Before I move on to discussing a few odds and ends that I’m hoping to see in NBA Live 13, I’d like to take a moment to talk about something that is very important to the community: the prospect of a PC release, and why we want to see it.
There’s currently some conflicting information out there regarding a possible PC release of NBA Live 13, with a couple of sites featuring pre-order listings for one (along with a Wii U version) while others only list versions for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. I expect we’ll get official confirmation one way or another soon but before that happens I’d like to speak out one more time on the community’s desire for a PC version.
So…why do we want a PC version?
When the NLSC was founded back in 1996, it played a huge role in jumpstarting the patching community for the NBA Live series. Unofficial player editors, roster patches, very early art updates…no longer were gamers limited to what could be put in the game by the developers. This only served to increase interest in the games and re-invent the experience. No longer did Michael Jordan have to be a created player with no bio data! I fondly recall discovering the NLSC for the first time, long before I took over running the site, and just being amazed at all the possibilities of modding the PC versions of some of my favourite games.
The patching community has continued to grow in leaps and bounds, doing some incredible work over the years. Even today, we have some people making outstanding, high quality updates for NBA Live 08, the final Live to be released for PC to date. The community has also eagerly taken to the PC versions of NBA 2K – ported from the current generation of consoles – playing and modding them with great enthusiasm.
Beyond patching, we have some very enthusiastic NBA Live players who maintain Story threads in the NLSC Forum, chronicling the ups and downs of their Dynasty games. While this enthusiasm does also extend to console players, it’s much easier to export stats, grab screenshots and take video from the PC version, elements that make Dynasty story threads all the more entertaining and appealing to readers.
The PC platform obviously presents its own challenges: piracy, developing games that will work on a number of different systems and a smaller fanbase compared to the console market. However, there is a rabid group of fans that remain very interested in playing basketball games on the PC.
According to VGChartz, the PC version of NBA 2K12 has sold a modest 130,000 units worldwide via retail as of May 26th 2012, with the game also available via digital download. More than a couple of people in this thread have indicated that NBA Live 13 is close to being a definite buy for them if the game comes out on PC. If NBA Jam can be released for the Mac, why can’t we get an NBA Live 13 release for Windows? (Sidenote: a PC release of NBA Jam: On Fire Edition, perhaps via Steam, would also be awesome!)
I’ll admit that I’m not that confident of a PC release for NBA Live 13 right now and I understand EA’s reasons for shying away from the platform, though I am keeping my fingers crossed until we get the official word on it. However, if there are no plans of a PC release and no chance that a PC port may still come out sometime after the console versions hit shelves, then my recommendation to EA Sports is to strongly consider a return to the platform next year. If NBA Live 13 makes a strong comeback this year and is well received, there’ll surely be a decent amount of gamers ready and willing to pick up a PC version of NBA Live 14.
Check back soon for the final article in this series, which will speculate on some miscellaneous features for NBA Live 13. In the meantime, be sure to check out the previous articles at the links below and post your expectations for NBA Live 13 here in the NLSC Forum.