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NLSC Podcast #294: Microtransactions, Mega Profits

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Episode #294 of the NLSC Podcast is out now! This week Arcane and I cover all of the latest previews for NBA 2K20, along with record-setting numbers for NBA 2K19, and the latest word on NBA Live 20.

A statement from Andrew Wilson has reiterated that NBA Live 20 is coming. Free-to-play has neither been denied nor confirmed, which along with talk of a “different approach”, has us feeling a little concerned. We also wonder what a free-to-play NBA Live 20 would look like. As for NBA 2K20, we have a better idea of what it will look and play like thanks to this year’s gameplay blog, as well as Tweets from Beluba. There are some very promising details, but we have been burned before. News on the WNBA’s presence in NBA 2K20 emphasises the gap between NBA 2K and NBA Live, which leads to a discussion on the matter of who did it first vs. who did it best. Finally, record-setting numbers for NBA 2K19’s sales and recurrent revenue are something Take Two has to be very pleased with, but it speaks volumes about the attitude and resolve of the basketball gaming community.

Tune in below!

What are your thoughts on the latest NBA 2K20 developer blogs, increases in recurrent revenue, and the situation with NBA Live? Sound off in the comments section below, or join in the discussion here in the Forum! Additionally, feel free to hit us up with any feedback on the episode, as well as suggestions for topics that you’d like to hear us discuss in future episodes. For more information on the NLSC Podcast including episode guides, check out this page in our Wiki.

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NLSC Podcast #293: We’re Seeing What’s Next

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Episode #293 of the NLSC Podcast is out now! As the preview season rolls on, Arcane and I are discussing the MyGM blog and “Next is Now” trailer for NBA 2K20, and the latest news on what’s happening with NBA Live 20.

Not everyone is thrilled about it, but the first NBA 2K20 developer blog revealed details on MyGM and MyLEAGUE. As we’re burned out on MyCAREER and thinking of returning to the franchise mode experience, it comes as good news. We’ve also received a longer look at gameplay thanks to the “Next is Now” trailer. It’s another slick production, but does it have us hyped for the game? Speaking of hype, the latest NBA Live 20 news has dampened our optimism somewhat. The game is slated to come out later than NBA 2K20 which may work in its favour, but with talk of a “different approach”, we do have some concerns.

Tune in below!

What are your thoughts on the latest NBA 2K20 and NBA Live 20 news? Sound off in the comments section below, or join in the discussion here in the Forum! Additionally, feel free to hit us up with any feedback on the episode, as well as suggestions for topics that you’d like to hear us discuss in future episodes. For more information on the NLSC Podcast including episode guides, check out this page in our Wiki.

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NBA Live 20 Delayed Until Late 2019; Planning Different Approach

NBA Live 20 Delayed Until Late 2019 (NBA Live 19)

Polygon has confirmed that NBA Live 20 has been delayed until late 2019. After being listed as a Q2 release as usual in a financial report back in May, a new report lists the game as a Q3 release. This would indicate a release between October 1st and December 31st 2019.

EA Sports have remained quiet about the series’ future, outside of reps denying reports about potential cover players and stating that everything is “fine” with the game. When Polygon reached out to EA, they were told the company is “planning a different approach to NBA Live this year, and will have more to share in the quarter ahead”. No further details are available at this time, though EA has previously referred to targeting a new demographic with NBA Live.

Obviously, this invites further worry and speculation. Previously delayed games have ended up being cancelled, most notably NBA Elite 11 and NBA Live 13. Talk of a “different approach” is potentially concerning as well. At the same time, NBA Live 15 launched as scheduled after an initial two week delay. Additionally, without further details on what EA means by a “different approach”, it remains to be seen whether that’s a positive or negative for the direction of the series.

In any event, the current status of NBA Live 20 is that it is delayed but not cancelled at this time, and that EA has different plans for this year’s release. We’ll certainly do our best to stay on top of the situation, and bring you any details as soon as they’re made available. No doubt we’ll have plenty to say about the news on an upcoming NLSC Podcast, but in the meantime, feel free to share your thoughts in the comments section below, as well as here in the Forum.

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NLSC Podcast #291: Is It Time To Worry Yet?

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Episode #291 of the NLSC Podcast is out now! It’s another solo show this week so there’s obviously no featured discussion, but between NBA 2K20 news, NBA Live 19 rosters, speculation about NBA Live 20, and updates from the modding community, I have a few thoughts to share.

