Last night during Electronic Arts’ quarterly earnings call, EA Labels president Frank Gibeau said that his company was planning a “full reveal” of their games at the upcoming E3 conference. He also said that “this will include breakthroughs in graphics and gameplay for some of our biggest franchises including Battlefield, FIFA, Madden, NBA Live, and Need for Speed.”
The last few years have not been good for the NBA Live franchise. Their last release was in October of 2009 (NBA Live 10). They then retitled the franchise to NBA Elite. NBA Elite 11 was delayed for “concerns of gameplay polish”, but was later cancelled. The same story repeated for the next couple years. Because of the delays, 2K Sports has taken and ran with the NBA series, so it’s going to be interesting to see how gamers react to NBA Live coming back.
Look for the game to be released on the next generation consoles (PS4 and XBOX whateveritsnameis). We’ll know more information during E3 so follow us on Twitter for updates.
EA Sports is set to hold down its exclusive license with FIFA until December 31, 2022, the two outlets announced earlier this morning. For EA Sports, this means that they’ll retain exclusive rights to produce a soccer video game under the FIFA banner.
The FIFA offers benefits to both sides, with EA Sports watching revenues grow on the strength of 14.5 million copies of FIFA 13 sold this year.
FIFA General Secretary Jérôme Valcke on the parternship:
“The FIFA games are an essential part of our communication efforts around the FIFA brand and its values. To measure the strength of our partnership with EA, it is enough to remember that more than 2.5 million football fans took part in the FIFA Interactive World Cup this year.”
Arguably the best in sports gaming, FIFA and EA Sports will continue to pump out the popular title for the next decade and probably beyond.
We’re into the second round of the playoffs, and another NBA 2K13 roster update is out. It’s not a big one, with just three players being affected. Huge surprises that Steph Curry and Nate Robinson haven’t been upgraded, despite their performance so far in the playoffs.
Luol Deng (CHI): Injured, -9 (74 OVR)
Marc Gasol (MEM): +2 (85 OVR)
David Lee (GS): Returns from injury, (84 OVR)
Players still missing: Aron Baynes (SA), Ben Hansbrough (IND), Chris Johnson (MIN), Diante Garrett (PHX), Dwayne Jones (GS), Jarvis Varnado (MIA), Jerel McNeal (UTA), Josh Akognon (DAL), Julyan Stone (DEN) Justin Holiday (PHI), Kent Bazemore (GS), Kevin Jones (CLE), Kevin Murphy (UTA), Malcolm Thomas (CHI), Mickael Gelabale (MIN), Scott Machado (GS), Shavlik Randolph (BOS), Terrel Harris (NWO), Tim Ohlbrecht (HOU), Willie Reed (MEM)
The NHL 14 Cover Vote is quickly eliminating the field, announcing their final 16 candidates for the chance to grave the cover of their upcoming hockey game. Starting today, the vote shifts to a 16-player bracket format as players compete in head-to-head matchups for a spot in the quarterfinals. Over 12 million votes have been cast, up 70% from last year’s campaign.
Here’s the final 16, along with how the bracket is looking. Gotta love the Toronto/Boston rivalry is alive and well even in the cover vote:
One frustrating thing in the FIFA games is when you have a great opportunity for a pass and your teammate just isn’t in the right position to receive this. This is now a thing of the past with Teammate Intelligence. New for FIFA 14, your computer controlled teammates can now to make better and smarter decisions on both the attack and on defense.
Some notes from EA:
FIFA 14 introduces new run types to make goal-scoring opportunities even more exciting. Players will have the intelligence to break down defenses by creating space for themselves and separation from defenders.
You will notice that attacking players will watch the backline to avoid being caught offside before breaking free for a pass or through ball. Attackers will also now perform checked runs to confuse defenders.
Additionally, the center-forward will back into a defender to hold position and receive the ball, creating space to gain possession. Afterward, he will either release to another player or turn and shoot on goal.
Defenders will be better at tracking runs without over-committing. They will recognize opportunities to support and apply pressure from anywhere on the pitch. Rather than always covering the player closest to them, AI defenders will better position themselves to reduce the chance of someone being left wide-open:
Defensive decision-making will be based on multiple frames enabling defenders to continually analyze the play to search for the most dangerous player. This will improve run tracking and man marking. Smarter, tighter marking will change the way games unfold as more action is driven to the middle of the field, leading to tighter passes and a greater emphasis on strategy.
Also introduced this year is defensive pressure—teammates will recognize good opportunities to win back possession and support with tighter marking and more pressure. Previously, once a team had a lead late into a match, they would begin to slow the pace to run down the clock. Now, Defenders will recognize this and press the attacking players in an attempt to win back possession.
The big thing being touted in this year’s Madden game is the “Run Free” feature, giving you much more free control over your offensive ground game. If you’re a fan of the Madden franchise, this next piece should be a little concerning: EA Sports is also introducing a “Precision Modifier”, giving you the option of 30 different moves as a running back. You can string together these moves to create “devastating combos” (EA Sports’ words, not mine).
The “devastating combo” makes the game sound super arcade-y, reminiscent of arcade fighting games where combining combos gets you more XP. Also, while these moves look great, they really aren’t all that realistic. Here’s the video, and we’ll show you some GIFs after the vid to further illustrated the unrealistic animation.
And now for the GIFs. some of these moves are unrealistic, especially Chris Johnson’s spin.
The first of three NHL 14 Developer Diaries came out this morning, highlighting NHL 14’s new Collision Physics. If you’re a fan of the FIFA series, you’ll know about the Player Impact Engine, which provides more realistic contact between players. In NHL 14, there’ll be a new left-stick control scheme to make hitting much simpler. Check out the video from EA Sports’ producer Sean Ramjagsingh:
Plus, some GIFs showing off the Collision Physics. LET THE BODIES HIT THE FLOOR: