EA Sports has its share of keepers but their NBA Live series wasn’t in the same pedigree as their top performers. Live’s heyday came during the Super Nintendo, Sega Genesis era and remained strong during the PSone days. The much maligned franchise got put to rest as EA announced the cancellation of NBA Live 13 Thursday in a statement released on their website.
The once celebrated basketball franchise initially fell on hard times when it headlined as a title in PS2′s launch window. It saw some flashes in NBA Live ’03 (Jason Kidd!) and ’05 when people played the then-new dunk contest for a week. Yet the NBA 2K series gained ground yearly with quality titles while Live lived off its name and not much else.
EA tried to right the ship with NBA Elite 11 until they released its disastrous demo. The poor gameplay and ensuing Passion of Andrew Bynum shut Elite down before it started. Then EA took two years to get NBA Live 13 right only to realize it still wasn’t fit to ship.
Basketball sims need competition as I’d hate for the NBA 2K series to totally stagnate like Live. EA Tiburon apparently can’t make a worthy rival so now all we can do is remember when Live was fun while we wait for them to do NBA Jam again. I can’t say I’m surprised but there’s something odd about a line of games from your childhood bowing out so ungracefully.
The former sim basketball king may have died. Yet what about all two of you who anticipated Live this year? Here’s what you’d miss out on: or at least an early build of it. From the looks of things I believe I’d have more fun playing Live ’98 than whatever this is.