EA Sports Misses Their Prime Opportunity to Showcase NBA Live 14

Posted October 4th, 2013 at 9:45 am


The one advantage that EA Sports held over the competition in regards to NBA Live 14 was an ability to promote the game and their best interests early. The company did not have a current-gen offering to be concerned with overshadowing and they would only benefit by pushing more consumers to wait for next-gen. That they let this window pass without doing much of anything is another bad sign that will only increase skepticism until they prove they have a product on their hands that is worthy of consideration by consumers. 

While there is a decent amount of info on NBA Live 14 – the Ignite Engine, BounceTek dribbling system, signature dribble moves for 50+ players, “Rising Star” career mode, roster updates within an hour after every game ends, and the inclusion of legends – they haven’t shown anything to get consumers to buy into their talk yet. No one can be faulted for that considering the hype they attempted to build leading up to the cancellations of NBA Elite 11 and Live 13.

The one trailer they put out isn’t nearly enough especially when they couldn’t even keep to the schedule that had been provided to NBA.com for the next one. 5-on-5 gameplay footage was said to be coming by the end of summer and they missed that self-imposed deadline. It’s also somewhat alarming that EA has a press event today where they are showing off next-gen Madden NFL 25 and FIFA 14 but did not confirm the presence of NBA Live 14. If it turns out not to be there it would be the most damning development yet. (Update: It was not at the event).

Missing the launch date for the PlayStation 4 is incredibly damaging to the chances of Live gaining traction. The PS4 is expected to be the higher selling of the two next-gen systems at least for launch day and through the holidays. Four days may not seem like much but it’s significant as it removes any choice being made on an NBA game for those critical days. People picking up their console and choosing games to go along with it might wait for one they are really anticipating but that isn’t going to be Live when NBA 2K14 is right there for the taking already.

All this being said 2K Sports hasn’t offered anything of value on NBA 2K14 yet either – but they have good reason for that as they had to prop up their current-gen version as being a $60 value before moving on to the later release. They also don’t have to convince anyone that they’ll be bringing a quality offering to the market. They can fall back on reputation and name recognition which is largely how they sold the current-gen game suggesting they have shifted their development budget and marketing plans more towards next-gen. That would only squeeze EA Sports into an even tougher spot.

There is still time for EA to properly show off NBA Live 14 and change the narrative surrounding it. The way they have handled things so far however suggests they may not be confident in the product and the opportunity has become more limited now that the competition won’t need to hold back any longer.

  • has8ter

    what are the odds this gets canceled too since it seems like all the same stuff is happening again.

    • daley7199

      Its amazing how the human mind can manufacture calamity from silence.

  • hungryandrew

    If NBA Live 14 ends up getting delayed, or even worse, cancelled, they should abandon making nba games.

  • Joe

    What time is the press release for todays event Pasta?

    • As far as I’m aware the stuff being shown today has embargoes attached. Wouldn’t hear anything out of it relating to Madden or FIFA until next week.

      • Rancho

        Actually, that event was yesterday (Alex Navarro from Giant Bomb talked about it today on his Podcast). The embargo is Tuesday for Madden’s content while he didn’t mention what the embargo date was/is for FIFA or UFC.

        I think NBA LIVE is going to be this year’s GST2. They release it with almost zero press hands-on and just let it be. But because of the fact that there is so much “hype” behind LIVE, they can’t really hide it.

  • fantasyboi

    who cares if they havent promoted it yet…im so sick of ppl crying about this…if u liked 2k b4 then y even worry? It’s simple….if u dont like EA then don’t get the game. U either had ur mind set on 2K or on Live….nothing is gonna change sum1s mind from a trailer. and the 4 days after nextgen release is great i think! shit, let me regroup after dropping $400 on the 15th….I can jerk off to the PS4 for 4 days then be ready to roll on Live….and btw….where is John Kruk? he hasnt bashed this yet….

