EA Sports boss "disappointed" with quality, puts the ball firmly in 2K's court.
NBA Live 13 has been cancelled, EA Sports has announced.
The basketball simulation had been expected to go on sale next month, but EA says that its "commitment to deliver a high quality experience" has forced it to hold back the title for another year.
"After a lot of consideration, we have made the decision to not launch NBA LIVE 13," announced EA Sports executive vice president Andrew Wilson.
"When we started the process of bringing back NBA LIVE, we knew it was going to be a long journey. We started by moving the game to a new studio. We brought in some of the best new technology that has helped fuel innovation in our other games. We launched an even deeper level of engagement with our community to gather more feedback directly from fans. And we built a whole new development team to bring it all to life. We felt like we were on the right path.
"We also made a commitment to deliver a high quality experience — this is what our fans expect and what we demand of ourselves at EA SPORTS. But making great games is not easy, and we're just not there yet on NBA LIVE 13. Having continued to look at the game over the past few days, it's clear that we won't be ready in October.
"And rather than launch midway through the season, we're going to sit out the full year and stay focused on making next year's game great. This decision puts us on the right track for success well into the future in a rapidly changing industry."
Wilson adds that he is "disappointed" that EA has not met expectations with NBA Live, but that the firm is "committed to delivering new innovation".
"This wasn't an easy decision," he continued, "but it's the right one for our fans. I hope you'll agree when you're able to play the game next year."
NBA Live 13 is the second successive NBA sim to be cancelled by EA.
In 2010, the publisher canned NBA Elite weeks before the title was due to go on sale, before handing the series' development duties over to Madden developer EA Tiburon.
The last basketball simulation title released by EA Sports was 2009's NBA Live 10.