EA sports announce that they are cancelling NBA Live 13
Posted on Friday, September 28th, 2012 by Henry Kelly
EA sports officially pulled the plug on NBA Live 13 yesterday. In a statement, which can be found here, Executive Vice President of EA sports, Andrew Wilson explains the product has not yet reached the “high quality experience” he wants for Live fans.
This echoes the statement previously made when NBA Elite 11 (Live’s short lived successor) was cancelled due to overwhelming rumors that the game wasn’t ready. This was all but confirmed when a demo was released and the infamous ‘Jesus pose’ video was posted on YouTube showing Andrew Bynum taking an unplanned religious sabbatical midway through a game.
Sadly this wasn’t the only problem with Elite 11, which suffered from iffy controls and terrible gameplay. What followed was a two year period where EA Sports were mean’t to be pulling their socks up and using the extra time to come back strong this year. With little footage shown at E3, whispers of a nameless fear grew – would NBA live 13 ever be released?
Answers began to surface when it was recently reported that NBA Live 13 would be released as a digital download title. One can only assume this decision was made as the game in question didn’t deliver enough to compete with NBA 2K13 at the same price point. So it is more alarming now that EA have cancelled NBA Live 13 all together. What ever brand loyalty that had developed with the underrated NBA Live 10 is now surely in doubt.
Many fans eagerly awaited NBA Live 13 as a game that could capitalize on NBA 2k’s blind spot: online play but now they have nothing but the faith that 2k might finally offer the reliable servers they have promised for years.
It is hard to understand why EA haven’t been able to release at least a serviceable product in the last 2 years. As previously mentioned. NBA Live 10 was an above average game with some good qualities. It is mystifying that they couldn’t use the assets from that game to make a product that built on NBA Live’s former strengths.
The problem is that the longer EA sit in the shadows with NBA Live 13 the more it relies on their development team making faultless decisions. Sports games for better or worse, evolve from user feedback. Features and controls are introduced and often dropped due to fan response (see the Madden franchise). This allows the developers to take risks while also refining the established features to keep their consumer base satisfied. It’s a little like a parent putting an olive amongst the grapes and seeing the child’s reaction.
The NBA Live does not have this luxury. They are theoretically feeding us all olives and now must hope that we all like the taste. Without complex market feedback that goes beyond regular games testing, NBA Live is at risk at seriously swinging and missing when NBA Live finally resurfaces.