    • It matters, because you don’t hide something you’re proud of. They’re not projecting confidence. Look at NBA Elite 11 and Live 13, where the only footage we saw of those were leaked out – EA didn’t want anyone to see it before buying it. That’s never a good sign. So far that pattern is repeating itself here.

      • fantasyboi

        right but just because they dont flaunt it doesnt mean its gonna b trash. The Show (not comparing) doesnt flaunt their game and its great

        • Iown You

          The Show hasn’t cancelled 3 seasons in a row and they have a steady recent track record of producing top quality. They have nothing to prove.

          Live has everything to prove.

      • Rancho

        It’s a catch-22. Some companies succeed on showing very limited bits of information on their game (eg. RockStar) then you have UbiSoft who shows too much. With so many people trying to shy away from previews to prevent over-hype, I think it’s been our fault for expecting too much.

      • daley7199

        Pasta you know better than anyone the troll factor behind NBA LIVE when it comes to 2kfans. Do you really think the 2k masses would give credit where credit is due? No need to answer because we all know the answer. The game will speak for itself.

    • Weekend Roady

      It matters, especially for readers and supporters of websites like this who can at least help to hold companies accountable. Sure we can all vote with our dollars (and my bet is if Live makes its release and is truly subpar, then it will far undersell 2K14 on the next-gen platforms), but that’s obvious. Less obvious to many is that EA, like most mega-corporations on this planet, is banking on the general gaming populace as fools. A few flashy trailers and keywords (you see it with next-gen Madden aplenty) is all most people need to be convinced to buy it. If you tell people on here to shut up about their opinions, you’re quieting the only voice of reason that can keep EA on their toes.

      Nobody is asking you not to buy Live or not enjoy it, we are all just trying to be more educated consumers.

  • syn-city

    Thumbs Up! Dead on assessment.

  • The Great Leon

    I have to wonder if EA even cares? They have not made a NBA game in 2 years, you would think they were actually working on something to show off but no. The bs trailer and no clips of people playing the game to test it out.

    • Well they should care. They’ve invested a ton in it. And the development studio is under even more pressure now with NCAA being lost.

      • Keith.

        Tiger Woods is gone, too.

        Last one out in Orlando, turn out the lights!

      • daley7199

        Really don’t understand this entitlement attitude yourself and your readership exhibit. Sure, we would all love to have a slew of info to chew on, you more than anyone since you have a blog to run, but we are not entitled to anything. We will see the game when its ready to be seen plain and simple, and if the game is a gem, then no one will give a damn that they didn’t show enough. All this crying isn’t about concern for the game its just selfish desire to want to see it.

        • Details

          Ahh Daley welcome back! I see they finally let you off of suicide watch after that NBA ELITE disaster LMAO! It’s been over 3 years & the game is not ready to be seen yet? Hmmmm……..If your game is a “gem” then you wouldn’t wait until the last possible second to show it off lol. Get a clue Daley. We all know your agenda. Keep hope alive lol.

        • The Great Leon

          Pretty much every game gets shown off some time before their release at a convention or they let famous people get a hold of it. NBA Live may just have a demo. It is not selfish with the terrible rep EA has going for them. They should try to show their game off if they are proud of it. They have cancelled the game and the last one they had wasn’t exactly great.

        • Pokes404

          Who’s “entitled?” No one is crying that we haven’t seen enough of the game. The point of the article is that there are a few red flags out there that NBA Live may be in trouble. It very well may not be, but a lot of the things we saw leading up to Elite and Live 13 appear to be playing out again.

        • Deebo

          You’re wrong buddy. If they want me to spend my hard-earned cash then yes I am ENTITLED to see the damn game.

  • Rick

    Is anyone really surprised?… EA continues to drop the ball day in and day out.. unless they have a grand master plan.. i don’t for see how this will turn out good for EA.

  • Supra98

    NBA LIVE 14 can not justify how come they have no real gameplay what so ever! They are not ready at all. Come on.. Look at the next-gen game Division not coming out til end of 2014 and has a damn game-play video of 10+ mins long.

