NBA Live is not a flagship EA Sports title in the way that heavy-hitters like FIFA and Madden are, and it has a tumultuous history at the company. However, the strides that last year’s NBA Live 19 made in a positive direction gave fans some hope that the series was back on track again. Now, it appears something might be amiss or changing with the pro basketball franchise.
EA announced today that NBA Live 20 is still coming, but it’s been delayed to EA’s FY20 Q3, which means the game is now scheduled to release between October 1 and December 31, 2019.
A spokesperson for EA Sports told GameSpot that NBA Live will feature a “different approach,” but it’s not clear if this is the reason for the delay.
“We’re planning a different approach to NBA Live this year, and will have more to share in the quarter ahead,” the spokesperson said.
In an earnings call today, EA CEO Andrew Wilson says EA as a company remains committed to making basketball games, and he remarked that the NBA Live series is getting better with each new instalment. He also acknowledged the rumours that NBA Live 20 will be a free-to-play title, but he didn’t confirm or deny anything.
This delay for NBA Live 20 is a big deal because it means the game will launch a while after competitor NBA 2K20, which arrives on September 6. In 2019, both NBA Live 19 and NBA 2K19 launched in the same week.
EA signalled that something might be changing with NBA Live this year when it released a roster update for NBA Live 19 to bring the game in line with all the wild off-season trades. Many wondered if this meant NBA Live 20 would be canceled, with players instead given the accurate rosters for the previous game. It seems EA still plans to release NBA Live 20, but it seems it will indeed be a non-traditional release.