In a blog post by EA Sports VP Andrew Wilson, it has been announced that NBA LIVE 13 will not be seeing the day of light and that the studio will be refocusing on delivering the next installment on the basketball sim next year. This news comes after returning the brand name from NBA Elite to NBA LIVE earlier this year.
Wilson has detailed the reason behind the decision in the blog post, an excerpt of which can be found below:
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.
Other contributing factors have affected the development of the title, according to Wilson, including incorporating fan feedback and new technology tasked by a new studio while also simultaneously building the development team.
The last NBA game to come from EA was in 2009 with NBA LIVE 10, as NBA Elite 11 was delayed and subsequently canned the following year.
Analysis: In all honesty, the only way 2K’s hold of the basketball sim genre could’ve grown stronger over the last few years would have been if EA never released a title. Most appear to be in agreement that 2K has simply outclassed EA for quite a long time.
But in reality, sports titles are notoriously criticized for being a copy and paste job of the last year’s title with maybe a few enhancements in the visual department and physics engine, so it would appear that EA has either really hit a speed bump in development or are actively trying to produce a product that will give 2K a true run for its money.
Despite this, there’s a chance that within three years, none of this will matter. The NBA license is undoubtedly expensive, and frankly, EA is a bigger company that can handle the cost of the license more so than 2K. It won’t be the most shocking development if 2K decided to withdraw from the basketball sim world, leaving only NBA LIVE left in the market for better and for worse. Mostly worse, though.