The studio has not released a NBA game since 2010 and a number of EA executives have come forward and explained the reasons behind the move and assured fans that they will release a basketball simulation when it’s up to the mark.
A number of NBA games have been rumoured and release dates thrown around in the past. There were demos at E3 and talk about the latest NBA game from time to time as well but in the end a final product has been found missing.
This should come as a surprise to many seeing how EA has some of the most successful and well-known franchises and series amongst its portfolio. This includes the likes of FIFA, Tiger Woods, Madden and NHL. At the same time the publisher has the likes of Battlefield, Mass Effect, Dead Space and Need for Speed, to name a few, under its belt as well.
So one has to wonder why the publisher has not released an NBA title since 2010, during which the 2K series has taken control of the basketball simulation space and pretty much holds a monopoly as well.
Andrew Wilson, the executive Vice-President of EA Sports, went on record explaining his reasons for axing the long awaited release of the series.
“Making great games is not easy, and we’re just not there yet on NBA LIVE 13.” Whether or not that meant that the game still has hope of being released later on this year or in the next year is debatable but from all the information available at this time it seems highly unlikely.
At the same time, Frank Gibeau, the label head at EA, also explained that the game did not meet their standards during the testing stage and the feedback received was not good enough to have the EA label smacked onto it.
Gibeau explained that the publisher always aims for “A spectacular core product (which) sets us up for big opportunities with online services. This year’s NBA Live did not meet that test. We take this situation seriously.”
Gibeau continued by pointing out the exceptional quality of their other franchises and how they still wanted to enter the basketball space, but only when the product was on par with the likes of FIFA, Madden and NHL.
“EA Sports is committed to basketball, and we will publish a basketball game when we can match the quality of franchises like Madden NFL, NHL Hockey, Tiger Woods PGA Tour and FIFA Soccer.”
FIFA 13 has sold over 7-million units since its release and is well on its way to setting a new record in the interactive entertainment industry for a sports title. Whether or not an NBA LIVE title sees the light of day in the near future is something that remains to be seen.