Because of exclusive arrangements and wide disparities in quality, pro basketball is really the only sports title where there's genuine head-to-head competition. And it's getting nasty between 2K Sports and EA Sports.
Earlier this week, Pasta Padre found a forum post - since taken down - in which a 2K Sports representative questioned whether NBA Live 10's massive patch that went out this week deserves the praise it's getting for using community feedback. The 2K guy more or less called B.S., and said there was no way devs could have rolled out something based on community feedback and pass certification that fast, unless they were working on it prior to release. Which would imply EA Sports knew it was sending out substandard code. (Pasta Padre points out that the NBA Live 10 demo went out early, and so community feedback on the game could predate its full release.)
EA Sports has responded with an NBA Live 10 blog that features, among other things, 20 screenshots of NBA 2K10 being sold on Craigslist, all with some reference to NBA Live 10 being the better game. Other testimonials from fan email include direct shots at the competition, including this gem: "I can't stop playing this game i am hooked, good bye 2k garbage."
If Metacritic is a judge of things, the games are neck and neck - 2K10's 83 to Live's 80 - for the first time in years. And it's the first time Live has seriously challenged 2K in quality on the current generation of console. The fact this comes during NBA 2K's gala 10th anniversary year is probably frustrating to them. But he who makes the first game without framerate drop or patchable bug, throw the first stone.
While both sides might want to cool it, and focus on their own game, both of which have issues to be patched, they seem to be taking this very personally. Next year, I'm sure both shops will remember what those corksuckin' icehole bastiges on the other side said and did, and it'll be an all-out battle for the crown. That's good old-fashioned competition. Just so long as no one gets run over by the Schlitz malt liquor bull.
EA Strikes Back With New Blog [Pasta Padre]