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NBA Elite 11 'Was Just Going To Be A Bad Game'

EA's Andrew Wilson talks about why the sports franchise's reboot was scrapped.

Why was NBA Elite 11 cancelled? It was a bad game. No, really. Speaking to IGN, EA executive Andrew Wilson went on record about the eventual scrapping of the first game in the annual series, citing "ultimately, it was just going to be a bad game" as the reason it didn't hit store shelves. 

NBA Elite 11 was a reboot for the beleaguered NBA Live franchise, which has been losing fans to NBA 2K for years. In the initial press materials, EA said Elite 11 would "usher in the future of basketball games" with skill-based shooting mechanics and 1:1 motion, all of which would be mapped to the right-stick. But things didn't work out and EA is being pretty up front about it.

"We knew the goal was aggressive," Wilson told IGN," But at the same time, we believed it was an important enough goal for the gamer, who'd been playing basketball games in a very similar way for a very long time." Noble enough.

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 == TEASER ==Unfortunately, some of the most interesting questions left to linger after the drama involving the canning of NBA Elite 11 were left unaddressed by Wilson. Why was the initial delay announced so close to the game's release date, and how many discs were stamped beforehand? People have builds of the game, after all. Also, did that YouTube clip of a user struggling with the game's demo have any bearing on the decision to yank the game? Or did the decision just come that late in the process? 

NBA Elite 12 will pick up where 11 left off, by the way. Development of the Elite series was moved to EA Tiburon after the cancellation news was made public. Tiburon is the studio responsible for the often-lauded Madden and Tiger Woods franchises, both of which typically see huge improvements year-to-year. Tiburon also handles other sports franchises, though this'll be its first major basketball simulation game.

EA made a good move here judging by the aforementioned demo video and Wilson's comments. This is one of those rare cases where cold business reality and mind share don't bang off each other with an audible clang. But will Elite 12 fulfill the promise of Elite 11? I guess we'll have to see, eh?