Sports sims are tantamount to death and taxes for Electronic Arts, which releases annualized installments in both professional and collegiate athletics matchups, ranging from football to hockey to soccer. However, this year turned that comparison on its head, when EA announced the franchise reboot of its seasonal basketball sim, NBA Elite 11, would not accompany the tip-off of its real-world counterpart.
Now, EA has taken an even more drastic step, announcing as part of a post-earnings conference call today that it has canceled NBA Elite 11 outright. Additional details on the cancelation were not revealed, with EA saying only that future development in the franchise would be handled by Madden NFL studio EA Tiburon. Previously, NBA Elite 11 had been in development at EA Canada, which was the target of "seasonal roll-offs" last week.
Analysts have predicted a sizable hole in EA's earnings due to NBA Elite 11's delay and now cancelation. According to Wedbush analyst Michael Pachter, EA stands to lose up to $60 million due to the absence of its annual basketball sim. He went on to note that Take-Two Interactive stands to gain tremendously from EA's absence from the court this year, predicting most of those who would have picked up NBA Elite 11 will now purchase NBA 2K11.
Built around a more "hands-on control" scheme than its NBA Live predecessors, NBA Elite 11 was to emphasize player movement and skill-based shooting. For an idea of where EA is looking to take its basketball sim franchise, check out GameSpot's previous coverage of NBA Elite 11.Watch the video