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The Friday Five: 5 Cancelled Games (Other Than NBA Elite 11)

The Friday Five

Welcome to this week’s edition of The Friday Five! The Friday Five is a feature that I post every Friday in which I give my thoughts on a topic that’s related to NBA Live, NBA 2K, and other basketball video games, as well as the real NBA, and other areas of interest to our community. The feature is presented as either a list of five items, or in the form of a Top 5 countdown. This week’s Five is a list of five basketball games, other than the infamous NBA Elite 11, that were cancelled.

If we’re talking about cancelled basketball games, then NBA Elite 11 is obviously one that springs immediately to mind. I’m sure that everyone knows that story, but the short version is that the demo was poorly received and widely mocked due to both gameplay issues and the infamous “Jesus Bynum” T-pose bug. This led to the full version being pulled five days before release so that it could receive further polish, with the delay eventually becoming cancellation. It’s a disaster that’s set the NBA Live series back years, and while it’s a significant event, it’s also a very familiar tale.

To that end, I thought it’d be more interesting to talk about some cancelled games in a list that doesn’t include the obvious example of NBA Elite 11. That’s not to say that these games are obscure and their stories unknown, but at least a couple of them aren’t talked about all that much. Please note that I’m also excluding the recent examples of NBA Live 17/The Drive to NBA Live, NBA Live 20, and NBA Live 21, as they were either never really officially announced, or there isn’t much to say except EA decided that they weren’t fit to launch. I’d like to think that there are some interesting stories with these other cancelled games though, so let’s take a look!

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No NBA Live 21, As Per EA’s Upcoming Games List

NBA Live 21 Cancelled

For some time now, it’s been taken as a foregone conclusion that there won’t be an NBA Live 21. In case anyone was still holding out hope, the latest financial report from EA, as well as the list of upcoming releases on their website, has made that official.

In October last year, the official NBA Live Twitter account confirmed the decision to skip NBA Live 20. At the time, the post seemed to indicate plans to return in 2020 with the launch of the next generation of consoles. Technically, NBA Live 21 was never officially announced, but whether or not it counts as another cancellation is arguably just splitting hairs. The point is that no basketball game is coming from EA Sports this year.

The silence from the official NBA Live social media accounts – aside from a tribute to the late Kobe Bryant earlier this year – had many people speculating that this would be the case. While there is no word either way on the future of the series at this point, there isn’t much to get excited about right now if you’re a PC or console gamer. NBA Live Mobile is still available, and is being updated with the NBA’s restart.

As for our part, we’ll continue to collect feedback and send it to the developers as long as the series hasn’t been canned for good. We’ll also post any news as it becomes available. In the meantime, I’ve condensed the NBA Live 21 section into the NBA Live 19 section of our Forum, and updated our Wiki accordingly. Feel free to join in the discussion here, as well as in the comments below. We’ll be discussing the situation in Episode #334 of the NLSC Podcast, coming out shortly. Our 25th Anniversary of NBA Live celebrations will also continue, so stay tuned for that content.

Wayback Wednesday: The Cancelled Trade in NBA Jam TE

Wayback Wednesday: The Cancelled Trade in NBA Jam TE

This is Wayback Wednesday, your midweek blast from the past! In this feature, we dig into the archives, look back at the history of basketball gaming, and indulge in some nostalgia. Check in every Wednesday for retrospectives and other features on older versions of NBA Live, NBA 2K, and old school basketball video games in general. You’ll also find old NLSC editorials re-published with added commentary, and other flashback content. This week, I’m taking a look back at a cancelled trade that made its way into the arcade version of NBA Jam Tournament Edition.

We’ve just passed the trade deadline for the 2020 season, and saw a flurry of activity. In the wake of all the deals that went down, several players have been cut, many of whom will no doubt attract some interest on the open market. All of these transactions will be taken care of in NBA 2K20, which receives regular official roster updates. We’re also able to update rosters ourselves, and that’s something we’ve obviously been doing for years in our community, for both NBA Live and NBA 2K. Of course, over a decade ago, official roster updates weren’t as common.

If we go back even further, we’ll find a lot of games that didn’t receive any roster updates post-release, as well as titles that didn’t have roster customisation features. This was true of NBA Jam and its sequel NBA Jam Tournament Edition, which were stuck with out-of-date rosters once trades and signings occurred. Well, sort of. There were changes in different revisions and releases of the NBA Jam games, and on at least one occasion, an update resulted in an error due to a cancelled trade. It’s an interesting situation, so let’s take a look back…way back…

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