'NBA Live 20': Why did EA cancel basketball title again?

Electronic Arts announced that its flagship basketball simulation game "NBA Live 20" has been cancelled as it is focusing on releasing next year's title on the next-gen consoles.

NBA Live 20
EA Sports NBA Live / Twitter

This year, Electronic Arts released three of its annual sports titles, "FIFA 20," "Madden NFL 20" and "NHL 20." But once again, the company's basketball franchise "NBA Live" was a no-show. Now, EA has confirmed that the title has been axed even though it was never officially announced.

After delaying the title to late 2019 in the summer, EA has decided to scrap it completely. This is the fourth time in a decade that the video game publisher has failed to release its flagship basketball simulation game on a home console. The four titles that never saw the light of day include "NBA Elite 11," "NBA Live 12," "NBA Live 13," and "NBA Live 17."

During EA's quarterly financial earnings call for Q2 2020 on Tuesday, Oct. 29, EA chief executive Andrew Wilson announced the game's cancellation citing that the company was instead taking the time to focus on releasing next year's "NBA Live" title on next-gen consoles, which is slated to arrive next holiday season.

"We're not launching a new NBA Live HD product this season," Wilson told investors. "Instead, we're expanding our vision, leaning hard into the new leading-edge platforms, and taking the time to ensure we deliver against the opportunity for our players."

When EA announced the game's initial delay, it said that the video game company was planning to take an innovative new direction for "NBA Live" that would offer "new ways for players to engage, connect, and create through basketball."

However, it seems like once Sony and Microsoft announced the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Project Scarlett respectively, it decided to change its strategy and focus on readying the games for release on the new consoles.

The EA Sports official Twitter handle also released a statement echoing Wilson's words. The statement noted that there won't be a "NBA Live 20" this year because EA was shifting its focus to create "something fresh for the next generation of players and platforms."

This absence of another basketball title this year from EA paves the way for Take-Two Interactive's hugely successful "NBA 2K20," which launched in September and has already become the best-selling game of 2019 so far.