Today inside of an announcement about NBA Jam: On Fire Edition EA revealed that they won’t be delivering a new NBA simulation (NBA Live/NBA Elite) until Fall of 2012. That means that TWO whole years will have passed since we last saw a serious NBA title from EA. As many of you know late last year EA announced that the new NBA Live which had been renamed NBA Elite 11 would not make it to retail despite having a demo released. At the time there wasn’t a lot of info on why they choose not to put the game out and we aren’t any closer to finding out why there won’t be one this year.
This is a surprising move to me from EA Sports President Peter Moore, it says that he actually cares about the quality of the game and the quality of the product in the same way that Steve Jobs does at Apple for instance. Let’s be honest, either you are a NBA 2K guy or you are a NBA Live/Elite guy and Moore knows that. He could have put out a less than stellar NBA title both this year and last year and still made millions on it. Yet he choose not to. Personally, I think it’s a very risky move to pretty much let 2K Sports have the NBA market for two whole years, they are going to lose people and those players won’t ever come back.
It has been no secret that I thought the NBA Live/Elite franchise had gotten stale over the past few years but I never thought that a major publisher like EA would do something like this. I have said for years that I think that publishers of yearly sports titles should go to the dual developer model like Call Of Duty, that way one team can always be innovating because they aren’t under the pressure to deliver a title ever year. Ultimately I think this would lead to a much better product for us gamers.
So now you know how I feel but I have one question for you, had the NBA Live/Elite franchise gotten that bad that it needed to be shelved for two whole years? Do you think this is a smart move on EA’s part? How good does whatever the NBA title will be next year have to be to justify this? Would you have accepted a less than stellar title vice nothing at all? NBA Live/Elite fans, how do you feel about this one?