With NBA Live once among the most popular sports video gaming franchises, EA swung and missed with NBA Elite 11 and has never been able to recover. NBA Live 13, delayed and now officially canceled by its maker, didn't figure to keep up with 2K, and EA finally pulled the plug.
SportsBusiness Journal's Eric Fisher helped spread the news through his Twitter account on Thursday, pinpointing the irony of the success of the FIFA series the same day EA decide to scrap its basketball counterpart.
On day where EA announced boffo initial sales for FIFA, news also comes that company has killed NBA Live 13 altogether.— Eric Fisher (@EricFisherSBJ) September 27, 2012
The news should come as no shock to gaming fans. While the Live series was once the king of the NBA basketball realm, 2K Sports jumped in with better gameplay, graphics and an overall better sense of what fans wanted out of their gaming experience.
Just this year, 2K added the Dream Team vs. Redeem Team to its playing format and got the rights to use almost all of the 1992 Olympic Men's Basketball team to its product.
In an age where keeping up is pivotal, it just seems like EA wasn't cutting the mustard. NBA Elite 11 got horrible reviews, with expanded controls and difficult settings made things hard for users to get a hold of.
2K Sports jumped in with two consecutive successful games, capitalizing on some of the things NBA Live wasn't able to accomplish.
It's not as if the return of the Live franchise was exciting fans to the point of EA trying to pull this one off. Reviews of demos and trailers left fans wanting more and apparently convinced EA that even with a delayed release to touch up some of the features they wanted to be better, it wasn't enough.
It is a sad day for gamers who were playing Live in the 1990s, but it's also a great development for 2K, which looks to have a monopoly on the NBA franchise, for the time being. In the official statement released by EA, they apologize to fans this year but don't rule out the game being back again soon.
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.
Although it's disappointing for EA, it's good news for other companies looking to get into the basketball gaming world. Who knows, maybe NBA Jam will make a huge comeback, and we can once again be enamored with huge heads on small NBA bodies.