NCAA Basketball is not listed among key sports titles due for release in Electronic Arts' coming fiscal year, fueling speculation that the poor-selling franchise has been discontinued.
In its filings today, EA notes that the list is not a complete picture of all titles to be released in the coming year. However, NCAA Basketball typically has been included, along with all other sports titles, in guidance offered in years past. The list also includes three TBA titles under the EA Sports banner, two of them EA Sports Active, one an unnamed fighting game due in early 2011. It would be unusual for NCAA Basketball to be considered not a key release if an unnamed project a year away is.
I emailed EA Sports for comment; it hadn't responded as of publication time. NCAA Basketball has long been rumored for the chopping block, with poor sales only part of the picture. The title draws nowhere near the kind of post-release support of other EA Sports retail releases.
The omission is also similar to how NHL 2K11 met a quiet, if unconfirmed, demise in December. It was left out of 2K Games' upcoming key releases, and a 2K Sports spokesman said only that the company was evaluating its portfolio of sports titles, with no plans announced for an NHL title.
Another interesting but unrelated detail from EA's filing: EA Sports MMA is listed for a fall release. Earlier rumors had the title slotted for a September 2010 drop.