Publisher EA has confirmed that NBA Elite II, which was due for release next month, has been pushed back to 2011.
In what's quite a notable event in the ever-reliable annual release roster of EA's sports line-up, the move could conceivably mean that the game may never see a release, with the publisher instead choosing to use it as the foundation for NBA Elite 12 – though this remains purely speculation for the time being.
However, as a result the publisher has decided to grant NBA Jam, which was due to be bundled with NBA Elite 11, a standalone release on PS3 and Xbox 360. It's unclear whether NBA Jam will be a digital or retail SKU. The game had already been scheduled for release on Wii.
We set ambitious goals for NBA Elite, and we are creating a game that will introduce several breakthrough features that have been missing from the basketball genre,” a spokesperson told IGN. We are going to keep working until we're certain we can deliver a breakthrough basketball experience.
We feel this is in the best interest of our consumers, our company and our shareholders.”
EA does have somewhat of a history when it comes to delaying product. High-profile titles such as The Sims 3, Spore, Godfather II, Army of Two, APB and, most recently, Crysis 2 have all missed their initial release targets.
However, quality over quantity is very much the ethos at Riccitiello's new EA, which has stated that it's not afraid of delaying in product to ensure that it hits its new quality targets.
MCV has contacted EA to enquire about the fate of NBA 11.