(Credit: EA Sports)
After keeping its NBA Live franchise on the bench for the last four years, the publisher managed to release a new iteration in the once-proud franchise in 2013 -- but pretty much everyone hated it.
NBA Live 14 currently has a Metacritic score of just 46. User scores are a dismal 2.5 out of 10. And now, EA has a message to its fans: It's sorry.
"I’m not going to lie; it’s been a rough week," said executive producer Sean O’Brien in a post on the EA Sports blog. "As you can imagine, this isn’t exactly the NBA Live comeback story we were hoping for this year. We hear loud and clear that some of you are disappointed in various aspects of NBA Live 14, and I’m sorry if the game doesn’t live up to your expectations."
O’Brien vowed to make the game better as soon as possible. Among the changes will be a graphical enhancement, as NBA Live 14 has been savaged for its poor looks, especially when compared to 2K Sports' NBA 2K14.
"We are committed to making drastic and immediate improvements," he said. "In order to get gameplay up and running this year we had to prioritize. We felt authentic gameplay, control and the connected experience would provide the best foundation for the future. As a result, game visuals and animation polish suffered."
As for gameplay, the development team is working on new ways to teach controls to new users and hosting a series of Twitch Live Stream tutorials to help people improve their game, along with a series of instructional blogs on the game's website.
O’Brien says the improvements will occur over the coming "weeks and months" – a nice gesture, but that's an eternity for those who already plunked down cash hoping for a better product. It's also coming far too late, as NBA 2K14 has been smothered with praise and currently boasts critical scores ranging from 83-86.
The disappointing return of NBA Live comes after last year's last minute decision to cancel the game -- a move, ironically, that the company said was made to ensure it didn't return with a subpar product.
"Having continued to look at the game over the past few days, it's clear that we won't be ready in October," said then EA Sports EVP (and now CEO) Andrew Wilson at the time. "And rather than launch midway through the season, we're going to sit out the full year and stay focused on making next year's game great. ... We're committed to delivering new innovation in online, and our progress in the visual presentation of the game continues to take big strides. We also know that a great game starts with great gameplay, and this remains a huge priority for us."
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