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Canceled NBA Elite 11 was anything but elite

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Buzz's Words

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All you'll be seeing of NBA Elite this year

The video game industry is a big business. Make that a huge business. Millions of dollars are spent developing games, and millions more are spent marketing them to the masses. NBA Elite 11, a basketball game from EA Sports, is unusual in that it's been developed and marketed, but it will never see the inside of a console. Although EA initially simply delayed its October 5 release, they've now officially canceled the game.

The announcement sent off a shockwave of searches on the Web. Online lookups on "nba elite canceled," "nba elite 2011," and "why nba elite 2011 canceled" all soared far above the rim on Yahoo!.

[Another major cancellation: They've got asbestos in the rafters at Madison Square Garden]

While there is no official explanation as to why the game has been called off, it's fair to say that the game's overall bad buzz combined with fan reaction to the game's horrifically buggy demo likely played a part. The stellar critical and fan response to rival game NBA 2K11 may have been the nail in the coffin. NBA Elite 11 was, apparently, a game that was anything but elite.

So, just how bad was it? Joe and Jane Gamer will never know, but folks who played the demo on their Xbox 360 or PlayStation 3 sounded off on the game's many bugs. In one well documented snafu, Laker center Andrew Bynum struck a Jesus-like pose at center court. Others discovered that you could shoot hook shots from just about anywhere on the court. So much for "If it's in the game, it's in the game."

While EA Sports isn't infallible, the company is known for putting out well-polished sports simulations year after year. After all, they are the folks behind Madden NFL, one of the longest running and most beloved franchises in game history.

Gamespot reports that the lack of an EA Sports NBA sim on store shelves will have significant financial repercussions for the company. Not only will the company miss out on tens of millions of dollars in revenue, the next EA NBA game will face a tougher time next year when it faces off with competitor NBA 2K12.

[Related: The happiest companies in America]

For the first time in a long time, the mega-game-maker will be the underdog, albeit with a new developer at the helm. Next year, EA plans to let the EA Tiburon, the guys behind Madden, tackle their NBA offering.

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