EA basketball sim benched for 2011

Publisher says it will return with a new pro hoops game in fall 2012; NBA Jam: On Fire Edition due for XBL, PSN in October.

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EA Sports had grand plans for its annualized basketball franchise in 2010, announcing that it would be rebooting its hoops sim under the moniker NBA Elite. However, shortly before the game's target launch of October 2010, the publisher first delayed and then outright canceled NBA Elite 11, a move that cost EA an estimated $60 million and amplified sales of its 2K Sports-published competitor.

The year may have changed, but the Celtics and Lakers are still dominant.
The year may have changed, but the Celtics and Lakers are still dominant.

Fans of EA Sports hoops sim can now take heart: the publisher will be returning to the franchise, if not as soon as may have been expected. Today, EA said that it will be releasing a new installment in its sim NBA series in fall 2012.

Notably, the publisher did not refer to its sim basketball series by its rebranded Elite name, nor did it offer any details on what gamers can expect from the title. EA did say that the game is in development at its Tiburon Studio, makers of the Madden NFL series. The studio change was first revealed after the publisher made substantive cuts at its EA Canada studio, which had been developing NBA Elite 11.

EA Sports won't be skipping the 2011 basketball season, however. The publisher also announced today that it would be following up last year's NBA Jam reboot with a new installment in the arcade-basketball series. NBA Jam: On Fire Edition is expected to be available through Xbox Live and the PlayStation Network this October.

NBA Jam: On Fire Edition will feature a number of tweaks over the 2010 installment in the series, which received a positive, if not glowing, critical reception. The publisher has incorporated its Fight Night artificial-intelligence system into the game, which is designed to learn from a player's proclivities. New modes include the Jam Arena, which offers online competition for a solo player or teams, and a cooperative campaign called Road Trip.

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