EA Sports has confirmed that NBA Live 15 will be released on October 28, three weeks after the original head-to-head launch date against NBA 2K15 on October 7. The delay was made official on the NBA Live website from EA Sports. The EA Sports NBA Live franchise has experienced some trouble over the past few years, and the new development team at EA Tiburon in Maitland, Florida is attempting to give the franchise a new coat of wax on the court floor.
The decision to delay NBA Live 15 by three weeks may not be the best move in terms of marketing for the beleaguered franchise. However, EA Tiburon’s decision to put extra polish on the game and to retain a few features for launch makes sense from a quality standpoint. Two of the biggest complaints from NBA Live 14 was a lack of tutorials for the new game’s control mechanism and a decidedly last-gen look to the graphics, specifically the crowds in the stadium and lighting on the player models. EA Tiburon followed up on the criticism quickly by providing online tutorial videos — many were later patched into the game — but the re-launch of the series was already tarnished when up against a heavily favored NBA 2K14, which met with critical and sales success.
NBA Live 15 had a tough road ahead of it even without the troubled launch of its predecessor. The internal goal of EA Sports was to simply get a NBA Live game shipped after a train wreck of two canceled games, NBA Elite 11 and NBA Live 13, the latter of which was also developed at EA Tiburon. A decision to delay NBA Live 15 by three weeks in order to include features at launch and give the game a bit more polish would seem to be the right decision so that the game is as strong as it can be at the start.
Originally developed by EA Canada, the NBA Live series had a successful run. However, a desire to change the game’s control system led to one of the most infamous game cancellations of the last generation. The cancellation happened after the game had actually shipped to stores with a few being distributed before EA issued the call to retract the copies already sold to distributors.
In an interview with Kotaku, then CEO of EA, John Riccitiello, detailed reasons how the team bit off more than they could chew with an 18-month development cycle. The result was a game so full of bugs and glitches that it produced the now infamous YouTube video (NSFW: Language) of Andrew Bynum locked in the default animation position at half court. The fallout was bad enough that EA Sports gave the game to EA Tiburon, who essentially rewrote the game from scratch.
With NBA Live 15 delayed three weeks until October 28, it still remains to be seen if the game will be able to right the wrongs of NBA Live 14. EA has a tough hill to climb against the popular NBA 2K series, and we will see if the extra polish and launch features will be worth the wait. NBA Live 15 will hit the court on October 28 for the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.
[Image Source | EA Sports]