EA Sports Mysteriously Delays NBA Live 13
Fans of digitized sports may or may not realize that EA hasn’t released a basketball game for quite a while. I wrote about it in the final installment of All Your History: EA Sports, but if missed it, here’s the short version: in 2010, EA Sports issued a last-minute cancelation on NBA Elite 11, the franchise that was to replace their Live franchise with a brand-new game engine. Despite the new engine’s potential, it was full of bugs and problems very close to when the game’s planned launch. After Elite’s demo became a YouTube laughingstock, EA Sports pulled the plug and basically said, “see you in 2012.”
Yet, here we are. EA Sports posted the above trailer for the game—featuring Jeremy Lin in a Rockets jersey and Dwight Howard as a Laker, among others—and it looks as great as a new, high-definition basketball game from EA Sports would. But with the trailer, EA offered up this nugget of news:
“Many fans have been anticipating an early October launch, but our plan is to release at a later date. We will share more information in the future.”
The new season of the NBA starts in the last week of October. How much later are they planning on shipping the game? In an interview with Kotaku from 2010, EA boss John Riccitello explained the rationale behind canceling Elite, and why they didn’t bother releasing it later after more work could be done:
“We could have put the game back in production and showed up back in time for, say, the All-Star Break… but when you look at the data, typically somewhere between 85 and 90% of basketball games ship between launch date and the All-Star game so we would have been competing for, what, half of the last 10%? And the knock-on effect would have been that the team that would otherwise have been working on the following year’s product would have three fewer months to build it.”
So there you go. NBA 2K 13 from 2K Sports hits shelves on October 2—so how many people will wait for EA’s triumphant return to the court? And if they don’t release their game this year, will they really wait until Fall 2013 to come back to basketball?
Troubling times, basketballers. Troubling times indeed.