NBA Live Being Renamed NBA Elite

Posted May 26th, 2010 at 10:29 am

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.

  • Herer

    based off live 10, there is no way this game could possibly be bad.

  • gregg

    hey if its not working then good on ea to try something different. i liked live 10 but it isnt going to catch up to 2k in sales anytime soon. 2k is now the madden of basketball

  • EA rebranded Triple Play Baseball into MVP Baseball. Wouldn't be surprised if they referred back to that to come up with this new name for NBA Live (MVP and Elite are pretty similar terms).

    Anyways, don't really like the name but I am interested in seeing what (or I guess in this case, how bad) the changes will be. They can't be good if both Mike and Marcus left after NBA Live 10.

  • I dont like the new name and more important I dont like that they take a new direction. Live 10 was a great sim experience they just had to polish gameplay and step up their animations big time. What does this mean with the anologue control? I mean I loved the passing with the stick in 10…

  • JD

    I think this means they are going more sim. I thought they would go more arcadey after Mike left but this shocked me either way EA has my sixty bucks in October 7th

  • skihawks

    Sometimes rebranding is a good thing. I think with the name change will come something fresh. I look at the change from Triple Play to MVP. If EA had kept the name Triple Play, the perception may have been that the game would play the same with new mechanics. However, changing the name gives that perception of “something new”.

    I think this is a good move by EA. The Live series was heading in the right direction but if they are planning to make some changes to the mechanics, changing the name may attract more people to check it out.

  • Digby

    I hope Rondo gets the cover this year when he becomes the finals MVP

  • Dr_Logic

    Something EA definitely had to do. Live's reputation became too much to overcome regardless of what was released.

    NBA 2k owns the simulation crown which is both a gift and a curse. Why you ask? Because the closer you get to a simulation the further you move from a fun game. Ultimately, a large majority of gamers want to be able to pick up a controller and dominate without having to focus intensely or spend hundreds of hours refining their stick skills……and that is a completely reasonable expectation.

    There is in fact a market for a more arcade like storyline-driven NBA gaming experience. Hence my next point.

    EA should have put NBA JAM at the fore front of their basketball gaming strategy this year releasing the classic across all platforms. Once released on PS3 and XBOX 360, I guarantee NBA JAM outsells Live 10', by a LARGE margin. If EA corporate had any sense they would have clearly seen the benefit in that this move would have allowed them an extra year for the development of what is ultimately going to be a new NBA title and a realistic opportunity to really go back to the drawing board and do something cool and different NBA Live/Elite.

    Instead, I fear NBA Elite is destined to simply be a retread of NBA Live sprinkled with a bit of NBA Street, held together with scotch tape and toothpicks. I mean, what else could be reasonably expected from EA in 1 year? From any development team really, especially when your competition is the unstoppable juggernaut that is 2k and an in house rebirth of basketball gamings God Father, NBA Jam.

    I hope i'm wrong and EA manages to pull an awesome alternative to NBA 2k out of their ass because like I said earlier, 2k is moving in a very tricky direction with regard to the definition of simulation and if their not careful may begin alienated segments of their fan base as well as newcomers to the series. Only time will tell I guess.

  • pbe

    NOOOOOOOOOO! This game (LIVE 10, the worst sports game of the year) was in Pasta's Top 10… Ahead of NBA 2k smh… What a joke!

  • Dredog95

    Really? already just because one word changed your buyin it? your crazy

  • hoss

    a lot of people really liked Live last year. a lot of people were down on 2K last year. not saying Live was better but it shouldnt be a surprise that some people liked Live more.

  • Chuck

    Looking forward to info on this game..The Name will grow on people.

  • Keith.

    If sales are in the tank again this year, I doubt EA will even make a basketball game next year. RIP EA basketball (and good riddance).

  • JD

    I been buying live every year since 2003 so this doesnt change the fact that I will still buy it. regardless of the name change.

  • Hello

    This was posted on the NCAA Football Facebook page so I don't think it has to do with NBA Live. Probably all the games.

  • This news isn't coming based on them posting that picture. I'm not sure why it was posted on other game's pages.

  • That is a strong possibility. I think they're trying to do whatever they can to hold onto NBA though. The EA Sports brand isn't as strong if they lose another major sport.

  • Kevin

    Yeah good luck with that

  • abb24

    im interested in what theyre doing at least worth giving a shot on.

  • paul e.

    i'm down for analog controls. sports video games are far too archaic because sports video game fans refuse to accept anything new

    but “elite” sounds like some arcade BS for ppl with A.D.D.

  • Incinerator

    This is funny. It's no coincidence that NBA LIVE's two best games of the franchise were the two years that they had Mike Wang from 2K SPORTS. He helped bring these games up to a respectable level and nothing more. Now he's back at 2k because of the direction EA wants to go with NBA LIVE. EA might be able to take what Wang brought to the series from last years game and squeeze out another decent 2nd place game but expect a dropoff in the future.

  • Jay Jerkin'

    When you're behind the competition or your game isn't getting the kind of response you'd like it to you're forced to innovate or reinvent yourself if you will. For as decent of a game NBA Live 10 was, no one really gave it a chance because of the negative stigma attached to the Live series since its incarnation on this generation of consoles. I applaud this move by EA. Hopefully it ends up being more than just a name change, because I know a new paint job when I see it.

