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NLSC Podcast #302: 25th Anniversary of NBA Live (Part 2)

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Episode #302 of the NLSC Podcast is out now! This week, it’s Part 2 of our celebration of the 25th Anniversary of NBA Live. Join Dee4Three and I as we cover NBA Live 07 through to NBA Live 19, look ahead to the future, and reflect on the series as a whole. If you haven’t caught Part 1 yet, be sure to tune in here!

We continue our conversation with a look back at NBA Live 07, a strong candidate for the worst game in the series. As we proceed to break down each game year by year, we reflect on the downfall of NBA Live, and the mistakes that have led to its continued struggles. We discuss what could have been, from the cut retro teams in NBA Live 08 and the full season version of Be a Pro in NBA Live 09 on PS2, to the disastrous change of direction with NBA Elite 11 and cancellation of NBA Live 13. The importance and selection criteria for cover players also comes up, and we reveal the NBA Live 13 cover player that was never officially announced. That brings us to the current generation as we recap the series’ ups and downs since returning with NBA Live 14, and how it’s looking as of NBA Live 19. Once again, we touch on what we want to see in NBA Live 21 and beyond. We wrap up with our fondest memories of NBA Live, our favourite games in the series, and thoughts on what it’s meant to us these past 25 years.

Tune in below!

What are your memories of NBA Live 07 through NBA Live 19? What are your thoughts on the future of the series? 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.

NBA Live 20 Cancelled; Series Returning Next Gen

NBA Live 20 Cancelled

After months of speculation and radio silence, EA Sports has officially announced that NBA Live 20 has been cancelled. Instead, the series will be returning on next gen consoles. The following statement was posted on the game’s official social media accounts:

For some time, we’ve been putting in reps on our console basketball games.

We’re excited by our progress but remain hyper ambitious – so we’re not going to release NBA LIVE 20 this season. Alongside the NBA and NBPA, we have our sights set on creating something fresh for the next generation of players and platforms. We know we need to earn our future every step of the way, so we’re taking time to get it right for our players. We promise to check back regularly with updates.

Until then, we’ll be on the grind…

Although the game was never officially announced, it was listed (and subsequently pushed back) in EA’s financial reports as an upcoming release. The situation is reminiscent of the cancellation of NBA Live 17/The Drive to NBA Live, which was originally intended as a later release but ultimately got pushed back and was finally released as NBA Live 18. Hopefully this decision will be for the best, and the game can cater to the needs of sim gamers; especially given EA’s previous comments about a new direction and demographic.

We’ll have more to say on the NLSC Podcast, but in the meantime, feel free to share your thoughts on NBA Live 20 being cancelled in the comments below, as well as here in the Forum. We’ll also be continuing our 25th Anniversary of NBA Live celebrations, as it’s still marking a milestone and we’ve got some fun stuff planned. Stay tuned for that, and more updates on the future of NBA Live as they’re made available.

NLSC Podcast #281: Trusting the Process with NBA Live

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Episode #281 of the NLSC Podcast is out now! This week, Arcane and I are discussing the matter of trusting the process as far as NBA Live is concerned.

The discussion tips off with reflections on how the once-dominant brand in sim basketball games fell on hard times, from the shaky transition to the sixth generation consoles with NBA Live 06, to the disaster that was NBA Elite 11. We consider missed opportunities as far as rebooting the series by going back and building upon NBA Live 10, and note the difficulties that occurred with the cancellation of NBA Elite 11 and NBA Live 13, before the eventual comeback with NBA Live 14. From there, we discuss how the series has fared during its continued comeback, touching on all of the positives and negatives along the way. After going into detail about what we want to see out of the series moving forward, we wrap up with our hopes and expectations for NBA Live 20.

Tune in below!

What are your thoughts on NBA Live’s comeback, and what must happen with 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.


Next NBA Live Game Coming in the Fall

NBA Live 16: Kawhi Leonard

While we’re still waiting for detailed information regarding the future of the NBA Live series, Electronic Arts CEO Andrew Wilson has revealed during an investor call that the next game will be coming in the Fall, and not early 2017 as originally planned. While it previously appeared as though EA Sports would release some sort of preview or demo of the next game this quarter, it seems they will instead be going full steam ahead on the next game, which will presumably be titled NBA Live 18.

Acknowledging the series’ troubled history over the past decade or so, Wilson also noted great optimism about the next NBA Live title, explaining that having seen and experienced the game as it is now, the feeling was that it was a lot of fun, and that the better approach would be to “double down” and “launch it as a full beat later this year”. This lends further credibility to the rumours that “The Drive to NBA Live” would have been a stripped down release, essentially previewing the next game.

It would seem that while EA Sports does feel good about the product as it stands today, they have decided that it will be more successful if it launches as a fully featured title in the traditional release window. While another cancellation, a lack of information or previews, and the series’ shaky history in recent times are definitely cause for scepticism amongst basketball gamers, I would suggest that there is merit to that line of thinking. With the last few NBA Live releases lacking depth in their modes, it’s essential that the next game not only features vastly improved gameplay, but is also a robust and well-rounded experience.

