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EA Still Working on a Basketball Game, But Won’t Confirm NBA Live

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EA Still Working on a Basketball Game, But Won’t Confirm NBA Live

After delaying NBA Live 20 back in July of 2019, then following up later in the year by officially canceling it, EA Sports general manager Daryl Holt didn’t even mention the game by name in a recent interview with Axios.

In fact, he just describes it as their generic next-generation HD basketball project that they have been talking about, designing and working on. He goes on by stating the NBA deal is “definitely around mobile”, as the team continues to discuss what they want to do on the HD front going forward.

After promising to check back regularly with updates back in 2019, the NBA Live team hasn’t posted anything related to the game on their official Twitter account since.

While nothing was set in stone, there was a glimmer of hope when Scott O’Gallagher left the NBA 2K series for a creative director role at EA Sports, joining ex-NBA 2K senior producer Rob Jones.

However, the writing on the wall makes it seem more likely that both Scott and Rob are working on something else. Just a hunch, it’s most likely the upcoming EA Sports College Football.

Some of you may have noticed Connor Dougan and Ryan Santos in some of the most recent Madden NFL 22 videos. Both of them were on the NBA Live team. So, who’s left?

Only time will tell, but things definitely don’t look good for another NBA Live return.

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  1. Why is everything with EA gotta be a secret when it comes to the Live franchise. Either you're making it or not! Their transparency have to get better. As far as them making multiple basketball games go that does not say much rather they are simulation or non-simulation. Maybe a NBA Street and possibly a college basketball game could be in the works.
    Interesting....
    For those who didn't take the time to do it, I will say it again - if you take the time to edit players in Live 18 and especially increase court vision (between 75-99) you will have the best playing offline NBA Live game, in my opinion. The AI, ball movement and player movement is pure awesomeness. I wish EA continued to develop this version and improve after 19, which was worse in my opinion.
    Charles Bliss
    Why is everything with EA gotta be a secret when it comes to the Live franchise. Either you're making it or not! Their transparency have to get better. As far as them making multiple basketball games go that does not say much rather they are simulation or non-simulation. Maybe a NBA Street and possibly a college basketball game could be in the works.

    Looks like they are making it, but still need to decide if to release it, cancel it, show it in action and then cancel it, or just pretend it never happened. That's a lot to think about, it takes time.
    One time I want EA to release a honest trailer for a basketball game with a cancellation notice at the end: "Cancelled on PS5 and XBSS/X this fall! Stay tuned!"
    Honestly, the more I have thought about this I believe it is the primarily the NBA's fault that NBA Live has not returned. If you look at 2k's licensing deal with the NBA it is costing them around 1.1 billion over 7 years which would be a little less than 158 million per year. That means just for 2k to break even on the licensing costs they would need to sell over 2.6 million copies of the game at $60 a pop. That is not even considering paying people to actually make the game, then market the game, then distribute the game, then give the console makers and pc stores their cut. It is incredible to think about how much they actually have to sell to break even on the game. Now they make a killing in microtransactions so we know they will still make a ton of money, but what about Live. Or what about another company wanting to make an NBA game without an established market. Live didn't really push microtransactions either so there is just no possible way that they can put out a product that would be profitable. I really believe they were making the game and intended to release one but the NBA just priced them out and that is why now they are having discussions on what to do with their HD basketball product.
    I honestly wouldn't mind them just releasing a LIVE RUN game that is a LIVE service built upon THE ONE mode. They could try and replicate that feeling you get going to the courts or your local gym and playing some pickup basketball. They continue to update the game with new animations, move sets, features, apparel, etc. They could build competitive modes from it and then maybe have leagues to replicate and show off different skill levels. Myplayer online modes have become the most popular aspect of 2k and they have basically nothing to do with NBA so it might appeal to a lot of gamers if they can find the right way to market it. This way EA could invest in the actual game and release something with a lot lower risk level than paying the insane licensing fees. I am sure they have already completed a ton of work on the game already so a lot of what it would cost to make the game has already been spent.
    youvalss
    Looks like they are making it, but still need to decide if to release it, cancel it, show it in action and then cancel it, or just pretend it never happened. That's a lot to think about, it takes time.
    One time I want EA to release a honest trailer for a basketball game with a cancellation notice at the end: "Cancelled on PS5 and XBSS/X this fall! Stay tuned!"

