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

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Edited By BradNicholson

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.
 

No Caption Provided

 == 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?
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#1  Edited By BradNicholson

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.
 

No Caption Provided

 == 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?
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Fruitcocoa

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#2  Edited By Fruitcocoa

What a shame! :/ 

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Juvenfly

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#3  Edited By Juvenfly

Well that's honesty I guess...

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#4  Edited By MegaGoat

Blurst
 
Edit: Butt Monkeys

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Dtat

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#5  Edited By Dtat

Well, good thing they scrapped it then

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AntoineDiamonds

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#6  Edited By AntoineDiamonds

it looked bad

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OldManLight

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#7  Edited By OldManLight

Damn I wish I had played the demo, its not often a game gets pulled for sucking too bad this late in the game. (The pun was a happy accident)

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EgoCheck616

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#8  Edited By EgoCheck616

At least they admit it. Releasing the game in a broken state would have been a total dick move to the fans. 

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thereaper2950

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#9  Edited By thereaper2950

damn just missed it!!!! sum bitch!

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Meteora

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#10  Edited By Meteora

I think its good that they scrapped it. Although it was a pity all that manhours are wasted, at least nobody will have to play a mediocre game and hate the developers for it.

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#11  Edited By JJWeatherman

I never expected it to be cancelled, but I did expect it to suck. Live has been shit for years, a name change wasn't going to change that. I played the demo; it felt like Live, but with pass mapped to the right trigger.

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#12  Edited By AnEternalEnigma

It's refreshing to see EA be so honest instead of trying to spin it.

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#13  Edited By ItsAJackal
@Brad said:


Tiburon is the studio responsible for the often-lauded Madden and Tiger Woods franchises, both of which typically see huge improvements year-to-year.   "

You're joking...right?  Huge improvements?  Are we playing the same games?
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#14  Edited By Rayfield
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#15  Edited By nuclear_mouse

 What I'm most curious about is why the decision to pull the plug was done so late in the process (going through certification and manufacturing). They had every opportunity to cut their losses earlier in the development process, and it would have saved a lot of money. Not to mention probably saving face if it had meant the infamous Elite demo never getting out.

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#16  Edited By Brendan

That one's not going on the resume for anybody...
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deactivated-5c7ea8553cb72

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@ItsAJackal said:
" @Brad said:


Tiburon is the studio responsible for the often-lauded Madden and Tiger Woods franchises, both of which typically see huge improvements year-to-year.   "

You're joking...right?  Huge improvements?  Are we playing the same games? "
I was thinking the same thing.
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#18  Edited By Claude

I remember when Madden NFL 96 was canceled for the PlayStation. Tiburon got the series back then too. Visual Concepts screwed up. Funny how things change.
 
Here's an article I found about the Madden NFL history. "Here"  
 
And a quote from the article about the canceled game. 
 
 

1995

EA cancels the release of "Madden NFL '96" for Sony's new PlayStation console after programming house Visual Concepts struggles with technical problems and is unable to produce a satisfactory game. EA gives the Madden franchise to Tiburon Studios, which has made "Madden NFL" ever since.

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#19  Edited By Bruce

Considering how great 2k11 turned out, does anyone even care?

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#20  Edited By OldGuy
@ItsAJackal said:
" @Brad said:


Tiburon is the studio responsible for the often-lauded Madden and Tiger Woods franchises, both of which typically see huge improvements year-to-year.   "

You're joking...right?  Huge improvements?  Are we playing the same games? "
Ding! Ding! Ding! We have a winner!
 
Okay, both those series (usually) show improvements year to year... but the "huge" in there was a bit much...
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#21  Edited By frankxiv

when has that ever stopped them before?

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OllyOxenFree

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#22  Edited By OllyOxenFree

What a dayum shame...

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#23  Edited By cjmabry

"...both of which typically see huge improvements year-to-year."  
Lolwut? Oh wait, I forgot about hand towels. Nevermind.