Hopefully, it won’t be too long before specific details emerge about the future of the series, and some of the things that have been worked on. We’ll be sure to post any information as it becomes available, as well as do our best to set up some interviews with the developers as soon as possible. In the meantime, feel free to have your say in the comments section below, as well as in this thread in the Forum.

The Friday Five: 5 Suggestions for LIVE Pro-Am in NBA Live

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.

As you may know from previous articles and the NLSC Podcast, I’ve become a big fan of 2K Pro-Am in NBA 2K16 and NBA 2K17. I was originally sceptical of 2K’s approach, and after playing LIVE Pro-Am at an NBA Live 16 community event, I figured that its quicker games would be more fun. However, I’ve come to like the 2K Pro-Am concept a lot more, and find myself wishing that LIVE Pro-Am could find a way to cater to those tastes as well. There are definitely aspects of 2K Pro-Am that NBA Live could stand to borrow, while implementing them in its own style.

Of course, I don’t want to see LIVE Pro-Am simply become a clone of 2K Pro-Am. While I think there are features it should look to borrow, it has its own concepts that are worth building upon. It has the potential to cater to fans of the 2K Pro-Am approach, while also offering a different experience with its own appeal. In fact, by combining a few concepts that we’ve seen in both games so far, NBA Live could potentially end up with the deeper and more varied Pro-Am mode. Here are five suggestions that I believe would help achieve that.

Read More »

NLSC Podcast – Episode #192

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Episode #192 of the NLSC Podcast is out now! Join Arcane and I as we discuss the announcement that NBA 2K18 will be available on the Nintendo Switch, the latest rumours surrounding the next NBA Live release, and a couple of other news items from the past week.

On this week’s show…

  • Visual Concepts has announced that NBA 2K18 will be available on the Nintendo Switch. We discuss the Switch’s viability as a primary platform for basketball gaming.
  • Something is in the pipeline as far as the next NBA Live game is concerned. Following on from last week’s speculation, we talk about the as yet unannounced demo, “The Drive to NBA Live”, and what it could mean for the future of the NBA Live series.
  • Millertime2325 has released an excellent mod for the Super Nintendo version of NBA Jam Tournament Edition, NBA Jam 2K17. Play an old favourite with 2017 season rosters!
  • We originally decide not to talk about Our Week in Basketball Gaming – it’s been a bit of a tough one – but then we do anyway. NLSC THRILLHO reaches the Elite tier (then experiences some tough losses), and our MyCAREER games roll on.
  • Episode #192 of the NLSC Podcast wraps up with some fantastic news about the future of sleeved jerseys, now that Nike will be taking over.

Click Play to listen to the show!

Have some thoughts on the latest episode? Sound off in the comments below, or here in the Forum. Also, if there’s a topic you’d like us to discuss on the next episode of the NLSC Podcast, feel free to hit us up in this thread.

Latest NBA Live 17 News & Rumours: The Drive to NBA Live

The Drive to NBA Live Banner

We’re still waiting on official announcements and news regarding the next NBA Live game, which is currently slated for release in the first quarter of 2017. Recently, EA Sports have been responding to inquiries via the official NBA Live Twitter account, encouraging gamers to stay tuned without giving away too many details. However, a couple of interesting details have recently surfaced through unofficial channels.

NLSC Forum user RJHUNT3R shared this link to a game classification decision for Electronic Arts Korea, referring to “The Drive to NBA Live” on the Xbox One. Further information refers to it as a sports simulation game, and the latest demo for the NBA Live series.

NBA Live Society member TrapSwish also Tweeted out a teaser image featuring the title “The Drive to NBA Live”, along with three flame emjois. Thanks to zzcoolj21 for the heads up!

This would certainly indicate that at the very least, a demo is in the pipeline. However, as we’ve speculated in previous episodes of the NLSC Podcast, it’s also possible that the forthcoming title will be a stripped down release, perhaps featuring a couple of modes, with a fully-featured game coming later in the year. It seems highly possible that we’ll receive a digital-only release in the form of The Drive to NBA Live at some point in the next couple of months, and then a fully featured NBA Live 18 in the Fall.

Naturally, this is all subject to confirmation right now, as we’re still waiting on EA Sports to make an official announcement about the future of the series. However, there’s definitely something in the works beyond the mobile game, and if nothing else, it’s looking like some kind of demo will be available in the near future.

We’ll be discussing this development and offering up further speculation in Episode #192 of the NLSC Podcast, but in the meantime, feel free to add your thoughts in the comments section below, as well as in this thread in the Forum. We’ll definitely post more news as it becomes available, and hopefully we’ll also be able to line up a couple of developer interviews as soon as possible, so stay tuned!