend.  Getting people to upgrade year-to-year like that will be a big help.  But there’s still no doubt that no basketball will hurt the bottom line.

The folks at 2K Sports need to get creative.  Maybe they can buy some commercial time during NFL games.  Maybe they should get NFL players who are huge basketball fans to start pitching the game. 

How about a commercial with Derrick Rose playing Brian Urlacher in NBA 2K12?  When DRose wins, you see Urlacher get all angry, make a run at DRose and then the commercial will cut to the full screen game stuff just before he gets hit.  Then when you see Rose again, he’s embedded in a wall cartoon-style while delivering some witty one-liner like “good thing we’re in a lockout.”  

Ok, it would be wittier than that.  I’m a blogger, not a commercial writer.  I think what I’ve got there is pretty good, though.  And all I ask in return, 2K Sports, is a free copy.  OOOH, and a hidden “blogger mode” in the game.  You know, one where I can make snarky comments as the game goes on?  Maybe you can integrate Twitter into it?  

You know, I think I might have a problem.