EA: Cancelled NBA Elite "Was Going to Be a Bad Game"

EA: Cancelled NBA Elite "Was Going to Be a Bad Game"

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It's never a good idea to completely shelve a game, but EA Sports might have made the tough call cancelling NBA Elite for the right reason.

NBA Elite was supposed to be a rebirth. EA Sports renamed the NBA Live franchise and wanted to completely change the way that players went about controlling a basketball game. Unfortunately, the game sucked, and EA decided to pull the plug on a 2010 release, leaving NBA 2K11 as the sole basketball sim on the market this year. (I don't count NBA Jam as a sim, even though it is awesome.) The cancellation caused a shakeup in how sports games are managed at EA Sports to prevent this kind of thing from happening again. Development of future NBA games have also been shifted from EA Canada to EA Tiburon, makers of the Madden franchise. EA Sports exec Andrew Wilson said that it was hard to make the choice to cancel the game, but that it had to be done in order to release a strong product.

"We're proud that we made the choice to not just put something out there that wasn't good," Wilson said. "Ultimately, it was just going to be a bad game."

The goals for releasing a rebooted NBA Live 2011 might just have been a little too ambitious. "I think that the goal of reinventing how people play basketball games and giving the gamer infinitely more control over the outcomes that appear on the screen in front of them, was something that just needed to take longer than we had," Wilson said. "We knew the goal was aggressive. But at the same time, we believed it was an important enough goal for the gamer, who'd been playing basketball games in a very similar way for a very long time."

Wilson also wanted to make clear that the development shifting to Tiburon was not in any way an indictment of the work that EA Canada had already accomplished. "This is not about the current Elite team failing," Wilson said. "In fact, I think they did a tremendous job to get to where they did. I'm very proud of their willingness to jump in and take a risk and try and reinvent the business."

Still, with over a year of development already underway, it's possible that the next as-yet-unannounced NBA Elite game will be something special. I respect that EA didn't feel obligated to release a game that might not have been able to compete with 2K Sports' excellent NBA 2K11, but I look forward to the renewed series rivalry next year.

Source: IGN

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not to sound like a douche bag but so what, why would I want to play a game on my PS3 when I can just as easily go outside and play it, AND save myself $60+.

Serves 'em right for getting NFL 2K5, the last truly great NFL-licensed football game, sent into obscurity.

I love the new EA.

vanthebaron:
not to sound like a douche bag but so what, why would I want to play a game on my PS3 when I can just as easily go outside and play it, AND save myself $60+.

I don't see the reason for all the sports games either, and atleast they had the courage to say it was bad...now if only they said the same and did the same with all their future sports games...

I hope this kind of forward thinking becomes more popular in the modern video game industry.

Yes let's please realize putting out bad games is a bad idea. If Target put out a chair that collapsed every time you sat in it, it would be recalled. But we still get bad games. I am happy to see a company not putting initial sales over their customers.

I'm glad to see they're honest about it.

vanthebaron:
not to sound like a douche bag but so what, why would I want to play a game on my PS3 when I can just as easily go outside and play it, AND save myself $60+.

therandombear:

vanthebaron:
not to sound like a douche bag but so what, why would I want to play a game on my PS3 when I can just as easily go outside and play it, AND save myself $60+.

I don't see the reason for all the sports games either, and atleast they had the courage to say it was bad...now if only they said the same and did the same with all their future sports games...

Because sports games are sort of like sports themselves. In the same way any competitive video game can be considered a sport (imo). The point is, it's fun to play a sport video game against another person. Me and a friend of mine have been fans of NBA 2K as well as PES ever since 2K9 and PES 2009 respectively and have both found them quite enjoyable over the years. My friend's also a basketball player and we both enjoy playing in real life too.

Can't say that I really care much about EA's sports games anymore, but it's kind of weird that they made this decision. So next year it'll be NBA Elite 12 after no game for 2011, huh?

vanthebaron:
not to sound like a douche bag but so what, why would I want to play a game on my PS3 when I can just as easily go outside and play it, AND save myself $60+.

Yeah! And pick up a real guitar while you're at it!

Gilgamesh00:

vanthebaron:
not to sound like a douche bag but so what, why would I want to play a game on my PS3 when I can just as easily go outside and play it, AND save myself $60+.

Because sports games are sort of like sports themselves. In the same way any competitive video game can be considered a sport (imo). The point is, it's fun to play a sport video game against another person. Me and a friend of mine have been fans of NBA 2K as well as PES ever since 2K9 and PES 2009 respectively and have both found them quite enjoyable over the years. My friend's also a basketball player and we both enjoy playing in real life too.

Can't say that I really care much about EA's sports games anymore, but it's kind of weird that they made this decision. So next year it'll be NBA Elite 12 after no game for 2011, huh?

sports are fun? shooting a zombie in the face point blank with a shot gun is fun, having to use wonkey controls to pass to a retarded NPC is not fun. give me a REAL game over this cash cowing bullshit that is pandering to jocks.

Break:

vanthebaron:
not to sound like a douche bag but so what, why would I want to play a game on my PS3 when I can just as easily go outside and play it, AND save myself $60+.

Yeah! And pick up a real guitar while you're at it!

oh I do, I love dicking around on my uncles electric guitars over they holidays.

What? A BAD sports game? That's ridiculous and impossible!

reverse snipe:
What? A BAD sports game? That's ridiculous and impossible!

i can't believe it either

Wow. They're going to have to start trimming their library a lot if that's the reason.

On one hand, I am glad EA shelved a bad game. If they thought it was bad, it must have been really bad. On the other hand, EA Sports is one of the biggest employers of 3D animators in Vancouver and if they stop hiring, it means a lot of lost job prospects for students. Hopefully EA gets back on the ball and its NBA franchise passed back in the future. Or they just focus on NHL games instead, because I'm okay with that.

Also, not everyone has enough friends/space/physical coordination to play actual sports. In these cases, a sports game is handy.

It looks like, at the very least, the rendering engine for the game was solid. Hopefully they can salvage that and try again.

Couldn't they have just extended the development time to fix the problems? I understand that they wouldn't have met their deadline, but releasing a finished, working product later than planned is much cheaper than just scrapping the thing.

 

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