Rumor out of GameStop's annual expo in San Antonio says EA Sports representatives told attendees that NBA Live 13 will in fact be a digital only release, and will cost $20 on PlayStation Network and Xbox Live.
The site IRB Gamer, attending the expo, said it was told directly of EA Sports' digital plans for the NBA Live series, which has not appeared on shelves since 2009. Kotaku has asked an EA Sports spokesman for comment.
IRB Gamer said October was given as the month of release but, notably, Oct. 2—the day NBA 2K13 releases—was not specified. No release date has been announced for this game, nearly two months before its competitor is due in stores. Rumor has circulated that EA Sports may release the game on or right before the NBA's Oct. 30 tipoff date.
NBA Live's last edition, NBA Elite 11 was canceled one week before release in 2010 because of severe quality concerns. The project was sent to EA Sports' Tiburon studio in Florida to be reconstituted as NBA Live again. A staff of more than 70 developers have been working on it for the past year.
The game showed potential in some specific phases of gameplay back in the spring but suffered very poor overall impressions during hands-off demonstrations at E3—to the point almost nothing has been heard from Live in the two months since.
Update: An EA Sports spokesman said the label does not comment on rumor or speculation.
NBA Live 13 Will Drop This October [IRB Gamer]