Back in 2010, EA cancelled their new take on their flagship NBA product with NBA Elite. The cancel came last minute, with a handful of review copies even making their way to members of the gaming press. Again, EA can’t beat the shot clock. With their game coming down to the wire, they’ve decided to cancel NBA Live 13; even despite only weeks away from its planned release date.
EA Sports executive vice president Andrew Wilson left this explanation on EA Sports blog:
After a lot of consideration, we have made the decision to not launch NBA LIVE 13. I’d like to give you a bit of perspective.
When we started the process of bringing back NBA LIVE, we knew it was going to be a long journey. We started by moving the game to a new studio. We brought in some of the best new technology that has helped fuel innovation in our other games. We launched an even deeper level of engagement with our community to gather more feedback directly from fans. And we built a whole new development team to bring it all to life. We felt like we were on the right path.
We also made a commitment to deliver a high quality experience — this is what our fans expect and what we demand of ourselves at EA SPORTS. But making great games is not easy, and we’re just not there yet on NBA LIVE 13. Having continued to look at the game over the past few days, it’s clear that we won’t be ready in October. And rather than launch midway through the season, we’re going to sit out the full year and stay focused on making next year’s game great. This decision puts us on the right track for success well into the future in a rapidly changing industry.
I’m disappointed that we have not yet met our high expectations with NBA LIVE, but I remain motivated about where we’re going. We’re committed to delivering new innovation in online, and our progress in the visual presentation of the game continues to take big strides. We also know that a great game starts with great gameplay, and this remains a huge priority for us.
This wasn’t an easy decision, but it’s the right one for our fans. I hope you’ll agree when you’re able to play the game next year.
While it’s difficult to argue that this is the right move if the company doesn’t feel confident enough in the game to meet the NBA season deadline, with two cancellations now, and the second one being their supposed return after dusting themselves off, faith in a real return is dwindling.
The move also gives plenty of room for NBA 2K13 to continue to build loyalty to their NBA franchise, which sells and reviews well annually.
What are your thoughts on this foul move?