As expected, the NBA 2K20 ratings reveal wasn’t without controversy. While fans debate their accuracy and the merits of NBA 2K’s approach to ratings, the best response belongs to whoever is running the Denver Nuggets’ Twitter account. In other news, NBA Live 19 received a surprising roster update featuring offseason moves. Despite being a welcome surprise, it does invite worrisome speculation about NBA Live 20, though it doesn’t help to jump the gun. Meanwhile, in our community, there are some modding projects and other upcoming features worth spotlighting. Check them out, and stay tuned!

Tune in below!

What are your thoughts on the latest NBA 2K20 previews, and the speculation surrounding NBA Live 20? Sound off in the comments section below, or join in the discussion here in the Forum! Additionally, feel free to hit us up with any feedback on the episode, as well as suggestions for topics that you’d like to hear us discuss in future episodes. For more information on the NLSC Podcast including episode guides, check out this page in our Wiki.

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NBA Live 19 Rosters Updated With Offseason Moves

NBA Live 19 Rosters Updated With Offseason Moves

A new content update has added offseason moves to the NBA Live 19 rosters. The update doesn’t include any of the new rookies such as top pick Zion Williamson, but it moves Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving and DeAndre Jordan to the Nets, Kawhi Leonard and Paul George to the Clippers, Anthony Davis to the Lakers, and so on.

Although it’s unusual for a game to receive further roster updates beyond the Finals, it isn’t unprecedented. This generation, both NBA Live 14 and NBA Live 16 received post-Draft updates that lacked rookies, but accounted for free agency and trades. NBA Live 10 also continued to receive roster updates following the cancellation of NBA Elite 11, and though it might not have been intended, NBA Live 09 was also updated alongside NBA Live 10 during the 2010 season.

While these updates to the NBA Live 19 rosters are a welcome surprise, they’ve also stirred up some worried speculation about NBA Live 20. Although NBA Live 20 has been listed as a future release on a financial report for EA Sports, there has yet to be any official announcement or previews of the game. Combined with the lack of an announcement regarding a new deal with the NBA when NBA 2K renewed its license earlier this year, this offseason roster update has raised questions about the series’ future.

It all remains speculation for now, and as noted, it’s not the first time NBA Live has received a bonus update. At the same time, on two of those occasions there was a subsequent gap in releases, though the 2011 season updates for NBA Live 10 were announced in conjunction with the official cancellation of NBA Elite 11. For my part, I certainly don’t want to irresponsibly and erroneously report on the situation or give legs to a baseless rumour, especially when a financial report has indicated that NBA Live 20 is coming. However, until further announcements and previews allay any concerns, the speculation is understandable.

Until then, we’ll stay on top of the situation as best we can. In the meantime, feel free to share your thoughts on the offseason update for the NBA Live 19 rosters in the comments section below, and join in the discussion here in the NLSC Forum!

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The Friday Five: 5 Gameplay Improvements NBA Live 20 Needs

The Friday Five

Welcome to this week’s edition of The Friday Five! The Friday Five is a feature that I post every Friday in which I give my thoughts on a topic that’s related to NBA Live, NBA 2K, and other basketball video games, as well as the real NBA, and other areas of interest to our community. The feature is presented as either a list of five items, or in the form of a Top 5 countdown. This week’s Five is a list of five improvements that NBA Live 20 needs to demonstrate in terms of its gameplay.

If NBA Live 20 is to be the big release many of us are hoping it will be, it will need to improve upon an area that’s been a perennial weakness since the series returned back in 2013: its modes. The different modes of play are what give basketball games their longevity, and this year’s release from EA Sports must add long overdue features and depth to Franchise, Ultimate Team, and online modes. Deeper customisation is also a must. Of course, while these are all vital areas of NBA Live that require attention, it’s crucial that above all, the gameplay experience continues to improve.

NBA Live’s gameplay has gone through some interesting ups and downs during this generation. NBA Live 14 felt very stiff on the sticks, with animations that looked very “last gen”. Since then, improvements have been made to the fluidity, the depth of the controls, and certain animations. Most NBA Live gamers would agree that there is still plenty of room for improvement, and I’m unquestionably in that camp. What are the most important changes and improvements that need to be made to gameplay in NBA Live 20? We compiled some great ideas in the Wishlist that we sent in to EA, but this week, I’d like to discuss five key areas where Live’s gameplay must improve.

