The Death of Console NCAA Basketball Titles

Over at Dubious Quality, Bill Harris posted an interesting article last night. Apparently EA is pulling the plug on this year’s annual NCAA Basketball title; I believe the 2K title was already canned.

I have never been a huge video game basketball fan, but I never thought I would see this day come. Is NCAA Football next?

From my perspective, I don’t think it is such a bad thing for EA to skip a release. Personally I would rather see developers focus on creating a really great title and then offer DLC, even if some of it is pay-to-play, in order to support and enhance the gaming experience.

Take Madden 2010 for example. While the game does have some faults, it is sold enough that I may consider not picking up 2011. I doubt EA would ever do this, but they could keep 2010 rolling – continue to patch the game and offer new content via DLC. Of course the patches should be free. EA could offer Madden 2010 gamers 2011 roster update subscriptions in two different tiers – post draft and post training camp, and an unlimited offer that would support roster updates throughout the year. EA has already shown the ability to add free DLC via Madden Ultimate Team, which can also drive revenue.

I passed on last year’s NCAA Basketball and NCAA Football titles, so I am not sure if continuing to release patches and DLC would even be an option, but it would be something that (I think) gamers would embrace. Could you image a year when the reviews did not claim “same game with roster updates?” Rejoice! That would be music to my ears!

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2 thoughts on “The Death of Console NCAA Basketball Titles”

  1. EA stock was down 10% this morning on a gloomy outlook for this year.

    I think overall sales may have been down on the last quarter too.

    So not surprising that they’d be culling projects but you’d think NCAA hoops wouldn’t cost so much because they’re probably leveraging the NBA Live engine.

    I’d be very surprised if they dropped NCAA Football though.

    Sports-wise, they probably need to milk the World Cup as much as possible, NFL may be stupid enough to lock out in 2011 so they have to be wary about Madden sales next year.

    Also saw a blurb that developers in general are very interested in iPhone and other smart phone platforms. Current consoles and handhelds are becoming a bit stale other than a few blockbuster games.

    EA was at the iPad announcement event so they’re putting their eggs in new baskets as they take them away from old ones.

  2. Once upon a time I would have been shocked if NCAA Football was canceled, but not any more. As long as the economy struggles, all bets are off. Plus the serious is so far removed from where it was in its PlayStation glory days. Seriously, I actually *passed* on this year’s game.

    I agree about milking the World Cup. We will probably see 3 FIFA titles in a single calendar year – FIFA 10, the World Cup release, and of course FIFA 11. We could also see some sort of Champion edition.

    Please do not get me started on a possible NFL lockout!

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