Owen Good, over at Kotaku, has an interesting piece on the surprising resurgence of popularity in NBA 2K11

At first blush it doesn’t seem to stand out: NBA 2K11 cracked the top 20 of most played titles on the Xbox 360 for the week of Jan. 16. But when you peel it back, that’s actually quite astonishing, to see an old version of a sports video game resurface more than 15 months after its release.

Surprising it is, although not altogether unbelievable. 

Whilst the guys at 2K Sports would be happy with this increased shelf-life of an old title, it may cast unfavourable aspersions on their newer NBA 2K12 hoops game.

As Good points out, there could be a few factors at play here:

  • The “Jordan Challenge” mode on NBA 2K11 was extremely popular and emblematic in hoops games in recent times;
  • There have been problems with the 2K12 multiplayer mode;
  • Simply, the price of an older title is always cheaper after reductions come into shops;
  • A case of possible confusion, when people look at the similar Jordan cover of the 2K11/2K12 titles. Irregular sports gamers can be confused by the naming conventions on yearly release sports games.

The other thing is, there has been some negative sentiment with regard to the playability of 2K12 amongst some gamers. Many will claim that 2K11 is simply “too hard” which is often put off as “game play problems” amongst those that are struggling to play a tightly controlled simulation. For the casual gamers — those more inclined toward the likes of NBA JAM — a sports sim can be too full-on sometimes. And often, you will simply play the game that your friends are playing, thus leading to a return to the more favoured NBA 2K11.   

Whatever the reason, it’s an interesting set of circumstances to see in play.