Unfortunately after no word at EA Play 2020, the skipping of NBA Live 20 may now turn into a permanent stop with NBA Live 21 potentially dead in the water.
No NBA Live 21 at EA Play
THE KING- Lebron James is looking for NBA Live 21 just as much as fans are after an EA Play no-show
Basketball fans may have gotten their fix with the NBA 2K21 reveal trailer premiering during the PS5 reveal event, but fans expected more with NBA Live 21 rumored to show during EA Play 2020.
Unfortunately this was not to be, and NBA Live 21 received no mention during the show.
This is a huge blow to the potential momentum the series could have trying to compete with the most dominant basketball game series ever made, NBA 2K.
And after skipping a year and NBA Live 20 to perfect the formula for fighting 2K Games, this is a very bad sign for the future of NBA Live.
Whilst an official confirmation for the game has not yet been made by EA.
However, looking at past releases, we could expect that any potential release would hit the shelves around September time.
The big question is, will we see a trailer anytime soon? Well, with nothing confirmed as of yet, we may have to wait a while.
With no trailer premiering at EA Play 2020, there's no telling when (or if) we'll get a trailer for NBA Live 21.
As is the case with many competing franchises, such as FIFA and Pro Evolution Soccer, there is always a battle to have the biggest and best players in the game on your cover.
TRUST THE PROCESS: Who will follow in the footsteps of Joel Embiid?
NBA Live has had a number of different stars on their cover in recent years, with Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid fronting their last release (NBA Live 19).
Given the fact that 2K have stormed ahead of NBA Live in the basketball market, we expect they will go after a BIG name player for their next cover.
What do we need to see on NBA Live 21?
Whilst we agreed with EA’s decision to take a year off in order to get their basketball sim back on track, having had a year out, people will be expecting big things.
COMPETITION: Live's graphics will always face pressure from NBA 2K
We’ll begin with graphics and after facing backlash for their regression of in-game visuals, NBA Live’s competitor NBA 2K stepped it up this year and released the best graphics that a basketball sim has ever seen.
But what about NBA Live?
Well, there have been some leaked images of what NBA Live 20’s visuals were set to look like before the game was pulled and if they are anything to go by, then NBA Live 21 could very well trump 2K in this department.
REDUNDANT: NBA Live 19's roster is now well out of date
This is a really simple one but one which will please plenty of NBA Live fanatics and that is the updated rosters which will come on NBA Live 21.
Those who prefer the Live franchise over 2K have had to stick with NBA Live 19 for the past 18 months due to a no-show for NBA Live 20, however, the downfall with that is an out of date roster.
NBA Live 21 will see all the players turn out for their current franchises, something which is part and parcel with a new sports game.
A MyTEAM competitor
THE ULTIMATE: Can EA conjure up a competitor for 2K's MyTeam?
One of the biggest challenges for the latest release of NBA Live is to ensure that there is a real competitor for NBA 2K’s MyTEAM.
The issues surrounding MyTEAM - such as the gambling connotations and the perceived ‘pay-to-win’ nature of the game - means that should EA offer a suitable alternative, players may be willing to make the change.
Past editions of the game has seen the game mode ‘Live Ultimate Team’ take center stage for EA’s gamers, if they can put the same effort into their basketball sim as they do their football sim, EA could be on to a winner.
To compete with MyTEAM, EA's going to need to step things up in several areas.
By avoiding some of the big issues with MyTEAM like out of position players, NBA Live could be well on their way to fighting 2K's biggest series for the market. With some other fresh new takes on the game mode, Ultimate Team could completely overtake MyTEAM.
That is as long as the gameplay stands up to the standards of a 2-year development window.
THERE CAN BE ONLY ONE: The last career mode on NBA Live 19 was a success
Now whilst we LOVE the career mode on NBA 2K20, NBA Live 19 had a very impressive career mode of their own in their last title.
Their ‘The One’ story-lined career mode was similar to that of NBA 2K and whilst it wasn’t the most original idea, it was certainly effective.
If NBA Live can incorporate some fresh ideas and a well-written storyline into their 21 title, it could be a game-changer.
WHAT NEXT? Can Live have a resurgence on Next-Gen?
Whilst the majority of gamers worldwide will opt for Xbox or a PlayStation, there has always been the feeling from those PC gamers have it best.
How will that affect NBA Live? Well as we have speculated upon earlier in this piece, there is a feeling amongst the community that NBA Live 20 was deliberately sacrificed in order to ensure a top-end first release on the Next-Gen consoles.
EA Sports and 2K Games clash
While EA Sports has tried to compete for 2K's hold on the NBA game market, the two companies have also feuded over supremacy in football. EA Games lost exclusivity with the NFL this year, and 2K Games have signed a deal with the league in the meantime to come compete for that slot.
With the company rivalry pushing to new heights, we can expect a stellar release for NBA Live 21.
LEADING FROM THE FRONT: Fornite has set the bar for cross-platform gameplay
One feature that would do NBA Live, or any other sports title for that matter, a world of good is the inclusion of cross-platform gaming.
It is something which gamers have been crying out for for years, the ability to take your NBA Live team and take on the best players out there, regardless of platform, will make the game far more competitive.