  • Details

    As bad as I want Live to be good for competition sake, we know it’s not going to be smh. I’m sorry but EA just doesn’t have what it takes to make a great basketball game. There’s a reason we haven’t seen any 5 vs 5 gameplay yet. Don’t let their fancy edited trailers fool you. They’ll come out & show Kyrie Irving dribbling in a gym by hiself & some people will say “Oh that looks pretty good”, but when it comes to 5 v 5 the game will still struggle mark my words. You will still see stiff robotic limited animations as usual. Anybody holding on to hope for Live shouldn’t be, at least now anytime soon. DISCALIMER…I’m not biased just a realist!

  • James

    EA just throw in the towel already!!!

  • Keith.

    Can’t wait to read the “reviews” from the sports gaming “press” guys that EA’s wining and dining in NY at this event. What a joke.

    If we end up with another bunch of falsely inflated “review” scores for EA’s crop of launch games, we’ll know where it all started. The clown “8.5” and “9” review scores that Tiburon bought for its football games all generation is one big reason we’re still in the same shitty spot that we’re in today.

    • vicTory

      Every company invites press to see their games early. Like this is just an EA thing lol. Take Two is well known for their manipulation of the press and review scores.

    • fantasyboi

      There’s Kruk again….

      • Jesus

        You have a serious problem. Kruk (yeah insult him by comparing him to a very good baseball player, and a guy who knows what he is taking about) comes here and honestly just tells us what most already know. You on the other hand actually do troll by trying to get a riseout of him, when he is just simply stating facts. So fantasy boy, continue to make pretend you live in a world Where Live will ever get deserved praise, or even get released.

    • Rich Grisham

      I was at the event today and was not wined and dined. I paid my way there, bought my own lunch, and talked to the FIFA and Madden developers while playing the next-gen games. I’ll be posting all of the interviews in their entirety on Tuesday so you can hear the good, bad, and ugly.

      It will be very interesting to see how these games are reviewed and embraced by the community. While there is no doubt in my mind that the overall experience will be much better than it was at the last console transition, the visual jump is very small. WIll the games play much better on the field because of the new hardware and memory? Or will they be slightly better looking versions of the same underlying game?

      No way to tell in 30 minutes of gameplay with each, but I have a feeling that the reviews will be very high for FIFA and mediocre for Madden. I also think there’s no bigger challenge than reviewing these games in a short amount of time at the next launch. The core experience will be the same; the details are what will (hopefully) be different. Not easy to see.

      • Keith.

        Somebody else who was there said it was like playing 360 Madden on a really nice TV.

        If that’s the case — and since it’s Tiburon we’re talking about, we have every reason to believe that WILL be the case — then I sure hope we see some 6.0 review scores. These guys at Tiburon live in a bubble, thanks to the falsely inflated review scores they’ve received 8 out of the last 9 years (this year being the exception). The cycle needs to stop.

        • Iown You

          Keith, if that winds up being the case with Madden, I better damn see Scores of 5 and below or there’s gonna be hell from me all over this damn internet. My ISP is going to have to come physically hold me down.

      • Wassupdun

        Rich, you said alot in there my dude! The visual jum is very small, that’s very telling! I think alot of us (myself included) are thinking this is going to be an X-Box to Xbox 360 sort of leap and I keep reading that it’s not going to be that kind leap, interesting stuff. Thanks for the update Rich.

        • Iown You

          For Madden, if they didn’t dedicate so much graphical resource to individually rendered grass blades, the graphics would be better. I don’t know what the hell they’re thinking, but this is the same dumb overdone approach they took with Madden 06 and 07 in terms of devoting too much resource to scenery.

          These guys never learn from their own mistakes.

      • Rick

        RIch you’ve always been honest with us and appreciate your time and effort in the sports gaming community. Although i know you will have impression up on Tuesday, i have to ask … how do you hold yourself back from ripping some of these sport developers up? is there any off- the record time with these guys where they really divulge on why they can do and cant do certain things,a nd you just can put that up on the net?

