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For NBA Live: The Silence is Deafening Stuck
Posted on July 24, 2012 at 09:17 AM.


You heard a lot of conjecture coming from EA's camp. A lot of hype really.

We're back. Things are looking good. We're building for the future.

Then E3 hit. Wave after wave of bad reviews saying the game simply wasn't ready to be shown off, and 'What was EA thinking?' type of articles -- including from our own Steve Noah.

Now, silence. Deafening, complete...silence.

I've tried to ask around, I've been told the game is still on track and still moving forward. But EA, for all intents and purposes, is ignoring the fact they're releasing an NBA game later this year for now. Perhaps they're waiting to get through Madden before trying to fire the hype machine up, maybe they're waiting to improve the game to a point where it's actually, say, functional.

Whatever the reason -- we've got silence, and lots of it.

I don't think NBA Live is doomed to not release, but the chances of a delay are very real if the game isn't ready by launch time. It'd probably be for the best, as NBA 2K will outshine it in quality -- I don't think anyone questions that, I certainly haven't.

But this is EA's one and only chance and they have to get it right. The game has to play balanced, has to play smooth online, and has to at least -- you know -- play the game of basketball competently.

NBA Live doesn't need to be an OS rated 8.0 to survive. It doesn't even need to be a 7.0, or what we call a good/solid game. But it does need to be competent, above average even.

The simple fact is, NBA Live has to give customers a reason to buy into the franchise -- to buy into some hope that it could be resurrected and be competitive with 2K's masterpiece. I have long held that the game will do at least that (and sell pretty ok in the process), and maybe I'll end up wrong -- but I do know that anything less will be a disaster for EA.

EA has a one shot opportunity to prove to an extremely skeptical consumer base (especially post-E3) that they can deliver a competent and fun game of basketball. If they fail, the franchise probably will not survive to see another year.

It would be the last bit of the wall of competition going down, and we will usher in what will probably be a permanent new reality in sports gaming: one without direct competition.

Competition is a rarity in sports gaming in 2012 -- and when (not if) one of the NBA franchises folds, it's likely that every major American sport will continue without serious direct competition across multiple platforms forever.

So foolishly, hopelessly (it seems), I'm rooting for EA to pull out a rabbit and to give us hope that more than one game mimicking the same sport can exist in today's marketplace.

But the silence from EA? That silence tells me I might be wrong.
Comments
# 1 humanprototype @ Jul 24
I agree, EA needs to stay in the mix or we could see a decline in quality from 2k, much like EAs Madden title. Without the competition, i fear the consumers will suffer. Hopefully, it's quiet b/c they're busy working on the game. I'll keep my fingers crossed.
 
# 2 THE YAMA @ Jul 24
Right now, EA is only good for the consumer to keep NBA2K pushing out high quality games. I honestly don't even think NBA Live is in the same category as NBA2K based on the overall gaming experience.
 
# 3 SkinnyClown @ Jul 24
I think EA need to go back to Live 10 and build from there. 10 was a solid game and played great and in my opinion, the in game details rivaled 2k. Things like training staff littered about in practice and the variations in bench players attire. In fact, 2K seemed to take some inspiration from Live 10 in terms of gameplay, in the form of the Size-up dribble animations and players falling after shots/layups.

If EA want to get back 'in the game' they need to focus on bringing out a solid game with more depth and keep the details and graphic quality they are famous for. I'd suggest reading the 2K13 wish lists
 
# 4 BigBadTom @ Jul 24
I would love to keep ea in the business because 2k is human and they will slack if they dont har competition
 
# 5 LRBTODAY @ Jul 24
We will see. It's crazy because if you listen to HipHopGamer 2k13 is about to be dethroned, lol. But only time will tell. I hope that they put out a decent game. I'm not even a Live fan, but I know that comp well make 2K step there game up.
 
# 6 22cedric @ Jul 24
EA Sports said that they know they have more proving to do with NBA Live & it's about restablishing the credibility of the franchise. What EA Sports will do on the marketing standpoint will relate back to the core message.
 
# 7 Rick_Tha_Rula87 @ Jul 24
They should've kept the NBA Live 10 base and just improved upon that model. Live 10 was a solid and enjoyable game to me. The rebounding, sliding and certain 2 man animations screwed with it. Maybe if Mike didn't leave Live to go back to 2k we wouldn't even have the discussion.
 
