EA Sports’ NBA Live 20, which had the honour of being officially delayed before it was even officially announced, has now been cancelled. It’s the fourth time in ten years that EA has not released an annual entry in its flagship basketball game on a home console.
As Polygon reports, the break will allow EA to compose themselves and get next year’s game ready for a release on next-gen systems. EA chief executive Andrew Wilson said of the decision:
We’re not launching a new NBA Live HD product this season. Instead, we’re expanding our vision, leaning hard into the new leading-edge platforms, and taking the time to ensure we deliver against the opportunity for our players.
On the one hand, fine, whatever! NBA Live has tried some cool stuff over the last couple of years, from women players to a bizarre single-player mode, but its rubbery gameplay was a real turn-off.
On the other, the absence of a genuine competitor is one of the reasons NBA 2K is getting away with everything it’s getting away with, and you can tell how desperate I am when I write this because I’m rooting for EA to make a difference.
NBA Live 20 joins NBA Live 11 (which was mobile-only), NBA Live 12 (never announced, as development switched studios), NBA Live 13 (cancelled) and 2017's NBA Live Mobile (again, mobile-only) as previous times when EA wasn’t able to put a AAA basketball game on a home console.