Early in July, rumors were rife that Dallas Mavericks star Luka Doncic was set to be the cover star for the latest installment of the struggling NBA Live series.

EA Sports were believed to be targeting the Slovenian as he would help boost sales in the European region.

However, come the end of the month EA made an announcement stating that NBA Live was to be delayed until late 2019 as they were planning a ‘different approach’ to the game.

With the gap between EA’s NBA Live and its competitor 2K Sports’ NBA 2K getting bigger and bigger year upon year, this had led fans to question whether or not we will see another edition of NBA Live.

But where have EA gone so wrong and is there a way back for the title

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Where did it start?

It is believed that the 2K dominance started back in 2008 when EA’s NBA Live 2008 delivered an underwhelming gaming experience to its fans, leading some to jump ship to the up and coming 2K franchise.

As 2K’s rise continued through the ’09, ’10 and ’11 versions of the game, EA struggled to keep up. With them then canceling NBA Live 12 and 13, it was clear there was a firm fan favorite between the two titles.

A sales comparison between NBA 2K18 and NBA Live 18 

The release of NBA Live 14 was highly anticipated. With EA taking a two-year sabbatical to improve the game and with promises of a new ignite engine amongst other features, fans thought this could be the turning point in the rivalry.

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However, the game flopped massively and NBA Lives struggles continue to this day.

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Game Modes

2K’s game modes are another factor which helps it to stand out from NBA Live.

In recent years, game mode additions such as MyLEAGUE, MyGM and fan favorite MyPARK has kept NBA games fans glued to the 2K series.

2K have always been famed for their career mode formats and whilst you may expect the MyCAREER to outperform NBA Live’s The One, what cannot be justified is the lack of effort EA have put into their NBA Live Ultimate Team.

NBA Live’s Ultimate Team has failed to live up to its expectations

As fans of EAs football title FIFA will know, Ultimate Team is one of the hottest game modes in any sports game, period. 

However NBA Live has not lived up to that hype. Whilst a rejuvenated NBA Live Ultimate Team would definitely bring in a bunch of new players, EA seem reluctant to do so.

Is there an opportunity to catch up?

Yes, 100% yes! 2K Sports is far from perfect. Anyone who’s played NBA 2K will know that the servers are horrendous and the micro-transactions in the form of VC are nothing but a money-making scheme to line the pockets of those at 2K Sports.

Many fans feel micro-transactions are ruining the game. 

But while fans are fed up of those things, amongst many others, NBA Live continues to labor behind and make no inroads, fans feel they have little choice but to continue to back the 2K series.

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What next for NBA Live?

NBA Live has some serious work to do.

Disillusioned fans and an ever expanding 2K series has made life difficult for those at EA’s HQ, and if they release an NBA title this year it will have to be a significant improvement from its predecessor.

It’s been almost a month since any information was posted on EA Sports NBA Live twitter page,  whilst nothing at all has been posted regarding NBA Live 20 or its supposed delay.

It is possible that EA are waiting for the upcoming Gamescom, which takes place from August 20th – August 24th, to release any more information. Should that be the case it seems a strange decision seeing as NBA 2K20 is scheduled for release less than two weeks after the event. If there is not an announcement at Gamescom it may be a sign that the game is finished once and for all. But that may not be such a bad thing. It would allow EA to invest more time into their successful titles, such as their Madden and FIFA series and finally accept that serious NBA games just aren’t their thing.

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