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EA returns to basketball without the  NBA Elite  name

EA returns to basketball without the NBA Elite name

February 23, 2012 | By Tom Curtis

Later this year, Electronic Arts plans to launch its first major NBA title since the infamous cancellation of NBA Elite in 2010. This new game, however, won't use the "Elite" branding, but will instead return to EA's classic NBA Live label.

EA confirmed to Gamasutra that the new game, titled, NBA Live 13, will ship this Fall, though the studio did not confirm why it has chosen to ditch the NBA Elite name.

Of course, EA's only other title to bear that label suffered from some severe hiccups during its development. NBA Elite 11, previously expected to launch in October 2010, experienced a last minute delay and was eventually cancelled altogether, even though the game was almost due to launch (and, in fact, was so far along that retail copies were actually manufactured).

In the wake of this unusual move, EA CEO John Riccitiello explained that the game never saw the light of day because the publisher wasn't willing to "ship a product [it wasn't] proud of and compete for marginal share."

Not only did NBA Elite suffer from severe technical issues -- as evidenced by its poorly-received demo -- it also would have had to compete with 2K's popular NBA 2K11. With these issues in mind, EA decided it wasn't willing to harm its brand with a sub-par entry in its long running series of basketball games.

Following the demise of NBA Elite, EA stepped away from making new mainline NBA titles (excluding arcade spin-offs like NBA Jam: On Fire Edition), allowing publisher 2K Games to dominate the market with its continually successful NBA 2K series.

This year EA hopes to change that with its return to the mainstream basketball game market. Few details are available about NBA Live 13, but EA plans to reveal more about the game soon.

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