After weeks of rumors on their Facebook page, EA Sports finally announced today that they’re changing the name of their long running NBA franchise from NBA Live to NBA Elite. According to EA, 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, you’ll be able to see for yourself when the game hits retail on PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 this October.
“From the first day of development on this product, it was clear that we intended to pioneer a groundbreaking change in the basketball video game segment,” says Jordan Edelstein, VP of Marketing of 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.”
Since 1983, EA has been releasing basketball video games, with the first one, One on One: Dr. J vs. Larry Bird, being one of the first basketball games to feature real NBA players. Later, 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.
“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 of 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.”
“NBA Elite 11 will give gamers the same skill set that a pro basketball player has at his disposal,” says David Littman, Creative Director of 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.”
EA’s NBA-licensed franchises have sold more than 25 million units since 1995, and despite a name change, things shouldn’t change.
What do you think?
Follow Aron on Twitter at @the_real_aron.
Follow Dime on Twitter at @DIMEMag.
Become a fan of Dime Magazine on Facebook HERE.