    I don't know you can't trust what EA says, they say one thing and do the complete opposite. According to the article the focus seem to be towards NBA Live mobile and not so much in the console and PC space. I could be wrong and also why can't they provide this message on their official Twitter and EA page to give their fans some kind of hope!! People are tired of the constant speculations.
    BQ32
    Honestly, the more I have thought about this I believe it is the primarily the NBA's fault that NBA Live has not returned.

    Did this guy just say it's the NBA's fault... :lol: The mindset of Live fans, blame everyone else but EA. This guy still can't refute any of the points I made. Adam Silvers fault.. Good grief Charlie Brown...
    I still believe in NBA Live I'm delusional. I think EA will release another NBA game but they'll rebrand it and go with another name kinda like what they tried to do with NBA Elite before that got cancelled. Hopefully the rebrand is successful and not terrible like what happened to NBA Elite.
    One problem is that EA's basketball games (and I'm talking about NBA basketball offline) usually don't show the potential out of the box. It takes so much editing to discover a solid product underneath.
    I wrote here earlier that Live 18 can be great with editing. But most people will never get there. I watch YouTube videos and can't believe it's the same game I play. It's like EA just doesn't care, a "whatever" kind of an attitude. I don't know why they do it.
    noshun
    Did this guy just say it's the NBA's fault... :lol: The mindset of Live fans, blame everyone else but EA. This guy still can't refute any of the points I made. Adam Silvers fault.. Good grief Charlie Brown...

    Mannnnnnn....
    BQ32
    Honestly, the more I have thought about this I believe it is the primarily the NBA's fault that NBA Live has not returned. If you look at 2k's licensing deal with the NBA it is costing them around 1.1 billion over 7 years which would be a little less than 158 million per year. That means just for 2k to break even on the licensing costs they would need to sell over 2.6 million copies of the game at $60 a pop. That is not even considering paying people to actually make the game, then market the game, then distribute the game, then give the console makers and pc stores their cut. It is incredible to think about how much they actually have to sell to break even on the game. Now they make a killing in microtransactions so we know they will still make a ton of money, but what about Live. Or what about another company wanting to make an NBA game without an established market. Live didn't really push microtransactions either so there is just no possible way that they can put out a product that would be profitable. I really believe they were making the game and intended to release one but the NBA just priced them out and that is why now they are having discussions on what to do with their HD basketball product.
    I honestly wouldn't mind them just releasing a LIVE RUN game that is a LIVE service built upon THE ONE mode. They could try and replicate that feeling you get going to the courts or your local gym and playing some pickup basketball. They continue to update the game with new animations, move sets, features, apparel, etc. They could build competitive modes from it and then maybe have leagues to replicate and show off different skill levels. Myplayer online modes have become the most popular aspect of 2k and they have basically nothing to do with NBA so it might appeal to a lot of gamers if they can find the right way to market it. This way EA could invest in the actual game and release something with a lot lower risk level than paying the insane licensing fees. I am sure they have already completed a ton of work on the game already so a lot of what it would cost to make the game has already been spent.

    Example 2,467,590,100 why this series is where it's at. It's the NBA's fault now? Sooooo the NBA should devalue their brand for EA (one of the 10 richest video game companies on the planet) to be able to properly make a game that they aren't entitled to have a license for? Make it make sense.
    zello144
    I still believe in NBA Live I'm delusional. I think EA will release another NBA game but they'll rebrand it and go with another name kinda like what they tried to do with NBA Elite before that got cancelled. Hopefully the rebrand is successful and not terrible like what happened to NBA Elite.

