EA Sports confirms pro basketball sim hiatus ends this year with announcement of NBA Live 13.
It appears as if the NBA Live lockout is over. Today, EA Sports confirmed that production is under way on NBA Live 13 by tweeting a picture of the Cleveland Cavaliers' Kyrie Irving playing the game. Additional details on NBA Live 13 were not revealed.
EA Sports' professional basketball sim franchise has been dormant since NBA Live 10 was launched in 2009. Following that game's release, EA announced in 2010 that it planned to reboot the franchise with NBA Elite 11. Built around a more "hands-on control" scheme than its NBA Live predecessors, NBA Elite 11 was to emphasize player movement and skill-based shooting.
However, when that game's October 2010 launch window came and went, EA Sports confirmed that it scuttled the game and handed the franchise off to its EA Tiburon studio, better known as the home of Madden NFL. In 2011, the only basketball game EA ended up releasing was the arcade-style NBA Jam: On Fire Edition.
EA's absence from the pro NBA sim genre has proven to be a boon for competitor 2K Sports. Both NBA 2K11 and NBA 2K12 had franchise-best years, topping the 4 million unit sales mark.