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NBA Live: Quality comes, but the sales don't Stuck
Posted on January 18, 2010 at 03:03 PM.
NBA Live 10 did just about everything right in terms of quality. In almost every sense of the word, the franchise improved once again this year, putting it on at least a competitive footing with NBA 2K.

But when it comes to sales, it doesn't appear to be close.

By all accounts, NBA 2K10 is dominating the basketball games sales charts. In fact, it is very likely the combined sales of NBA Live 10 and NCAA Basketball 10 are not even close to outselling NBA 2K10. There is even an outside chance NBA Live 10's sales could decline over NBA Live 09's effort.

Gamers have effectively staged a revolt against the Live franchise. What was once one of the flagship titles for EA has now become one of it's poorest performers among the major sports titles.

I don't think current trends are going to lead to Live being cut from the EA lineup (or NCAA Basketball either, which EA holds an exclusive license), but the pressure to make up considerable ground sales wise will be hanging over the head of the Live team in future years.

What do you think Live can do to close the sales gap? On the same token, what can NBA 2K do to ensure the gap isn't closed? Sound off!
# 1 IceNHL @ Jan 18
I think this was pretty much expected even by those who were on the Live side of the fence. Typically with sports games, sales pick up the year following a critically acclaimed year.

For instance, gamers last year loved 2k9 and werent impressed at all with Live 09 and so were loyal to 2k10 coming off a strong year.

The real test is if Live 11 will have momentum from a solid Live 10.

Remember, NFL2k5 (the legend that it is) didnt even come close to madden 05 in terms of sales (units or dollars). granted it was closer than 2k4, but the real gap closing year (in sales) would have been 2k6 had it been released given the momentum gained from 2k5.
# 2 DubTrey1 @ Jan 18
Both titles made strides. Live perhaps more so due to last years effort, but none the less strides. I think the gap stays put unless 2K really screws something up going forward. 2K innovates things just enough to keep the title fresh and yet does not change much to keep the title very accessable and familliar. I see 2K continuing their supremacy over Live for the next few years.
# 3 rockchisler @ Jan 18
Couple things I would like to see for Live 11.
1. Ditch the cover athlete. Everybody has a cover athlete, That does not sell games, Go back to old school action cover like when they had Knicks vs Rockets in 95.
2. Bite the bullet, sell the game at $49.99, I know the games are expensive to make but drop the price, shoot make it $52.99.
3. Beta test the game with a limited people during the summer, maybe 2 weeks. That works out kinks and exploits for online play when the game comes out and will limit patches (hopefully).
# 4 jyoung @ Jan 18
More and more people are getting put off by 2K series, I think.

Online play has been flat-out busted for the last two years, and I know that has really ticked off a lot of people.

Next year's sales will be the real telling point.
# 5 H to the Oza @ Jan 18
I personally don't think quality for any basketball game is at the 'next gen' level. EA's NHL set the bar for how a sports video game should be, and I personally will not accept anything less.
# 6 jdareal21 @ Jan 18
To be fair, this was the first time anyone could even mention Live as being a credible basketball game in years. Likewise, it took 2K plenty of time to build their reputation, and I suspect one off year won't totally crush it for them.

That being said, I think it's absolutely paramount that 2K put out a stellar game this year, because eventually, just patching problems that shouldn't even exist won't be good enough anymore.
# 7 stlstudios189 @ Jan 18
I think 2k has the edge and even after Live catches them and passes 2k it will take time to win the buyers over. EA wants to speed that up sell the game for $52.99 like someone mentioned earlier
# 8 kennyacid @ Jan 18
2k needs to add better collision detection and put as much detail into there accessories as they put into the players. Live needs to put the same amount detail in the player models as they do into the accessories. They dont need to get rid of the cartoonish look just make the players more detailed. The leap from last year to this year was great, just keep on adding the detail and improve on the gameplay and live should be fine.
# 9 bigsmallwood @ Jan 18
NBA Live 11 will obliterate NBA 2K. I have been playing both games for years and unless NBA Live chooses to bow out gracefully, they are going to release the 1st GREAT next-gen basketball game. I'm predicting it now. And if I'm wrong, I'll eat crow.
# 10 dal_hawk @ Jan 18
EA does not own NCAA college basketball rights, NCAA did jack the prices for license to the point 2k stepped out.
# 11 MMChrisS @ Jan 18
dai, they own the EXCLUSIVE rights to college basketball. Here is just one of many news pieces at the time:
# 12 WaddupCouzin @ Jan 18
Live has been trash for YEARS, They need a COUPLE Good Years before they can begin to get the trust of the consumer again. Plus, They would need 2K to completely drop the ball before they would begin to get any type of consumer loyalty back again. I was keeping track of the sales numbers at 360 Version of 2K was outselling Combined 360 and PS3 Version of NBA LIVE. Im mean I'm talking like 3 to 1.
# 13 brendanrfoley @ Jan 18
Live is suffering a "hangover" effect from years of subpar games, as is Madden to a lesser extent. Sales will rebound (pardon the pun) if EA is patient and continues to focus on quality.

Just look at the recent surge in the NHL franchise.
# 14 bubba4 @ Jan 19
Live still has some of its arcade roots from back in the day. 2K came into the theater with a more sim like approach to basketball and they have stayed true to their roots. Upping the ante in style and presentation, 2K has set the bar. Live is simply finding it hard to the height of that bar. One reason I never take Live seriously is their pinball ball physics. Live just doesn't look REAL with those ball physics. Live was improved this year. But they have a ways to go before they'll make any headway into what 2K has established.
# 15 worththebuck @ Jan 19
change the engine of nba live or nba 2k10 and you'll have some excited basketball gamers FOR SURE.. i think live's graphics need major improvement

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