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NBA Live 13 officially ends EA's NBA hiatus this year

NBA Live is back, confirmed EA Sports via Twitter today, shoehorning the reveal along with the above screenshot of NBA rookie and Cleveland Cavaliers point guard Kyrie Irving (right) playing NBA Live 13. But wait...

Do you remember the NBA Live series? The series that last had an official installment in 2009 with NBA Live 10? I sure do. Its '97 edition was one of my favorite Sega Genesis titles, as was its '98 edition on the original PlayStation. But when the NBA 2K series hit the scene in '99, I jumped ship.

The NBA Live series, shortly after NBA 2K's debut year, seemed to habitually decrease in quality year after year. Animation became strange-looking and clunky. Team and individual player AI, at times, became laughable. Visually? 2K arguably had them beat year after year. EA was hoping to change all that in 2010 by redeveloping its NBA simulation game from scratch and rebranding it as NBA Elite 11.

It didn't work out. As soon as its demo hit the Xbox Live Marketplace and the PlayStation Network, this infamous video started making the rounds on the Internet. It turned out NBA Elite 11, to put it nicely, wasn't quite ready for deployment. EA canceled its release and quietly moved the development of the franchise to Orlando, Fla., at its EA Tiburon studio. We haven't heard much since.

Until today, of course. After skipping 2010 and 2011, it finally looks like EA is ready to ship an NBA product this year with NBA Live 13. I'm kind of happy for the company, and I'm happy that there'll be some competition in the NBA sim business again. Good luck, EA!

Reported by Jonathan Davila



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