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Monday Tip-Off: Clickbait & You! – A Public Service Announcement

Stand Against Clickbait!

We’re at midcourt, and the ball is about to go up…it’s Monday Tip-Off! Start your week here at the NLSC with a feature that’s dedicated to opinions, commentary, and other fun stuff related to NBA Live, NBA 2K, and other basketball video games. This week, I’m tipping things off with a public service announcement regarding clickbait, ahead of yet another NBA Live and NBA 2K preview season here at the NLSC.

July is upon us, which means it (hopefully) won’t be too much longer before we start getting our first information about NBA Live 20 and NBA 2K20. Unfortunately, a lot of content creators are prone to taking advantage of basketball gamers eager for news, and engage in clickbait during the preview season. We do our best to be accurate here at the NLSC, and as a gaming community, we must do all we can to avoid spreading rumours and misinformation. It’s a perpetual problem, so I’ve put together what I hope will be a timeless PSA: Clickbait & You! Watch it below or here over on YouTube.

This was a fun (but arduous) video to put together, so I hope you enjoy it! While it’s obviously all in fun, we do want to avoid those tactics here at the NLSC, and remain dedicated to providing fair-handed coverage and reliable information about basketball video games. To that end, it’s a message that I’d like the community to take to heart. I’m looking forward to the preview season for NBA Live 20 and NBA 2K20, and I hope that you’ll stick around for all of the pre-release news and post-release content. If you haven’t already, I invite you to subscribe to the NLSC’s YouTube channel, as more fun and informative videos will be on the way in the not too distant future!

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The Friday Five: 5 Improvements for LIVE Run & LIVE Events

The Friday Five

Welcome to this week’s edition of The Friday Five! The Friday Five is a feature that I post every Friday in which I give my thoughts on a topic that’s related to NBA Live, NBA 2K, and other basketball video games, as well as the real NBA, and other areas of interest to our community. The feature is presented as either a list of five items, or in the form of a Top 5 countdown. This week’s Five is a list of five improvements that I’d like to see made to LIVE Run and LIVE Events in NBA Live 20 and beyond.

As EA Play 2019 and another preview season loom, we await detailed information on NBA Live 20. We know that the game is coming out and that unfortunately for PC users it will be console-only, but at this early stage, there are still many other things that we are waiting and hoping to hear. While we’ve already submitted our Wishlist and development is well underway, it’s definitely still worth discussing the features and changes that we’d like to see. Not only does it reiterate what we’ve outlined in our Wishlists, you never know what can be pencilled in for post-release updates.

When I discussed ways to improve the online experience in NBA 2K20, I noted that I have become more interested in online modes in recent games, after years of being an offline gamer. I still believe in the importance of robust offline modes, which is why I compiled a list of ways to improve NBA Live’s Franchise mode back in March. The One and its connected experiences have received the most focus in recent years, and I have had some fun with them, jumping on for a game of LIVE Run or taking part in some of the LIVE Events. However, they haven’t felt quite as enjoyable or rewarding as the online modes in NBA 2K. Here are five improvements that could change that.

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NBA Live 20 Confirmed; Console-Only Release

City Uniforms in NBA Live 19

As reported by The Gaming Tailgate, EA has released their Q4 and annual report for the 2019 financial year. At the same time, they announced their upcoming titles for the 2020 financial year, beginning with the Q1 and Q2 releases in the latter half of 2019. As expected, NBA Live 20 is among the EA Sports titles.

Unfortunately for those of us who have been hoping for a return to PC – especially after Madden 19 was released on the platform – the report confirms that NBA Live 20 will be a console-only release. This isn’t unexpected, as developers have told us that the goal is to reestablish the series before expanding to other platforms.

Madden 20 and FIFA 20 are slated to be released on PC however, indicating that EA Sports is not abandoning the platform. This suggests that if NBA Live continues to improve and ultimately thrive, a PC release may one day be a possibility once more. It’s something that we’ll continue to push for.

In the meantime, feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below, as well as in the NLSC Forum. We’ll continue to cover the console releases of NBA Live as we’ve been doing since the move away from the PC platform in 2008, in addition to our coverage of NBA 2K, NBA Playgrounds, and basketball gaming in general.

