NBA Elite 11 Delayed; NBA Jam To Ship Separately By Christmas

Just one week before it was scheduled to hit shelves, EA Sports on Monday indefinitely delayed NBA Elite 11 for the Xbox 360 and PS3, indicating that quality concerns raised by the demo's dismal showing necessitated the postponement.

Rumours spread quickly when several major retailers either dropped or changed the game's release date to 2011 EA Sports President Peter Moore confirmed the delay moments ago on his official blog.

"Unfortunately, NBA Elite 11 is not yet ready and we have made a decision to delay next month's launch," Moore said, without specifying a new release date. "The decision to delay NBA ELITE was hard because the game has great promise. But ultimately we feel this is the right thing to do. We've been making steady progress on basketball for the past few years and it's going to take extra time to make the game."

NBA Jam, the arcade-style two-on-two game also due on October 5, will still ship on that date for the Wii. The PS3 and Xbox 360 version was to have been included with a free download code in NBA Elite 11. Moore said that game will now be a standalone product that will arrive "in time for the holidays". He did not indicate a price point or if this will be a physical retail release or digital download.

Additionally, Moore said that NBA Live 10, the series' previous entry, will be fully supported throughout the NBA's 2010 and 2011 season. This means it will get a full roster update for the current year, plus the Dynamic DNA updates that track players' real-world performance and tendencies. This DLC will be free, Moore noted.

Reaction to NBA Elite 11's demo was extremely harsh across many leading sports video game sources and message boards. Many felt the game was a step back from last year's NBA Live 10, which while not a breakthrough title, was probably the best it's ever been on the current console generation. NBA Elite 11's demo faced dull visuals, lack of polish and found the remade control set very difficult to grasp. Embarrassing bugs such as this one also did not help.

"NBA Elite had the benefit of play-testing, a demo and a lot of our own research," Moore wrote. "All that feedback revealed some concerns about gameplay polish, so we've listened to your feedback and made a judgment that the game would benefit from more time in development."

Earlier this year, Moore assigned David Littman, the producer of EA Sports' acclaimed NHL series, to the NBA team in an effort to overhaul a franchise that had lagged considerably behind NBA 2K, in both sales and quality, on the current console generation. The development team crafted an entirely new control set based on the analogue sticks, though classic face-button-based controls were still an option.

But in a sign that NBA Live/Elite's new focus and controls were not without some internal controversy, designer Mike Wang, a veteran of NBA 2K who left for EA Sports in 2008, returned to 2K Sports after just a year with NBA Live, indicating creative differences were part of his motivation for doing so.

NBA ELITE Delayed; NBA JAM Ships on Wii Next Week, Xbox 360 and PS3 Coming Before Holidays [Peter Moore]


Comments

    I really liked the Demo?
    Player movement was good (better than clips previously posted) - the right stick controls were awesome, much more fluid and easier for me to use on the fly than 2K and the camera angle and be a legend modes were also really good. Shooting with the right stick felt better than 2K as well. 2K has the edge in ball physics and graphics but couldn't tell too much more from the demo (would like to know if they have scrapped the abysmal menus from 2K10)
    I switched to 2K10 last year and really couldn't make up my mind after the demo's for both (2K demo was woefully under featured).
    Looks like EA made the decision for me - back to 2K...

    LOL. Now that NBA Jam will be stand alone as a download I dunno if I want it. I still feel burnt by the fact they wanted us to buy Elite before getting NBA Jam. Damage has been done! Maybe i'm just too bitter...

    If you have tried NBA 2k11 you'll know why.....the game play is better than last year. It still kills NBA live and also the fact you got MJ. I doubt that its because they want to polish it. It's cuz they've played 2k11 themselves and realized there is no way they can win it this year.

    The skeptic in me thinks this is just a way to make money on NBA Jam after reading everyone's going to buy Elite for the code, then return it.

    I might have to delay getting the Wii version to see how they handle this.
    I don't care about online play, but would like to get the (currently) Wii exclusive content. If the Wii content stays exclusive I'll stick with getting that version.

    I also really enjoyed the elite demo. The new controls are a great challenge. It makes making a play much more rewarding

    Great news. I'd delay it a year and skip it altogether.

    It's a disaster and EA know it.

    They might be able to have a hand in the pocket of websites like OS, banning people for having such a harsh opinion but they can't make people like the game.

    i was really looking forward to NBA elite 11 i have played the demo for a few hours to get my head around the shooting in the game you just have no idea what is going to happen the shoot bar should really be there or as an option while playing in a game. with the movement of the player which i thought was a great idea, passing and the turbo which is no longer in 11 was a big mistake. i have been looking forward to this game for the last few months and now EA wants to delay the game indefinitely and wants us to buy NBA Jam i think this is not on it should be free to anybody that has got NBA Live 10 but i think this is it for ea sports and basketball Im going to try 2K11 and give that a Go but to you EA Sports Im very disappointed it is the one game i look forward to on ps3 every year

    May as well just have this year off and save spend another year on development. NBA Live/Elite has been horrible for so long. NBA 2K has been so much better than Live ever since it's first outing on Dreamcast. NBA Live is an arcade game in comparison to 2K, it's a joke!

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