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Will NBA Live finally overtake 2k?

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After years of coming in second behind the NBA games produced by 2k, the NBA Live series is finally trying to push itself back into the spotlight of the realistic sports game world.

For years, NBA Live was the place to go for basketball fans who wanted to take control of their favorite professional teams and play against either a computer player or a friend. This lasted well into the mid-2000’s and for a few years after where the up-and coming 2k series was having trouble keeping up.

That is until the king was dethroned in 2008 and after two more, hard fought battles for the top of the mountain, NBA 2k shoved Electronic Arts down the hill.

NBA Live 10 was the final game made using the Live moniker as in 2010, the franchise tried to rebrand themselves as NBA Elite 11, to very little success.

No one saw it coming, but after the failed and misplaced attempted to rebrand the legendary game… the franchise disappeared for three years.

Most people knew that EA was envious of the continued success that 2k had while they watched from the sideline, and in 2013, NBA Live 14 was released.

The momentum was clearly in 2k’s corner, and EA knew that. They set their goals low upon release and were happy with the performance of the revived property.

Players who purchased the first attempt at bringing the series back were upset with some of the messy visuals and faulty controls but held hope that future installments could rise back to the top.

Those goals were quickly dashed when NBA 2k15 improved on almost none of the previous issues and became a joke on social media when players saw their likenesses ruined by the game’s awful graphics.
Image result for nba live memes Porzingis

The 2015 title, NBA Live 16, improved on some, but not enough of the issues that fans had with the game. The awful revival was bookended by a devastating defeat.

NBA 2k16 sold around 1.1 million copies within their first week on the market, while Live 16 sold a measly 8,500. They didn’t even reach a double-digit percentile of their competitor’s numbers.

This was the last straw for the EA Sports team, as they took the 2016 game year off and focused on developing NBA Live 18 over 17.

With a full year’s worth of work behind the project, I can confidently say the game does look leaps above what their previous title provided. However, that is not saying much.

As an avid 2k player and former NBA Live fan, the new games are still in different stratospheres when it comes to quality and content.

The new game mode, called The One, seems like a bare boned competitor that will try to capture the success of MyCareer and everything else has held pact with only minor changes.

The bid difference coming to NBA Live 18 is the inclusion of every WNBA team.

This provides EA with the biggest marketing weapon we have ever seen in this medium.
This is the first time a major basketball game will feature the equivalent female competitors for their event, barring games like the Olympics or dominant female sports. This could be the key to their success.

The game might not stack up to their competition just yet, but if they can hold onto their exclusive WNBA inclusion while improving their gameplay and marketing smartly. 2k might have a challenge yet.

About Cale Michael

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