  • Didn't they already change the name of this series before? It was NBA Showdown, then NBA Live, now NBA Elite. This is the third name to this series if you count Showdown.

  • Incinerator

    That's always been the difference between 2k and EA. EA devs constantly remind people about their games being sim and that they like these sim games to appeal to all gamers(which means arcade aspects) You can't have both. I mean you can, but you can't just outright call your a game a sim. There's nothing wrong with the animations and isomotion in 2k10. ALot of gamers are just lazy and would rather press a button to execute a move. When you actually PLAY a real game of basketball in 2k10, you get those results.

  • John Doe

    Well, it's simplistic to correlate the two. He certainly helped, but he was certainly no basketball “savior”. It was the technology that matured and was polished over the two years. The “vision”/creative behind a basketball game isn't rocket science…it's the tech behind it.

  • John Doe

    Good riddance? Obviously you have some axe to grind with EA… lol get a life.

  • TreyIM2

    Wang only worked on Live 10 and was only there roughly a year.

  • TreyIM2

    Yea, Live 10 was “the worst sports game of the year” because YOU say so, right? Get over yourself. Like hoss said, PLENTY of people liked Live 10, including me. I didn't even bother with 2K10 because I enjoyed Live 10 so much and if this new Elite 11 can up the ante in terms of gameplay and animations along with the fixes and little stuff, NBA2K may not see my money, again, 2yrs straight.

  • don juan

    i think they finally understand that 2k was killing them and they hope a new name will bring new consumers.

  • TreyIM2

    Yup, uhh, sho' did but I think it's definitely a good thing to change the name ESPECIALLY if they think they are really going to “bring it” this year, which may be why the name change is coincide with it. We'll see. I only bought Live 10, last year, after years and years of NBA2K. Got tired of the same ole stuff with that game.

  • sroeland

    And before that it was Bulls Vs. Blazers & The NBA Playoffs. And Bulls Vs. Lakers & The NBA Playoffs before that.

    Name changes are pointless – unless there is a driving force behind it. Analog control would be a good start, but something else needs to justify the re-branding.

  • greg hamper

    The Typical EA frivolous cosmetic solution.

  • Chuck

    Very well spoken

  • Chuck

    And Before That Lakers Vs Celtics and Jordan vs Bird and Bird Vs Dr. J

  • Justin

    Yeah, cause it would have made a lot of sense for Bulls vs. Lakers to come out when the Bulls were playing the Blazers, and of course NBA showdown is comparable to the numerous NBA Live games that have come out over the past 15 years….>.>

    Look, I don't know if this will be good, but give it a chance. MVP Baseball, one of the best baseball games ever IMO was once the awful Triple Play, and Fight Night used to be the aging Knockout Kings; I'm not saying that NBA Elite will be great, but EA has a way with these kinds of changes. For now 2K are the basketball kings, but maybe this will be a good game.

  • deepen03

    no matter what they call it, 2k is still gonna beat it.. NBA Elite is the most corny name they could think of. wow EA wow. they still can't compete with 2k no matter how much they try.

  • …..

    A new name but most likely be the same game.

  • t daley

    The name change is clearly for the purposes of suggestive advertising. EA is planting the notion upon the consumer that their game is in fact “ELITE”. Whether that is true will remain to be seen but I like the way they have progressed with Live 9 and 10.

    A benefit of the name change will serve to target the 2k fanboy who rails on and on about how bad Live is. Now they will have to insert the word “ELITE” now so it just drives the point home. EA needs to change the name because of its past history of poor basketball games like Live 08 and prior. People automatically assume Live is the same old garbage just like they think 2k is always a great game. Both statements are clearly false.

  • t daley

    I dont think mike wang was involved in Live 09. He was the producer of Live 10 only.

  • NELL86

    Big difference in people “LIKED” Live 10, vs people “BOUGHT” Live 10. Too many 'likers' not enough 'buyers'.

  • YS

    I guess we can now say that the guys at EA tried almost everything, even changing the name. Too bad they never thought about changing their game and making it better.

  • TreyIM2

    A-duh! Read what the dude said that I replied to then read my reply. Sales was not apart of the equation and that was not the point I was even making.

  • John Lock

    The only 'good' EA Basketball games were on the PSOne. Then 2K came along and did greatness. And still does.

  • live sucks balls

    Bwhahaha Live always has been and always will be a huge joke!

    NBA Elite FTW!!! hahahahahhahahahahhaahha

  • Agreed

    I agree, but I just wanna know why they couldn't think of something better than NBA Elite. Worst title I've heard in a while

  • Agreed

    I agree, but I just wanna know why they couldn't think of something better than NBA Elite. Worst title I've heard in a while

  • I had read this whole article and it is really very useful information. i am always looking for this type of article only. It is really very good to read this. EA tried almost everything, i think A benefit of the name change will serve to target.

  • Alk

    screw the stick crap, i like the buttons, i am buying 2k11 anyways untill they improve there online franchise like madden 10

  • Mrhoppsmc

    If it still looks arcade like i dont care how much they change im going wit 2k, they MUSTTTT change graphics to make it fell real or they will fail again.