  • MoneyMayweather

    Just release the damn game to public and let it decide. They won’t even release any info for the fear of backlash now. and rightfully so people think it’s cool to hate live regardless if the game is good or not. Once EA understand that they’ll be more confident in the product. but the way things are going I doubt this get’s released.


      I agree; they should just release the game to the public, but not at this “AAA” title price tag shite! Way too many games front that they have made a triple A game, and want top dollar for it; and the game flat out sucks ass!
      I would have bought NBA Elite 11, for $20 to maybe $30, if they released it; but not for $60; hell no!
      EA is a very sneaky company; and with new management chopping heads on a bi-yearly basis; it makes it hard for anybody to get work done wondering if they have a job next week, or better yet tomorrow!!!! They probably do have the game finished, as it is close to release date; but are sitting behind closed doors waiting for something! like I said, they are a sneaky company! Hey, they tried to pass off NBA Elite 11 for a Triple A title; how much more sneaky do you need to be! lol
      With EA, the door or window is never closed, when there is lots of money to be made for their “INVESTORS”, other wise known as, “The SUITS.”
      Give a Dev a Peanut week!
      btw, I am not a dev! lol

  • Skihawks

    It’s a lose lose for EA. They overhype the game and they will get bashed if it doesn’t meet expectations. They stay more reserved to possibly stave off the expectations and they get bashed.

    Hype and videos mean little if the game sucks. I understand marketing is big especially with a brand that has lost consumer confidence. However, I more interested in Live because I already know what 2K is bringing to the table.

    • Iown You

      “I already know what 2K is bringing to the table.”

      Yep. This:


    • D

      If you go back to the beginning of the summer Ea admitted it was second to 2k. They have always said they are next in line. They never hyped themselves at being better this year. Please note that if they don’t release they will have to close up shop. They will lose the NBA backing all together. These people are working hard on this game. They have held 2 game testing events. this is a lot different than before. Before they never had a cover, release date, the backing ofa next generation system. Just by all this talk people want to see this game. So don’t sleep on these guys, the game will be great.

    • Details

      All they have to do is come out with a couple blogs with a couple gameplay vids showing ACTUAL GAMEPLAY & not trailers. They don’t have to over hype it. Most reasonable people understand that Live isn’t going to be better than 2K out of the gate. They have way too much ground to make up. However not showing anything at all shows that you’re not confident in your product. EA has to 1st earn the trust of consumers. They just need to be honest with us & show that they are in it for the long hall & people will give them a chance. EA is shooting themselves in the foot with their “scared to show gameplay act”. It’s been 3 years & they need to put up or shut up! As good as 2K is, I personally would love an alternative. I think most people feel the same way.

  • Guest

    i’m 99% sure that this game will be cancelled.

  • JE

    EA has a chance to get the jump on 2K as far as the next gen goes but it’s obvious they are hiding something.

  • BANE

    EA understands they have less than ZERO chance at gaining any worthwhile market share vs 2K. They understand this and aren’t going to spend the money to advertise when it’s all going to be a lost cause.

  • Samutuck

    Hi Pasta! I understand and I totally agree with the point of your article about EA wasting their opportunity to have a positive showing to the consumers. The problem is when more articles like yours begin to pop up, then this will doom this franchise to be cancelled. I truly believe if live does not sell a moderate amount of units, then EA will put a stop to the franchise for good because they have lost a lot of money on this game, and being forced to end their NCAA football game. I do not want to see NBA 2K run the market like Madden because there will be no competition or innovation going forward into the Next Gen consoles. I respect that you at least waited to come up with this article after they told us we would see 5 on 5 game-play by the end of the summer. All I’m asking is to be a little careful because if more articles like this begin to show up then NBA LIVE 14 will get a deathblow whether good or bad.

    • Articles won’t kill NBA Live. Hell, MLB 2K came back when it had initially been cancelled despite universal criticism. Look back on Elite, there was nothing but bad buzz, and they only cancelled it when embarrassing demo videos went viral.