    Even though Live's name has taken a hit over the years I still think the best course of action for EA if they're going to try to continue making NBA games is to keep that name. Live DOES still have a history behind it that connects with people's youth and when they were first getting into games and the fun memories associated with that.
    Changing the name of the series doesn't make the internet forget what Live's recent history has been. People aren't stupid. They know that Live has become a joke and Live is EA Sports' basketball offering. If the idea is a new name getting people to give it a chance without pre judging it, all they have to do is look at the EA Sports logo slapped on the box to instantly nullify the whole point of changing name.
    At this point I’d rather it be
    A - a college BBall game.
    Or
    B - an arcade Jam or street style game.
    Or
    Both…
    Not sure EA can get back in the NBA sim game at this point…
    I’d love a college game…. I’d like all three but I’d Put NBA sim at bottom as I believe it’s the one they’d make a mess of most with ultimate team and no effort to franchise mode and that’s all I want
    I don't think the NBA is that huge of a selling point anymore. I also think people are tired of sweaties on the other game. I mean, kid on that game are actually crying on the mic when they get frustrated. It's its own beast.
    Just a basketball game would be fine, as long as it's not straight moon-physics like NBA Jam. I don't think we need that. A "Street" game branded with a modified Live engine and y'know rando players + maybe some NBA Legends they can buy up, maybe some street lengends, celebs lool, whatever. It would be ok.
    WE WANT A GAME WHERE WE CAN COMPETE AND HAVE FUN. Expectations are not that high.
    It's like, in mentioning college bball, I think it makes more sense to stick with a coach, even through bad times, if you are a legit program. If you keep firing your coach and starting over, you have no consistency and are stuck in the same rut.
    Same with "Live", whatever they are doing is making them meme-ier, and the more they mess around, the more they become irrelevant. They should worry less about being a meme on Reddit w/ Bynum Elite pix and just put out a bball game. Brute force through it. It'll work out.
    I'm not an economist, but I feel like just having a bball game, as long as they aren't taking a massive loss, is good for the EA sports brand and will probably pay off in the long run.
    -Smak
    ILLSmak
    I don't think the NBA is that huge of a selling point anymore. I also think people are tired of sweaties on the other game. I mean, kid on that game are actually crying on the mic when they get frustrated. It's its own beast.
    Just a basketball game would be fine, as long as it's not straight moon-physics like NBA Jam. I don't think we need that. A "Street" game branded with a modified Live engine and y'know rando players + maybe some NBA Legends they can buy up, maybe some street lengends, celebs lool, whatever. It would be ok.
    WE WANT A GAME WHERE WE CAN COMPETE AND HAVE FUN. Expectations are not that high.
    It's like, in mentioning college bball, I think it makes more sense to stick with a coach, even through bad times, if you are a legit program. If you keep firing your coach and starting over, you have no consistency and are stuck in the same rut.
    Same with "Live", whatever they are doing is making them meme-ier, and the more they mess around, the more they become irrelevant. They should worry less about being a meme on Reddit w/ Bynum Elite pix and just put out a bball game. Brute force through it. It'll work out.
    I'm not an economist, but I feel like just having a bball game, as long as they aren't taking a massive loss, is good for the EA sports brand and will probably pay off in the long run.
    -Smak

