Demo for NBA Live 16 gives the game a stage to itself on September 15

Posted August 26th, 2015 at 4:15 pm


EA Sports recently announced that NBA Live 16 will be getting a demo on Xbox One and Playstation 4 on Tuesday, September 15. The info on the demo was originally revealed along with all the news on the Live Pro-Am mode.

Alongside all the features of LIVE Pro-Am, you can also check out exhibition style play in Tip Off with six NBA teams (Golden State Warriors, Cleveland Cavaliers, Oklahoma City Thunder, Chicago Bulls, Washington Wizards and Los Angeles Clippers), and the Learn LIVE tutorials – consisting of drills to help familiarize yourself with controls and gameplay mechanics.

This is a departure from the norm for the series which has struggled to regain its footing over the last five years. The infamous NBA Elite 11 demo, which exposed several problems and is best remembered for “Jesus Bynum”, led to its cancellation. That was the last time a pre-release demo was provided for EA’s basketball franchise.

Live 13, which would have been released as a digital download only, was cancelled before any talk of a demo even began. Live 14 had a demo that went out on the day of the game’s release, and Live 15 did not have a demo on Xbox One (6 hours of EA Access instead) while a demo went out on PS4 – but again that was on its release day.

That EA is putting the demo out early could suggest they expect the response to Live 16 to be at least mildly positive. The game’s competition, NBA 2K16, is unlikely to offer a demo but releases on the 25th – four days before Live.  However, Live will go out early through EA Access for a (presumably) 10 hour trial on Xbox One one day earlier. Got it? Okay. Simple right?

Two underdogs in the sports gaming genre now are taking advantage of an opening. Pro Evolution Soccer 2016 put its demo out two weeks ago, a month in advance of the game’s release and well before FIFA 16’s demo. This could be an opportunity for Live to at least get people trying and considering the product before 2K16 captures all the market attention. Consumers weren’t going to risk money on an unknown, unproven commodity.