EA has continued to push some of the most premiere sports franchises in gaming today, but one that isn't looking so promising is NBA Live.
NBA Live 20 was cancelled in 2019, disappointing fans who were hoping for a massive release to rival 2K's NBA 2K series.
So where is NBA Live 22, and what can fans expect?
NBA Live 22 Release Date
NBA Live 22 has no official release date, but with no cancellation announcement just yet, we still expect the game will enter development and release on schedule with previous releases (NBA Live 18, 19).
With this in mind, we expect NBA Live 22 will launch around late August.
READ MORE: NBA 2K22: Everything You Need to Know
NBA Live 22 Early Access
NBA Live 22 will likely feature several methods of early access, including a demo, EA Play trial, and early access from specific NBA Live 22 editions.
If NBA Live 22 is on-schedule for a late August release date, we can expect a demo in early August, and EA Play trial offering 10 hours of gameplay a week before launch.
NBA Live 22 Next Gen
If EA push forward with NBA Live 22 development this year, there's all the room for it to be the series debut on next gen consoles, developed specifically for next gen hardware.
While EA have elected to not create a next gen specific edition for some sports titles like NHL 21, we don't expect this will be the case for a game developed almost entirely in the new year.
READ MORE: NBA 2K21 Next Gen Gameplay Trailer
NBA Live 21 Cancelled
Basketball gaming fans had high hopes for NBA Live 21 after EA were forced to cancel NBA Live 20 in 2019.
Unfortunately, another letdown is in store, as EA cancelled NBA Live 21 as well in 2020.
What does this mean for the series moving forward, and for the future of basketball sim gaming?
The Future of NBA Live
NBA Live has struggled to reach the heights of the NBA 2K series over the course of its existence, but it's offered a nice alternative that has improved on some elements of basketball sim gameplay.
Areas like commentary, arena designs, movement and more have been complimented by players throughout NBA Live's existence.
With a second NBA Live game in a row getting cancelled, however, fans are understandably down on the future of series.
READ MORE: EA Reveal NBA Live 20 Cancellation
One silver lining to NBA Live 21's cancellation, however, is that this isn't anything new for the NBA Live series.
The NBA Live series has a history of inconsistency in annual releases, running from 1994 to 2009, then from 2013 to 2015, and finally 2017 to 2018.
With this in mind, NBA Live 22 is still a possibility.
Will There Be More NBA Live Games?
With the NBA Live series' inconsistent past, we're less concerned about these game cancellations than many fans may be.
It's certainly a blow to NBA Live's place as competition, but we still expect more NBA Lives games to come in the future.
We expect that will start with NBA Live 22, which could be the series' debut on next gen consoles.
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