NBA Elite 11 has kind of turned into a big joke among the sports gaming community. EA Sports had hoped to reinvent the basketball franchise to take on 2K Sports’ immensely popular NBA 2K series. Needless to say, the project was canceled at the last minute. EA transferred the game to another team and gave them a year off to fix it for NBA Live 13. Turns out a year wasn’t enough.
EA Sports announced today that NBA Live 13 has been canceled. The decision came at the last minute, as was the case with NBA Elite 11. Andrew Wilson, Executive Vice President for EA Sports, said the decision was based on the quality of the product. He said that “it’s clear we won’t be ready by October,” the time when basketball video games are released.
This is the third year and the second cancelation that has hit EA Sports’ basketball simulation. The past three years have been dominated by 2K Sports’ critically acclaimed NBA 2K series. This year’s game, NBA 2K13, has many critics saying it’s the best game in the franchise yet. The game even has a playable 1992 Dream Team.
So what does the future hold for the NBA Live brand? Wilson says that the team is currently “delivering new innovation in online, and [their] progress in the visual presentation continues to take big strides.” He also acknowledges that gameplay is king, and that it remains a “huge priority” for the team at EA Tiburon.
Despite promises that the game will be out next year, it’s hard to trust EA anymore. Kotaku’s Owen Good makes an excellent point by saying that it will take a game of “surprising and undeniable quality” to build back the trust that EA Sports has lost as a brand today. We’ll now have to wait until next year to see if NBA Live is still a thing.