EA Sports has officially announced that NBA Live 13 has been cancelled and will not be released. This marks the second time that the game has been cancelled in the last few years and doesn’t bode well for the franchise going forward. For as much as EA seems to be able to master other sports, they seem to have trouble delivering a quality NBA title. On the one hand you have to respect them not wanting to put out an inferior product, but on the other hand this is starting to get ludicrous. EA generates hundreds of millions in revenue a year and they are telling us they can’t put together the kind of staff that can deliver a quality basketball title? In a change of strategy, EA did give some insight into what went into the decision. Check out the explanation from Andrew Wilson, Executive Vice President, EA SPORTS
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.
My personal opinion is that EA has damaged the NBA Live brand beyond repair. Fans have lost faith in their ability to create a quality NBA title and that will be hard to turn around. If NBA 2K13 delivers the way it should, EA’s possible user base will further shrink. In the sports category, you can’t just sit on the sideline for this long, the longer you do the more time the competition has to convert your old fans. Everybody doesn’t love NBA 2K, but there is no doubt that for the most part the franchise improves every year and with it being the only option people will buy it and once they are converted it will be hard to get them back.
But that’s just me, I want to hear from you all. To all the folks that would still call themselves NBA Live fans, how do you feel about this? Will you continue to wait it out? Have you tried NBA 2K? Has EA lost your business forever? Hit up the comments and let us know.