# 8 NoTiCe_O @ Jul 24
"We've got a very unexpected, unconventional, disruptive strategy planned" - Live 13 Executive Producer

That's all there is to it really, its a marketing strategy. I think things are going according to plan for Live right now, nobody knows what to expect so the "unexpected" part of the strategy is already in effect. It's almost august and they haven't announced a cover athlete, so the "unconventional" part it there.

Now I think in the coming months when 2k has to release info about their game is when we'll see the "disruptive" part of this strategy that the Live team has planned.
 
# 9 al2k4 @ Jul 24
This is bad!
 
# 10 bigsmallwood @ Jul 24
If NBA Live does not talk after Madden 13 comes out...then I am burying my hope for the franchise. It would be delusional of EA to think that after the Madden train has passed that they could just continue to sit silently while 2K is pumping out info...not to mention their gigantic announcement that has yet to take place....#ComeonEA we are rooting for you!
 
# 11 scottyp180 @ Jul 24
Quote:
"We've got a very unexpected, unconventional, disruptive strategy planned" - Live 13 Executive Producer

That's all there is to it really, its a marketing strategy. I think things are going according to plan for Live right now, nobody knows what to expect so the "unexpected" part of the strategy is already in effect. It's almost august and they haven't announced a cover athlete, so the "unconventional" part it there.

Now I think in the coming months when 2k has to release info about their game is when we'll see the "disruptive" part of this strategy that the Live team has planned.
I hope you are right and EA pulls off some unexpected surprises but as of right now their strategy doesn't seem to be working. First of all the average consumer doesn't even know NBA Live 13 exists. People who bought 2k the past 2 years because there was no other option probably do not realize another game is coming out this year and I would think the longer Ea waits to make noise the harder it will be to sway these people.
Secondly the people who are aware of NBA Live 13 have only heard bad things so far. EA is going to have to prove a lot in order for people to even consider buying they're game.
Lastly, and maybe even most important, as little as we have heard about Live we have heard only a tiny bit more about 2K, you know the game that has been dominating for 10 years now. What 2k showed at E3 is only a glimpse of the big picture, and you know the main gameplay improvements were not demonstrated in the video.

My guess is that both teams, EA and 2k, are playing chicken right now. Neither team wants to release big news only to be overshadowed days later. The right now the question is not only who is going to fire first but who is bringing more guns to the fight. EA has a lot to prove so if do have a marketing strategy in mind I hope they have enough ammo to battle 2k.
 
# 12 jersez @ Jul 24
I think live will do okay in sells because you just have customer loyalty, they will play whatever EA gives them, and 2k doesn't know how to properly market their product to produce more sells.I don't know if 2k can sell 5 million again. I keep hearing competition is good, no it's not. The reason why we have 1 NFL game 1 NBA game and 1 MLB game, is due to competition. Live has never pushed 2k to make their game better, 2k has always improved from year to year. I think without Live 2k will continue to flourish. They have shown, they are still focused on the sim community.EA on the other hand has never tried to replicate basketball or football properly. So that's why the football gamers are screwed because their only option is a EA product. I think 2k will still improve if they have the NBA market to their selves. The only hype live 13 has now is the hiphop gamer, think about that matter of fact most of you probably don't even know who he is. SMH
 
# 13 NoTiCe_O @ Jul 24
With the internet and Twitter I feel like marketing isn't EA's biggest concern, we all know EA knows how to market. They just need to make sure the game their going to market is worth it.

The disruptive part of that strategy is what intrigues me, I can only imagine. All i know is one good viral video on twitter and the whole world knows about you.
 
# 14 blood9585 @ Jul 24
I'm a fan of both EA and 2K's basketball game efforts. I was also at E3 to view the NBA Live demo. I'll say this..the technology they are offering can become very special, but like everything else in gaming, it will become better with more time. I'm on the side where I'd rather wait and things be right, than rushed and sub par.
 
# 15 chi_hawks @ Jul 24
I'm very interested to see what nba live 13 plays like. I have a sinking feeling we will all be underwhelmed, but as many have said, competition is good. Keeps 2k honest and innovating.
 

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