No More NBA Live!?

Apparently EA Sports is going in a new direction, turning a new leaf…and what’s the first thing to go? The name of one of their biggest sports franchises. Prepare yourself folks, NBA Live will no longer be called NBA Live; starting next year we will be playing NBA Elite. Along with the name change comes a complete overhual of the game play, controls, graphics, and physics. An EA Sports spokesperson is quoted as saying:

We knew it was time to leave the past behind. We have exciting and significant changes coming to our NBA game this year that will usher in the future of basketball video games. We look forward to releasing information on exactly how we’ll be doing that over the next few months

Now think back guys, we’ve known nothing but NBA live since 1995 and if EA is willing to do away with the name of the most played basketball video game, one can only think what’s next…Madden, FIFA, NASCAR?!

Anyway, enough chitter chatter, here is the official press release:

EA Changes the Game, Announces NBA ELITE 11

EA SPORTS Set to Re-invent the Basketball Simulation Videogame Experience This Fall

REDWOOD CITY, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Electronic Arts Inc. (Nasdaq:ERTS) announced today that NBA ELITE will be the new moniker of the long running EA SPORTS™ NBA videogame franchise. NBA ELITE 11 will revolutionize the way basketball simulation games are played, with an all-new technology base, a new control scheme and a real-time physics system. Currently in development for the PLAYSTATION®3 and the XBOX™ 360, NBA ELITE 11 will be available in retail stores this October.

“We plan to profoundly evolve the interactive basketball experience in a way that the category has not seen for a decade,” says Peter Moore, President, EA SPORTS. “In NBA ELITE 11, we’ll introduce a gameplay experience that gives fans the control on the court that they have been begging for in a basketball game for years.”

Using the design principles from some of EA SPORTS top rated franchises, NBA ELITE 11 introduces several significant gameplay changes that center around user control. The new ‘Hands-On Control’ scheme allows for one-to-one responsiveness of a player’s movement and actions on the court, as opposed to traditional predetermined animations that require users to wait while a scenario played out before making the next move. Hands-on Control applies to everything within a player’s offensive and defensive arsenal, including: dribble moves, dunks, drives to the basket, fadeaways, mid-air adjustments, blocks, steals and more.

The new real-time physics system in NBA ELITE 11 allows each player on the court to move independently of one another, removing the two-man interactions that have long taken the user control out of basketball simulation videogames. In addition, a new skill-based shooting system requires accurate user input, based on a player’s position on the court, versus the randomly generated dice rolls that have driven shooting in basketball videogames in the past.

“NBA ELITE 11 will give gamers the same skill set that a pro basketball player has at his disposal,” said David Littman, Creative Director, NBA ELITE 11. “This is the first basketball simulation videogame where you are controlling every movement, dribble move, shot, dunk, lay-up, steal and block in real time with one-to-one control. You’re no longer going to push a button and watch the computer generate a long animation sequence. It is like being on a basketball court with an amazing set of skills. This is going to change what people have come to expect from a basketball simulation videogame.”

“From the first day of development on this product, it was clear that we intended to pioneer a groundbreaking change in the basketball videogame segment,” said Jordan Edelstein, VP Marketing, EA SPORTS. “It’s a whole new game that warranted a brand new name to fully capture the transformation we intend to deliver in NBA ELITE.”

Electronic Arts has been releasing basketball videogames since 1983. The first game, titled One on One: Dr. J vs. Larry Bird, was one of the first basketball games to feature real NBA players. The franchise was rebranded to become NBA LIVE with the release of NBA LIVE 95, a brand that has carried on for 16 years culminating in last year’s NBA LIVE 10. EA’s NBA-licensed franchises have sold more than 25 million units since 1995*.

NBA ELITE 11 will be available for the PlayStation®3 computer entertainment system and Xbox 360® video game and entertainment system with an MSRP of $59.99. It is developed by EA Canada in Burnaby, B.C. The game has not yet been rated by the ESRB or PEGI.

EA SPORTS™ is one of the leading sports entertainment brands in the world, with top-selling videogame franchises, award-winning interactive technology, global videogame competitions and breakthrough digital experiences. EA SPORTS delivers personal access to the emotion of sports through industry-leading sports simulation videogames, including Madden NFL football, FIFA Soccer, NHL® hockey, NBA LIVE basketball, NCAA® Football and NCAA Basketball, Fight Night boxing, EA SPORTS MMA and Tiger Woods PGA TOUR® golf, and EA SPORTS Active.

For more information about EA SPORTS, including news, video, blogs, forums and game apps, please visit www.easports.com to connect, share and compete.

*According to the TRST/NPD Data

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