The lights are on
EA finally announced the death of its struggling NBA sim and confirmed the franchise is moving to EA Tiburon during an investors call. NBA Elite 11 was originally delayed after a disastrous public demo, and just last week 1UP reported the game was changing hands to the Madden developer based in Orlando, Florida.
Now Tiburon is tasked with resurrecting a moribund series that never found its footing on next-gen platforms. Year after year, NBA Live suffered from poor design decisions that favored building marketable features like the NBA Academy and Dynamic DNA over addressing the uninspiring action on the hardwood. In bringing over David Littman's dual analog control scheme that worked so well for the critically acclaimed NHL series and rebranding the game NBA Elite, EA hoped the franchise would finally gain its footing. But as the poorly received public demo showed, giving a team less than a year to completely overhaul the game mechanics wasn't enough time.
We hope the executives at EA Sports learned from the NBA Elite debacle and won't rush a game to market next year. The franchise needs new leadership and a strong sense of direction that isn't abandoned for the sake of a savvy marketing plan or a shrewd fiscal desire to put out a game for the sake of having an NBA product on the retail shelves. Another poor outing could doom the franchise for good in the face of steep competition from the NBA 2K series and low consumer confidence.
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