The first indications that the NBA Live franchise was in the midst of going through a transformation of sorts began making their way out in early February. Talk of the series going in a different direction came from departing team members which EA Sports did little to deny. Now the first signs of big change are being to be discovered, and prior to E3 where it is likely that at least some of the vision for the game will be laid out.
The NBA Live name is no more. This year’s NBA title from EA Sports will be called NBA Elite 11. According to OXM (via drules2) the game will be heavy on analog controls with Skate and Fight Night the two titles garnering comparisons in that regard. I’m hoping to get some additional details soon.
Oftentimes a series name change can be attributed to a stigma having been built and the desire to have a fresh start. Maybe the best example of that is when EA went from Triple Play to MVP. We are probably seeing similar thinking implemented here with the company hoping to build a new brand that can either compete with NBA 2K or can find its own base of consumers who want something different. While NBA Live 10 showed great improvement over prior iterations it actually fell in sales from the previous year.
I’m not sure that going the analog direction would be the best idea as one of the most consistent things I’ve liked about NBA Live over the years has been the right stick for dribble moves and having other functions tied to the buttons. It is far too early to pass judgment on the idea until we know its implementation though. The new name sure sounds “arcade-like” or “street-like”. That may not end up being the case, but after posting this news on Twitter I’ve gotten a bunch of similar responses back in reacting to the news. What are your thoughts on NBA Live being renamed NBA Elite and a move towards heavier analog reliance? Leave your thoughts in the comments!
Check out the latest which includes the news of real-time physics in NBA Elite 11 here.