EA Sports Pushing Back Release Of New NBA Simulation Game Until Fall '12
EA Sports has announced it will take another year off from releasing a simulation NBA game, with a new title in that market segment now not expected until the fall of '12. EA Sports last November formally killed plans to release "NBA Elite 11," its renamed simulation game, after numerous quality control and gameplay issues surfaced in the latter stages of development. 2K Sports' competing "NBA 2K" has long enjoyed a strong critical and sales advantage in basketball simulation gaming, and with EA Sports' continued reworkings, will have another year without marketplace competition. EA Sports has shifted development work on the NBA simulation game from its EA Canada studios outside Vancouver to EA Tiburon in Orlando, where "Madden NFL" is produced. "We have top talent on the game, and we're giving the new development team time to deliver a superior experience," said EA Sports President Peter Moore in a statement. "We're making great strides and looking forward to launching a new game next year." The "Elite" brand name, itself an attempted refresh of the prior "Live" moniker, almost certainly will not return as EA Sports' announcement referred to only a "NBA simulation title." Meanwhile, the video game developer also announced it will be updating its recently revived arcade title "NBA Jam" as a digital downloadable-only title for the PlayStation Network and XBox Live Arcade. The publisher last fall revived the classic early ‘90s video game on several platforms, and though retail performance was not initially strong, the game's iPhone version has been a steady sales performer on iTunes. The updated "NBA Jam: On Fire Edition," will feature online challenges, tournament play, new artificial intelligence, and other gameplay features not included in the initial refresh.