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#24  Edited By eagles_band
@onimonkii: lol, but NBA Elite wasn't even on the same level of bad. It was just straight up terrible. Worst sports game of all time no question, playing from the demo. 
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#25  Edited By l3illyl3ob

NBA Elite 11 was so incredibly bad that it would have permanently impacted EA's ability to ever release another Basketball game.  Everyone everywhere would think about how awful 11 was before buying another EA basketball game.  Them pulling the plug was the right move.  The unfortunate part is that they didn't realize this until mere weeks before the release date.

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#26  Edited By fox01313

What I don't understand is how is this a bad game when they worked on the previous NBA game for EA. Wouldn't it have been pretty much the same as last year but with some updates? More of a game development issue for me as I'm not a fan of basketball. Just curious how an annual sports game can go to a trashed state so fast.

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#27  Edited By ZombiePie
@fox01313:  Judging from the demo the game was straight up busted, buggy, and broken.   
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#28  Edited By FesteringNeon

 For some reason, I didn't really even mind the demo.  
 I played it without knowing it had created a shit-storm on the internet.. and didn't think it was too bad.  
 I do wish I still had the demo, to re-assess my brief evaluation though. 

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#29  Edited By Rekt_Hed

all i gotta say is if the game was bad enuff for EA to call it 'a bad game' then it must have been fucked.
 
seriously though why did they leave it so late to pull the plug....the mind boggles!

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#30  Edited By Vigorousjammer

my guess is EA was planning to release this as "a bad game" and wait till next year to add in all of the polish and improvements.
 
but then that Youtube video came out and gave them bad press and they figured that the game wouldn't sell any copies, so they cut their losses and just shifted focus to next year's game.

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#31  Edited By lackofbear

it is a good thing

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#32  Edited By TheGamerGeek
@ItsAJackal: Yes we are.
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#33  Edited By Pop

Everything about this is so weird... maybe this is just a huge publicity stunt to hype up NBA 2012, I wonder how many people will buy 2012 to see what 2011 became.

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#34  Edited By Napalm

This thing looks like an entirely huge lack of oversight, which is weird considering the company.

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onarum

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#35  Edited By onarum

What a shocker, a game franchise that is released early with little to no new features and charged full price is bad.

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#36  Edited By Baconator
@onarum said:
" What a shocker, a game franchise that is released early with little to no new features and charged full price is bad. "
Don't be bitter, video game article comment poster. *hug* There, there.
 
Kudos to EA for protecting the franchise even though this means they'll lose even more ground to the competition. 
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#37  Edited By onarum
@Baconator said:
" @onarum said:
" What a shocker, a game franchise that is released early with little to no new features and charged full price is bad. "
Don't be bitter, video game article comment poster. *hug* There, there. Kudos to EA for protecting the franchise even though this means they'll lose even more ground to the competition.  "
Thanks *sniff* I feel better now.
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#38  Edited By coryrx8

I'm pretty happy that someone is showing some ambition in getting a basketball game right. I will admit that sports games can't completely mimic what it's like to play a sport, but basketball games seem especially bad in that regard. Maybe it's just because I've spent a heck of a lot of time on a basketball court and not as much time on a football field or in a hockey rink, but football and hockey games feel "right" to me, whereas basketball games, even the mighty NBA 2K11, feel like the developers have never even touched a basketball. It looks to me like EA's goal with Elite was to recreate what it's like to handle the ball and actually play the sport, and I've got my fingers crossed in hopes that they'll actually get it right next year. 
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#39  Edited By VisceralBishop24

Although company's have released games that were "bad" before, it's nice to see EA actually take a loss trying to make a game better. I played the demo and it was far from good, but the game had some nice features, including the new control scheme which I loved. Hopefully with this delay and the fact that the NBA series is going to be developed by EA Tiburon the franchise will improve.

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#40  Edited By MrDeltoid

Disappointing to hear, but if the game was not up to snuff I applaud them for not releasing it.  It's not often now a days that a company will pull the plug after investing so much money into a product.

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#41  Edited By JamalChambers

So can we take this as a lesson learned from EA?

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#42  Edited By AndyMP

I disagree with the assertion that Woods and Madden get "huge improvements year-to-year". Tiger has minimal annual updates, especially given there's only so much you can do with a golf game; and the biggest criticism from Madden diehards is the minimal update every year which normally amounts to a few gimmicky features and tweaks to the overall gameplay.

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