After an eerie silence surrounding the NBA Live series, EA have confirmed that they’ve cancelled NBA Live 20, leaving the oft criticised NBA 2K20 to go unchallenged this year.
“Alongside the NBA and NBPA, we have our sights set on creating something fresh for the next generation of players and platforms,” they write in an Instagram post. “We know we need to earn our future every step of the way, so we’re taking time to get it right for our players. We promise to check back regularly with updates.”
Having played second fiddle to NBA’s leading basketball series for the entire generation, EA have decided to focus on renewing their franchise for the 2020-21 season and the dawn of the next generation of games console. NBA is one area in which EA lag behind one of their competitors, and while 2K’s game series has long come into criticism for the extent to which microtransactions affect the game, NBA Live has struggled to make a meaningful dent in their lead.
NBA Live has expanded its range of game modes in recent years, adding The One single player career in NBA Live 18, blending together The Streets and The League as two sides of a basketball player’s life. However, reviews have remained good, but not great with regularly cited weaknesses of player AI and animations in particular. Hopefully with a year out and new, more powerful consoles to target (though presumably still alongside current gen machines), NBA Live 21 can really shine and mount a challenge for the sport’s video games title.