NBA Live 14 executive producer Sean O’Brien has said EA Sports is determined to be able to face off squarely against rival NBA 2K14 and has the resources to do it.
In a producer’s letter, O’Brien said moving from Vancouver to Orlando to return to the franchise was a big risk personally and he only committed once he was sure EA Sports was in it for the long haul.
“EA Sports is 100% committed to rebuilding NBA LIVE and growing its basketball business overall,” he said.
“There is an enormous financial commitment to the development of the product on Xbox One and PlayStation 4, including the size of the team and resources required to give us every opportunity to make a great basketball game that can compete with such a solid franchise like NBA 2K.”
O’Brien said the NBA Live development team lacked vision when he arrived, but he quickly began recruiting talent to build his vision of core gameplay – “the essence of half-court basketball, providing 1-on-1 isolation both in the perimeter and the post, the 2-on-2 chess match that is the pick and roll, while still offering the gamer the opportunity to push the basketball in transition and have the control required to get the ball into the lane to either take the ball to the rim or find an open teammate if the defense collapses”. The result is the technology known as bounceTek which was shown off at E3 as well as a partnership with Synergy Sports Technologies to ensure the game stays up to date throughout the NBA season.
“I’m really excited about being able to update our game within an hour of something happening in the NBA. We’re going to be making an enormous investment into this connected experience,” O’Brien said.
While acknowledging that there has been a lot of “talk” about the franchise and not much delivering in recent years, O’Brien said that “with NBA 2K in the picture” he can’t show off how good the game is looking at this time, but did note that it is approaching internal alpha.
“I believe that our direction is the right one. The ball is in our court and we need to execute. No more screw ups and definitely no more excuses,” he said.
“I understand the skepticism and if I were you, I’d be skeptical too – or maybe cautiously optimistic. I’m not asking you to pre-order the game based on the E3 dribbling demo and a blog post. I’m simply asking you to give us a chance and we’ll let the game do the talking. Something that I’m sure is long overdue in your minds (and ours).”
NBA Live 14 is expected on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One at the end of the year.