The leaked gameplay footage of NBA Live 13 has given even more credence to the idea that it could end up being a digital download rather than retail release. Everything continues to point towards that as the strategy EA Sports is going with – or was planning to anyway – even if it would be yet another major mistake on their part.
The footage of the menu showed an “Exit Game” option which is present with digital downloads offering the ability to drop back to the dashboard. The prominence of the leaderboards is another sign of this as normally that would be tucked away in the Xbox Live area of a full retail product. It also looks fairly thin in terms of options and it would be no surprise to find out a downloadable-only NBA Live wouldn’t be as fully featured as a comparable retail product – unless the price was still locked in at the standard $60. There have been no indications the NBA would allow a lower price point and certainly 2K Sports would object to their competitor getting an unfair advantage in the marketplace particularly when they have been the successful ones as of late.
It would not at all be surprising if this was an orchestrated leak by EA Sports to gauge reaction to the game. They’re at a spot – right now – where a decision would best be made on cancelling or delaying. They got their answer swiftly and nearly unanimously from those who watched the video. An outright cancellation ultimately would be far less damaging than a delay so that would be the odds-on favorite at this point.
EA has had numerous opportunities to change the story on NBA Live 13 from one of uncertainty and skepticism to that of their vision of the product. It wouldn’t take much to simply throw down an intended release date and make a statement that they still believe in it. They’ve failed to do so however only cementing the perception that Live 13 is in big trouble. The leaked footage would seem to be another incentive for them to get out and show what they have if they don’t feel it is representing the product they apparently plan to release. If they take no action within the coming days that’ll speak volumes – but at this point they’ve done plenty of that already.