NBA Live ’13 Cancelled
For the second time in recent memory, a NBA game developed by EA has been axed near its release date: NBA Live ’13 has hit the cutting room floor. “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.”, said Andrew Wilson, executive VP of the series, announcing the news on the NBA Live site. The game was slated to come out this October, and instead of delaying it, EA decided to full on throw it out instead of just releasing it late. What is workable from NBA Live ’13, however, will be turned into NBA Live ’14.
The events of this year’s NBA Live game echo 2010′s NBA Elite ’11, which was canceled weeks before its release date. A demo was released, and it was critically panned for its terrible AI and hilarious glitches.
I believe this highlights a problem in the sports franchise cycle. Forcing the games to be annual and to release at specific times cuts the amount of time each game is being developed. We see less new ideas coming from these games, and the release of these games goes from “interesting new release” to “tired retread” quickly. Maybe NBA games coming out every two years isn’t a bad thing, but so far, there hasn’t been an EA basketball game since 2009, and 2k’s NBA 2k series continues to thrive.