Curious Circumstances Surround Current Retailer Listings for NBA Live 13

Posted July 6th, 2012 at 10:15 am

EA Sports was unable to generate excitement for NBA Live 13 at E3 – in fact they left the event with perception of the game taking a large hit from its already fairly low level of regard from the media. Since then the company has gone largely quiet regarding Live – with the exception of tweeting out first round draft pick overall ratings – which projects the impression that they don’t have what is needed to generate positive momentum or may not be confident in the product at this point in time. 

The 10/2 release date for NBA Live 13 was made official a while back – besides it’s mandated by the NBA that licensed products release on the first Tuesday in October. However still Amazon has a generic placeholder date as does Gamefly, and Best Buy along with Gamestop have no date listed. Walmart is the only retailer that has the 10/2 date on its product page. Though one could point to unreliable retailers something like this is very uncommon to see.

More curious than that however is that EA’s own site, Origin, does not even have a listing for NBA Live 13. They’re not taking pre-orders for it in any capacity there or advertising it. That is either a huge oversight on their part or a sign that something else is happening behind the scenes that makes its release date or method less concrete.

The company also hasn’t added the game to the Season Ticket program as of yet which would be another way to show confidence in the product and lead gamers into giving it a shot they might not have otherwise. If they avoid doing so – there is still time of course to announce it’ll be available with the subscription – it would be an indication they are anticipating poor word of mouth.

EA used the draft to at least bring NBA Live back into the public eye and there are the Olympics beginning late this month as another potential opportunity to make a strong marketing push. Additionally the company is holding a media event later this month where Live is expected to appear in some capacity. Whether there is anything to the lack of synergy between retailers and the absence of the game on the company’s own site is just speculation at this point. There are less than three months until its release however and the uncertainty is concerning.

Regardless the story right now regarding Live is one almost solely of pessimism and unawareness and that is growing increasingly difficult to imagine EA being able to overcome.