NBA Live’s return to relevance has been a tough road so far. After the debacle that was the NBA Elite 11 demo, EA cancelled the game, hoping to retool the series and reclaim a chunk of the basketball audience from 2K. A false start in 2013 lead to another cancellation, and last year’s offering, NBA Live 14, was not the triumphant return they had hoped for, with poor reviews and sales figures well below those of NBA 2K14. NBA Live 15 is slated to give it another shot with an October release, and today the game’s executive producer, Sean O’Brien, issued an open letter to fans about the future of the NBA Live franchise and how EA aims to make it a top-tier title again.
First off, O’Brien announced that NBA Live 15 will be coming to Xbox One and PlayStation 4 just in time for the start of next year’s NBA season, on October 7. O’Brien went on to address some of the issues that plagued last year’s offering; namely visuals and 5-on-5 gameplay. Touting new head scans for every NBA player as well as new character models and lighting, O’Brien stated his confidence in this year’s visual package; “I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised with everything we’ve done with our visuals this cycle.”
While vague about details, he also talked about refining the on-court action, stating that the team is focused on improving the “flow and responsiveness in every area where you touch the ball.” EA has spoken with NBA coaches, as well, to “better understand their schemes and philosophies, which we can then implement in-game.”
Finally, O’Brien teased more updates in the months to come, including content on the NBA Live website and “hands-on previews from your favorite sports and gaming outlets.”
Whether or not NBA Live can return to prominence after years of missteps has yet to be seen, but at least we know EA is making efforts to revive the once great franchise.