EA has dropped out of the basketball simulation game this year, leaving 2K Sports as the only man on the court.
For the first time in recent history, EA delayed one of its key EA Sports franchises earlier this year when it pushed NBA Elite 11, the new title of its NBA Live series, back to 2011. This week, EA revealed that NBA Elite 11 isn't delayed after all, but totally cancelled instead.
EA CFO Eric Brown confirmed the cancellation on a recent investor's conference call. This leaves competitor 2K Sports with the only licensed basketball simulation available for the year with NBA 2K11.
EA recently conducted "seasonal layoffs," though the company says its current restructuring efforts are "relatively small." Part of this restructuring appears to be moving the NBA Elite series, which it does plan to bring back in the future, from EA Black Box to EA Tiburon.
Analysts estimated that NBA Elite 11's delay was going to cost EA somewhere in the realm of $60 million with around 1 million in lost sales for this fiscal year, so now those estimated numbers may be straight up losses. NBA Elite 11 was reportedly delayed over quality concerns, which freed up pack-in NBA Jam for a solo release on the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3.
EA Sports is known for releasing a new game in its major sports properties yearly, so NBA Elite 11 must have been in poor shape for it to be outright cancelled. EA may not have wanted to put the game up against NBA 2K11, which features Michael Jordan and is said to be incredibly good.