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The Friday Five: 5 Ways to Improve Ultimate Team in NBA Live 20

The Friday Five

Welcome to this week’s edition of The Friday Five! The Friday Five is a feature that I post every Friday in which I give my thoughts on a topic that’s related to NBA Live, NBA 2K, and other basketball video games, as well as the real NBA, and other areas of interest to our community. The feature is presented as either a list of five items, or in the form of a Top 5 countdown. This week’s Five is a list of five ways to improve Ultimate Team in NBA Live 20.

Due to its extended hiatus, NBA Live was the last EA Sports title to implement an Ultimate Team mode. Along with Franchise and The One, its presence provides the game with the staple experiences of a franchise, career, and card collection/team building mode, and has proven to be a welcome addition. However, while Ultimate Team is a mode I’ve enjoyed since the reboot, it shares the same problem that other modes in NBA Live have suffered: it’s still too barebones. To that end, just as I have ideas on how to improve Franchise mode, I have suggestions for Ultimate Team.

After enjoying the mode so much in NBA Live 18, I felt disappointed by NBA Live 19’s Ultimate Team. Quite a few changes were made that I believe were done with the best of intentions, but the result was that an already thin mode became even thinner, despite making a couple of additions. It’s not too late to correct course however, as a lot of the building blocks are in place. LUT also made a great move in NBA Live 19 by removing contracts, something that NBA 2K’s MyTEAM should also implement. Generally speaking though, Ultimate Team should borrow ideas from MyTEAM, as well as bring back or expand upon concepts that it has featured in previous iterations.

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The Friday Five: 5 Ways to Improve Franchise in NBA Live 20

The Friday Five

Welcome to this week’s edition of The Friday Five! The Friday Five is a feature that I post every Friday in which I give my thoughts on a topic that’s related to NBA Live, NBA 2K, and other basketball video games, as well as the real NBA, and other areas of interest to our community. The feature is presented as either a list of five items, or in the form of a Top 5 countdown. This week’s Five is a list of five ways to improve Franchise mode in NBA Live 20.

Our Wishlists for NBA Live 20 and NBA 2K20 have been submitted, but as we await another preview season, I feel like talking about my hopes for the upcoming titles. I’m beginning with NBA Live 20, as it needs to be a big year for the long-running hoops series from EA Sports. NBA Live 18 and NBA Live 19 have been EA’s best efforts in quite some time, but there’s plenty of room for improvement. A recurring complaint that I’ve seen is that there isn’t enough focus on the NBA in NBA Live, and that’s a sentiment that I share. One way to address that is to give more attention to Franchise.

The counterargument I’ve seen to that suggestion is that Franchise is old hat for old heads, and that no one cares about it. Considering the fact that us old heads do care about it, and that younger basketball gamers have also expressed their frustration with the lack of depth to Franchise, it’s ridiculous to suggest that no one cares, and that it’s unimportant. NBA Live must provide deep, engaging experiences across the board, and with The One and its connected modes already quite robust, it’s time that a few enhancements were made to Franchise. As a long-time franchise mode enthusiast, I believe that focusing on these five key aspects will help achieve that goal.

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NBA Live 20 & NBA 2K20 Wishlists Submitted

The Wishlists for NBA Live 20 & NBA 2K20 Have Been Submitted

Our official NLSC Wishlists for NBA Live 20 and NBA 2K20 have been finalised and submitted to the developers at EA Sports and Visual Concepts respectively! A big thank you to everyone who helped us compile constructive feedback for the upcoming games. As always, there’s no guarantee that our wishes will be granted, but if we don’t speak up, we can guarantee that they’ll go unheard.

Although we won’t be making any further additions to our Wishlists, the topics will remain open until the preview season for NBA Live 20 and NBA 2K20 gets underway. Discussion about what we want to see in the new games is obviously still most welcome, and we can try to pass along any late suggestions as well.

You can check out the NBA Live 20 Wishlist here, and the NBA 2K20 Wishlist here. They’re also available in PDF format, here and here respectively. We’ve tried our best to present an accurate and comprehensive cross-section of what our community wants out of both games, and hopefully, we’ll see some of our most desired additions, fixes, and changes implemented sooner rather than later. In the meantime, feel free to keep the conversation going!

