Last year, 2K Sports did a shrewd thing, bootstrapping its flagging MLB 2K series to its best-in-class NBA 2K in a combo package announced a month before the baseball game was due for release. The publisher is doing the same thing again this year, but listing the bundle for $10 more.
The combo pack is $79.99 and will be available on March 5, when MLB 2K13 hits shelves. Yes, technically, both games retail for $59.99 each, but four months after release, NBA 2K13 may be found new-in-the-box for $29.99 to $39.99 for consoles.
Expectations are low for MLB 2K13, which was a last-minute announcement and appears to be rolling out under a one-year deal only. 2K Sports was, by all appearances, ready to walk away once its license with Major League Baseball expired at the end of 2012. That would have meant no new baseball game on the Xbox 360, North America's dominant console, in this season. Evidently baseball wasn't willing to take that, and struck a new pact with 2K, having no other options.
The Combo Pack may make little consumer sense for those who are interested primarily in baseball, or in basketball only. It makes good sense for 2K, as it widens a sales potential on the PlayStation 3, where Sony's in-house MLB The Show series is utterly dominant, and there is no basketball option other than NBA 2K13, one of 2012's best sports video games and a widely acclaimed series for many years.
Correction: The previous headline mistakenly quoted the combo pack's price. It has been corrected.