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What’s up with NBA Live 13?

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NBA Live 13 (Credit: EA Sports)

More than six months ago, Electronic Arts announced that after a two-year absence, NBA Live would be returning to store shelves this fall in a reboot that would "[capture] the future of basketball."

But with a mere two months to go before the tip off of this year's NBA season, we don't know much more about the game. It was at E3, but no one was allowed to touch it, and it didn't look great. Since then? Virtually nothing. What's going on here?

During the initial announcement, EA told us to expect an October launch, which would coincide with the start of the pro season. By now you'd expect a hard date to whet fans' appetites. There's not one. EA, in fact, has been nearly silent. Even the official NBA Live 13 website was apparently last updated back in May.

That's got fans concerned — and rightfully so. The last edition of NBA Live (which was going under the name NBA Elite) was postponed and eventually outright cancelled due to quality concerns. While there's no indication that this year's version is in danger of suffering a similar fate, some gamers are starting to wonder if quality could again be an issue.

What about a cover athlete, at least? Nope. No word on that either.

Yesterday, rumors started swirling that EA might forgo traditional retailers altogether, offering the game solely as a digital download at the bargain price of $20. EA declined to comment to Kotaku.

If that turns out to be true, EA could be pulling a page from Take-Two's playbook. Back in 2004, when the two companies were battling to win the hearts of NFL fans, Take-Two rolled out its NFL 2K5 for just $20, a price that fans flocked to -- and one that forced EA to slash the price of that year's Madden.

When it comes to contemporary NBA games, however, the tables have turned. Take-Two holds the dominant position with their award-winning NBA 2K games. The franchise is one of the company's strongest performers. A price war could both impact its bottom line and potentially win players back to the NBA Live franchise.

Or, who knows? It could be a game with teams of unicorns and circus clowns. Hopefully, EA will shed some light on things soon.

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