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Monday Tip-Off: NBA Live’s Identity & Longevity

Cherashore Tournament in The Streets World Tour (NBA Live 19)

We’re at midcourt, and the ball is about to go up…it’s Monday Tip-Off! Start your week here at the NLSC with a feature that’s dedicated to opinions, commentary, and other fun stuff related to NBA Live, NBA 2K, and other basketball video games. This week, I’m tipping things off with my thoughts on how NBA Live needs to establish its identity, and deliver an experience with greater longevity.

There seems to be somewhat of a divide and a notable amount of unrest among NBA Live gamers at the moment. At a time when we should be consolidating out feedback – obligatory cheap plug for our NBA Live 20 Wishlist – there’s a lot of argument about the future of the series. Many gamers are expressing concerns and frustration, while others are arguing that we must all be supportive and, to borrow a slogan, trust the process. Both sides have a point and are coming from a good place, though I do find myself agreeing more with the former group.

That’s probably because the group that’s most frustrated tend to be gamers my age. We remember a time when NBA Live was the dominant brand in 5v5 sim-oriented NBA games, and all the things that made it successful. Needless to say, that’s led to a bit of sneering at us allegedly out of touch “old heads”; a term that’s quickly come to highlight the toxicity in today’s basketball gaming community. At the same time, it is certainly easy to get caught up in the past, and we do need to have some patience, but it’s getting tougher for a lot of NBA Live loyalists to remain patient. Ultimately, NBA Live needs to forge an appealing identity that results in longevity and a deeper game.

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NLSC Podcast – Episode #272

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Episode #272 of the NLSC Podcast is out now! Both Arcane and Kenny are unavailable to co-host this week, so I’ve given a solo show another try. As a result, it’s a shorter episode, but I still manage to catch up on some recent news, offer up some opinions, and share what I’ve been doing on the virtual hardwood.

On this week’s show…

  • A content update has come through for NBA Live 19, featuring current rosters and new items in The One Store. Although the updates are welcome, there is growing unrest within the community, who generally want to see more focus on NBA content.
  • Our modding community continues to pump out some excellent work. It’s difficult not to get inspired to contribute, and to that end, a few projects are still in the works.
  • Cleanprincegaming posted an excellent retrospective on the rise and fall of the NBA Street series. It highlights an unfortunate shift in EA Sports’ business model, and a lack of creativity in the current market.
  • Has 2K ruined Team Pro-Am? Despite the launch of the NBA 2K League, the changes to Pro-Am in recent games seem counterproductive to generating interest in it, or the mode in general.
  • Episode #272 of the NLSC Podcast wraps up with some recent stories from the virtual hardwood, including a frustrating bug in the NBA Finals in NBA 2K19’s MyCAREER.

Click Play to listen to the show!

Have some thoughts on the latest episode? Got a mailbag question or topic suggestion for the next show? Sound off in the comments section below, or join in the discussion here in the Forum! For more information on the NLSC Podcast including episode guides, check out this page in our Wiki.

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The Friday Five: 5 Ideas NBA Live Should Borrow from NBA 2K

The Friday Five

Welcome to this week’s edition of The Friday Five! The Friday Five is a feature that I post every Friday in which I give my thoughts on a topic that’s related to NBA Live, NBA 2K, and other basketball video games, as well as the real NBA, and other areas of interest to our community. The feature is presented as either a list of five items, or in the form of a Top 5 countdown. This week’s Five discusses five ideas that NBA Live should borrow from NBA 2K.

Since we’re in the process of compiling feedback for our NBA Live 20 Wishlist, I feel like discussing some of the improvements that I believe would take the game to the next level. In particular, I’d like to discuss some ideas and concepts from NBA 2K which NBA Live should be looking to borrow. After all, when it comes to good ideas and features that an NBA video game should have, it doesn’t matter who did it first. The important thing is that games find a way of implementing those ideas and making them work. It never hurts to look at what the brand leader is doing, either.

Glancing at Twitter as of late – a foolhardy thing to do, some might say – I have seen some divided opinions when it comes to the matter of NBA Live’s approach, identity, and the notion of borrowing ideas from NBA 2K. A lot of younger and admittedly passionate fans are downplaying the concerns and suggestions of “old heads”, their point being that it’s a new day and we’re hung up on the past. Respectfully, I must disagree. While it is easy to get caught up in nostalgia, we long-time virtual hoops enthusiasts do know a thing or two, including what the game was like it in its heyday. To that end, NBA Live would benefit from borrowing these NBA 2K concepts.

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