After months of shifting release dates and changing developers, Electronic Arts has officially canceled the release of NBA Elite 11.
In a post-earnings conference call, EA confirmed that the game would not be released, with the franchise moving to development at EA Tiburon, which currently develops Madden NFL. The game had been in development at EA Canada, but the in-house developer had done poorly and has been hit with an onset of seasonal layoffs, most likely the result of the failed NBA Elite development cycle.
NBA Elite 11 was supposed to be the company's new venture into NBA titles against 2K Sports' product NBA 2k11. Unlike the NBA Live series, Elite was to push for more skillful and tactical moves and shoots compare to previous venues. However, when the demo was released a few months ago, the game was exceedingly buggy and received constant complaints from consumers.
In an attempt to sell the game to audiences, the game was originally going to receive a pack-in version of the new NBA Jam, sans the Remix Tour available in the Wii Retail version. Following poor feedback from the demo, however, Elite was delayed indefinitely to fix the game, and NBA Jam for HD consoles was shifted to retail, as well. With NBA Elite 11 now canceled, NBA Jam for all consoles remains the only major NBA title from EA this year, giving 2K Games an advantage to earn more sales before the next iterations see release.
NBA Jam for Wii is already released, and the HD consoles will see their versions sometime this month. Whether EA Tiburon's attempt at a new NBA franchise will retain the Elite name is currently unknown.