    I think you are severely underrating the value of a licensed product man. For people like the majority of us who just want a good basketball game to play, sure that would be fine and yes I’m sure a lot of us would buy your hypothetical game. But if it’s just a random *** basketball game with no NBA license, no licensed teams, no current players, nobody that moves the needle for game developers to continue supporting and making games like that are buying that product.
    You basically just described All-Pro Football and we saw it’s fate without the NFL license. Money talks and sales matter. Whether we like it or not if the kids and casual fans aren’t buying the product the product either won’t get made or won’t be made for long. And that crew NEEDS their favorite teams and players represented.
    Sent from my iPhone using Operation Sports
    "EA Sports last*announced*a deal with the NBA in 2011. Asked if there’s an NBA deal now, Holt said, “Definitely around mobile. And then we're in discussions about what we want to do on the HD front.”"
    Interesting, vague response there. So can they use the NBA license on console or not? Is it an EA decision or is NBA dictating what they can do? I know there were rumors of EA releasing some form of a free NBA Live and that the NBA might have put the kibosh on it. If that is the case I can understand why EA is unsure about what to do next, but at the same time Live 19 released 3 years ago. I feel like they should be further along than the discussion stage at this point.
    Wish EA would be more transparent about what has gone on over the last 2-3 years. We went from "check back for regular updates" to "we're in discussions about what we want to do." Be nice to know what changed and why.
    youvalss
    One problem is that EA's basketball games (and I'm talking about NBA basketball offline) usually don't show the potential out of the box. It takes so much editing to discover a solid product underneath.
    I wrote here earlier that Live 18 can be great with editing. But most people will never get there. I watch YouTube videos and can't believe it's the same game I play. It's like EA just doesn't care, a "whatever" kind of an attitude. I don't know why they do it.

    I thought that both games(especially 18) were good out of the box and then patches messed things up. I do agree that there are certain edits that you can make to make gameplay better.
    But here is where EA loses me...I decided to experiment earlier this summer with both games. I basically simmed 30 years ahead so that all of the current NBA players were gone(to my surprise a few remained lol). I just wanted to see if Gameplay would get better/worse etc. What I found is that 80% of the players had jersey numbers over 40(including point guards)...players on the same team had the same cyberfaces so you couldn't tell who was who...accessories were mismatched. It just came off as EA being lazy IMO. Without a global editor it's just too much work to edit all of the issues those games have in the long run.
    TarHeelPhenom
    I thought that both games(especially 18) were good out of the box and then patches messed things up. I do agree that there are certain edits that you can make to make gameplay better.
    But here is where EA loses me...I decided to experiment earlier this summer with both games. I basically simmed 30 years ahead so that all of the current NBA players were gone(to my surprise a few remained lol). I just wanted to see if Gameplay would get better/worse etc. What I found is that 80% of the players had jersey numbers over 40(including point guards)...players on the same team had the same cyberfaces so you couldn't tell who was who...accessories were mismatched. It just came off as EA being lazy IMO. Without a global editor it's just too much work to edit all of the issues those games have in the long run.