      They have their own internal projections and quality baselines. If it won’t meet those then they’ll consider pushing it back or cancelling. Ultimately the companies shape the way their products are perceived. They could change things quickly if they were confident in it.

      • daley7199

        Yes the “Jesus Glitch” how unfortunate, funny, but unfortunate. Wow a glitch in a demo, like 2k doesn’t have any glitches in their game? It just goes to show the power of trolls. Nobody is kidding them selves here Pasta. NBA Live 10 was a decent game by all accounts and it still only sold roughly under 800K. So suffice it to say that judging by the 790K+ Likes on NBA Live 14’s Facebook page, that the fan base hasn’t gone anywhere. Also 2k fans aren’t just going to jump ship straight away. MLB 07 didn’t over take MLB2k until year 2. EA knows exactly what the outcome of this will be. You have to start somewhere and that is with the LIVE FANS not the 2K FANS. If the gameplay is good and detail oriented then 2k fans might start gravitating over.

        • Iown You

          daley, give it a rest already. This is real simple: NO ONE is going to have confidence in ANYTHING regarding this project until they produce. Do you understand? And Facebook likes don’t equal sales, and you do know that Facebook likes can be faked, right? There are services out there for that. Of course Live still has fans, but what it hasn’t had is a GAME. So until that comes out, they have nothing. Besides, most Live fans are playing 2K now, so the herculean task Live has is to make a better game than 2K, but the last 3 years of cancellation makes that possibility highly unlikely, especially in year one.

          No amount of trying to shout everyone down is going to change the fact that this franchise has been a trainwreck for YEARS. When Live produces, then you’ll see public opinion change about the franchise. Quit trying to be an EA crusader man, smh. Damn!

          • Details

            Well said!

  • daley7199

    Good article Pasta though I still disagree with you vehemently on the 4 day delay. You know as well as I do that a 4 day delay has nothing to do with the state of the game. Its quite obvious, to me at least that they don’t want to have 2 different launch dates for the same game and since the consoles are a week apart EA chose to split the difference.
    That being said, I can’t help but think that EA has some grand scheme up their sleeve. They gave us a taste to intrigue us and they succeeded. I really think they are waiting closer to launch before they show us the real deal.
    Like you said 2k has shown anything of worth on next gen so as I see it, why should EA tip their hand. Both games will speak for themselves when the time comes. A bad game today will still be a bad game a month from now and likewise a sensational game today will still be a sensational game a month from now. As far as your notion that people can’t wait 4 days for Live is ridiculous. You seem to be leaving out, that by the time the game launches, you would have seen everything you need to see and would have already made that decision.
    The release of Live 14 is a very big deal for EA and I fully expect that every move they make is calculated. Example. Why show a trailer and then not finish it. There is a plan in motion here. I am sure of it. I really think we won’t be disappointed.

    • Details

      You’re delusional & in denial Daley. You sound like a battered wife who knows she should leave her abusive husband but keeps coming back because for some reason in her torn delusional mind she likes the abuse & doesn’t think her husband loves her without it smh. NBA Live is your abusive husband. He’s been abusing you for years. Let him go Daley #There’s light on the other side

      • daley7199

        Im delusional and you are a 2kfanboy trolling on an NBA LIVE 14 thread. I guess your NBA 2k14 isn’t worth playing, since you are wasting your time trolling me. Grow up kid.

  • Tony Trenkle Jr.

    If this gets cancelled again I will DEMAND a free copy! I don’t care if the game is in Alpha stage. I just wanna try it out. I mean yeah it would hurt their business but as a fan I just wanna play the freaking game.

  • Wassupdun

    I understand it’s a different experience for everybody, but I think 2K is where MLB The SHOW is at, I think they have eeked out as much as they can out of this console generation. I really like what they’ve done with 2K this year, but it’s more of refined gameplay, much like The Show, I don’t know what more they can do.