Can you believe it? NBA Live will actually be back this year for next-generation consoles! That is if EA doesn't go back on its decision once again. Indeed, NBA Live has been canceled for three years in a row and met quite a good dose of negative publicity concerning the quality of its development. In the meantime, the NBA 2K series has been going strong without skipping a year whatsoever. It is interesting how EA seems to have a monopoly on a lot of sports video games, but still can't seem to get a good grip on the basketball market. Now, the announcement seems to be pretty convincing as we saw the logo pop up besides FIFA 14, EA Sports UFC and Madden during Ignite's presentation at the Xbox One reveal. It would be pretty overly disappointing to see a game announced on such a big stage only to then be cancelled in the face of hopeful customers once again.
There's only so much information available on NBA Live, but the main thing you should know about NBA Live so far is EA Sports Ignite's next-generation engine that will be used in it. We covered Ignite in a recent article on Madden NFL 25 discussing how real the images and promises displayed at the conference really would be compared to the final product. The Ignite trailer included impressive sequences from many sports including basketball and superstar Kyrie Irving from the Cleveland Cavaliers.
According to this Ignite system, NBA Live could be an incredibly deep basketball game with an AI 4-times as wise, while animations should be 10-times as deep… so there’s your dose of number promises for you! What’s more interesting and concrete perhaps, is how EA intends to include true 3D crowds, which should be pretty refreshing compared to the paper-cards fans we’ve been forced to endure for so many years.
Can EA climb back on top of the mountain of basketball games or has the 2K series taken too much of a lead? Well, when it comes to community presence, we could consider 2K to indeed have an advantage. For several years now, 2K has notably provided large scale tournaments through Virgin Gaming. Also, the presentation of the 2K game has gotten quite good, which is usually EA’s main strength… so it seems like NBA Live will need to provide some solid gameplay in order to bring back basketball fans in their camp.
Is NBA Live officially out of the grave? Well, it’s now or never with such a big announcement in front of so many eyeballs. It will definitely be good to see some competition in the world of sports games again. It’s never ideal to have only one developer owning the entire market for one type of game, and at least two titles is generally required to have a healthy competition and motivate developers to make true upgrades between each edition. I personally hope that NHL could also once again get another title at 2K or somewhere else because as you can guess, I find that the developers of that series are sitting on their laurels because of the lack of direct competition.
NBA Live 14 is set to be released on Xbox One sometime in 2013, more likely towards the end of the year. Come back to this very page as much more details will be unveiled at E3 in less than a week.
Article by - Marc-André Messier
Insert Date: 6/8/2013
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