NBA Live 2005 goes gold, moves forward, drops price

EA Sports' B-baller travels to the factory early; will now be released before ESPN NBA 2K5 for just $39.99.


NBA Live 2005

When the August NPD best seller charts were revealed, they left no question that EA Sports' Madden NFL 2005 was still the best-selling football game of the year. However, they also revealed it is facing stiff competition in the form of Take-Two and Sega's budget-priced ESPN NFL 2K5, which was released several weeks before. ESPN NHL 2K5 employed a similar strategy, hitting the virtual ice three weeks before NHL 2005.

Until yesterday, it looked like EA Sports' and ESPN's basketball games were set for a head-to-head clash on October 5. But today, EA made a surprise fast break, and announced that its NBA Live 2005 has gone gold and will ship on September 28--one week before ESPN NBA 2K5. The new date only applies for the GameCube, Xbox, and PlayStation 2 versions of the E-rated game--the PC version is still due out October 12.

Besides moving up NBA Live 2005's ship date, EA Sports is also countering ESPN NBA 2K5's $19.99 price point. Today at the BancAmerica Securities 34th Annual Investment Conference in San Francisco, EA CFO Warren Jenson said all console versions of NBA Live 2005 would now cost just $39.99, a $10 drop from the standard EA Sports price point. Jenson also announced a new promotion where purchasers of any two EA Sports titles will get a third for free. That promotion is slated to start next week.

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