The lights are on
Looking over the list of list of Electronic Arts titles planned for release during the next fiscal year, one sports franchise is notably absent. Today EA Sports senior director of communications David Tinson confirmed that NCAA Basketball has fouled out of the lineup. “We do not have an NCAA Basketball game in development at this time, and we’re currently reviewing the future of our NCAA Basketball business," he said. "This was a difficult decision, but we remain a committed partner to the NCAA and its member institutions.”
Considering that rival publisher 2K Sports canned its NCAA game last year, the move leaves college hoops fans without a sports sim. The news isn't too surprising given the game's struggle to find critical favor, history of poor sales, and the lack of post-release support from the developer. It probably didn't help that EA and the NCAA are also the targets of a few pending lawsuits over using player likenesses in the games, though that isn't stopping the duo from publishing a new version of the popular NCAA Football franchise this year.
Tinson also told Game Informer that the move to shut down NCAA will not result in another round of layoffs. Instead, the development team has been integrated into other projects. EA Canada still has two basketball games in development, with NBA Live and the recently announced resurrection of NBA Jam.
What do you say, college hoops fans? Are you disappointed? Did you even bother with this series in the first place?
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Kind of surprising. It would have had the market all to itself.
I've always wondered why college basketball games aren't as good as NBA games. Its seemed that way for years to me. Whereas Madden and NCAA Football seem to follow similar trends and gameplay, basketball always seemed different... and much worse.
I've never played them, so I guess I'm not too surprised. Though it is sad to see it gone.
First MVP Baseball and now this? MVP Baseball was a completely polished and fun experience, and NCAA Basketball could be if they put more time into it. Even more importantly they need to do what they did with NCAA Football and add a slew of customizable options, as well as an immersive collegiate atmosphere. I look to the 2005 games on the original Xbox as an example of what needs with EA Sports games. Madden seems to be improving, NHL definitely is where it should be, and NCAA is getting there. Just do that and I would love to play a college basketball game every year. I personally love college basketball, it is a way better experience than the NBA. Make the gameplay fun, the atmosphere feel genuine (loud crowds, traditions, rivalries, student sections, etc.), innovation, and a plethora of customization, and people will buy it. Kind of seems like a no-brainer.
If the market is tiny to begin with, who cares if they have it all to themselves?
I worked at a games retail store all last fall, and I have to agree with EA's decision, the college basketball games never sold. Maybe 1 of those sold for every 20 of the NBA games. Not worth the development costs in my opinion. Sorry college fans.
I haven't liked a basketball game since Double Dribble on the NES so it is difficult for me to care. Sports titles should not worry about a new iteration every year and should focus more on quality instead of quantity. If Madden came out every other year more polish and enhancements to gameplay could be included to progress the genre and game. However, most Madden enthusiasts just want to see the correlating year in the title and don’t ever worry about how good it really is.
EA's NCAA hoops game has always sucked so no problems from me with this news. I'd love it for 2K brought their game back.
i say good move.... however, when it comes back its going to sell well
This sucks for me because college basketball is my favorite sport. College Hoops 2K8 is one of my favorite games of all time.
With the NBA2K franchise selling so well, now is the perfect time for triumphant 2K comeback.
But we can only hope.
That's a shame, maybe they'll have it come back sometime in the future.
Im still waiting for NFL 2K games, and a NCAA Football 2k...i dont understand that...*** u EA
"If Madden came out every other year more polish and enhancements to gameplay could be included to progress the genre and game."
I hope a developer reads this and gives it some serious thought! I personally buy every other year because I don't feel its worth my money for the few changes in gameplay and getting the player changes made. (About the only exception I can think of is buying FIFA 10 this year after having FIFA 09... but I did that because I had FIFA 09 on the XBox and wanted to play on the 360.)
As much as I love college ball, being able to play with your team and not being able to use the real players really hurt college sports game. Yes, you can spend all week changing the teams individual players names to their likeness in real life, but its still not the same as picking up an NBA game and being able to play with "real" players. So go ahead, drop the game from your lineup, 2K made a better game anyhow.
I never bothered with this series in the first place. I'm just not a big college sports fan period, so that may be why. I am glad to hear though that people will not lose their jobs over this move by EA. Better to use them in other areas that hold more promise for the company.
another smart move they just need to rethink this franchise over
The NCAA basketball games were not that good any way. However, i will miss telling my friends how bad they were.