    Patches ruined Live 19 for me, that's why I switched to 18 and never looked back.
    I am not sure how Live 18 was out of the box, but I do know that after editing rosters I have been seeing amazing gameplay where the CPU move the ball to the open player, take smart shots, go up for a layup and pass to an open midrange shooter, take midrange shots etc. Most players had low values for Court Vision by default, it's ridiculous, and these things happen every year. By default - or even with roster updates - players are brain dead dummies. After editing this attribute plus many other attribute (even though you can't edit tendencies) it's night and day. EA just don't care what you think about their NBA/basketball representation.
    NBA live 19 before that one patch that got the defenders to stick to their man like glue, is still my favorite basketball game to date.  It was just fun and not overcomplicated. That being said it still wasnt anywhere near where it needed to be to compete. 
    its not rocket science to me. If they can make a good game it doesnt matter what the name is. It doesnt matter its ridiculous history. If its good and has a feature set that competes it will do well. They dont have to justify the cost of the NBA license and (try) releasing a game every year. Take your time, make it awesome, pay for the license when your confident you can make a splash. 
    People love an underdog. People love a comeback story. EA sports should have an NBA game. They should have an MLB game as well. To do it they would need to take the long road and unfortunately they wont. 
    I can't understand why people think a college basketball game would sell in 2021 when it didn't sell in the 2000's and both EA and 2K cancelled their games.   Ya'll do realize that college basketball was more popular back then than it is now and people still didn't buy college basketball video games.
    As someone that's been a 2K fan since 2k2 first released on PS2 (jeez that's a lot of 2s) I thought EA was on a good track with Live 18 and 19. Taking extra time in order to release a higher quality product seemed like a good decision but with this news it's like, what did they do over the past 2+ years? How are they back to the discussion stage of what kind of basketball game(s) to release on consoles? If they just built on Live 19 over the last 2+ years they should have had a game that was worth releasing at this point.
    I just don't know how they have struggled this much for this long with the series. Like you said it's not rocket science, and they have people in place that should be capable of bringing the series up to standards. But it seems like every time you think EA is turning things around with Live they take 2-3 steps back.
    I just started playing Live 19 last week after only playing 2k since 2k7 and honestly it's a solid game.
    It looks good, particularly the all the courts and lighting.
    Franchise mode and commentary were very bare bones though.
    I really like the the Street World Tour mode more than anything so maybe they're working on an new NBA Street?
    EA is too quick to pull the curtain as soon as they see it struggling they cancel the next years game and have to start all over again.
    I don't think they'll ever catch up to 2k ever. 2K already has the advantage casual gamers will buy it automatically.
    stocksy
    At this point I’d rather it be
    A - a college BBall game.
    Or
    B - an arcade Jam or street style game.
    Or
    Both…
    Not sure EA can get back in the NBA sim game at this point…
    I’d love a college game…. I’d like all three but I’d Put NBA sim at bottom as I believe it’s the one they’d make a mess of most with ultimate team and no effort to franchise mode and that’s all I want

    Perfect time for EA to get back into the NBA sim space as 2k is transitioning out of it. 2k is becoming a gambling open world that focuses on everything but sim basketball.
    Need EA back if not to just attempt to keep 2k honest and re focus on what’s in the title of the game
    Schnoodle321
    Perfect time for EA to get back into the NBA sim space as 2k is transitioning out of it. 2k is becoming a gambling open world that focuses on everything but sim basketball.
    Need EA back if not to just attempt to keep 2k honest and re focus on what’s in the title of the game

    Just to clarify, so EA is supposed to keep 2K honest when Live can't even be honest with the fans, or themselves, as to what their basketball game is supposed to be? Live was never sim to begin wiith (95-,99 were) trying to get into a sim space? 2k has always been sim focused, with Park being the non sim hybrid aspect. People don't play Live for the NBA side of things majorly because that side severely lacks when compared to 2K. And which is better between the One/Park is subjective because people who play Park aren't buying Live just to play The One. Also how is 2K transitioning from sim, or do you mean just Park mode?
    noshun
    Just to clarify, so EA is supposed to keep 2K honest when Live can't even be honest with the fans, or themselves, as to what their basketball game is supposed to be? Live was never sim to begin wiith (95-,99 were) trying to get into a sim space? 2k has always been sim focused, with Park being the non sim hybrid aspect. People don't play Live for the NBA side of things majorly because that side severely lacks when compared to 2K. And which is better between the One/Park is subjective because people who play Park aren't buying Live just to play The One. Also how is 2K transitioning from sim, or do you mean just Park mode?

    Competition will keep 2k honest, instead of releasing the same game over and over.
    Sent from my iPhone 12 Pro Max
    VoltSwoosh
    Competition will keep 2k honest, instead of releasing the same game over and over.
    Sent from my iPhone 12 Pro Max

    Lmao! 2K hasn’t had competition for a decade now. Still innovating. But y’all want EA to give you one good Live and just update the rosters every year
    Sent from my iPhone using Operation Sports
    King_B_Mack
    Lmao! 2K hasn’t had competition for a decade now. Still innovating. But y’all want EA to give you one good Live and just update the rosters every year
    Sent from my iPhone using Operation Sports

    Ok Ronnie.
    Sent from my iPhone 12 Pro Max

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