After a multi-year hiatus, the NBA Live series returned this year with NBA Live 14 for Xbox One and PlayStation 4. The response, however, has left much to be desired, according to producer Sean O'Brien.
"I'm not going to lie; it's been a rough week," O'Brien said 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."
Based on the feedback EA Sports has received so far, O'Brien said the company has devised a plan to make NBA Live 14 a "better game as quickly as we can."
First, O'Brien said EA Sports will improve how NBA Live 14 teaches users how to play, after some players described the process as "frustrating."
"We realize that every single one of you is a new user and know we need to make the game easier to understand and simpler to pick up and play," he said.
EA Sports will hold a series of live streams over Twitch that aim to help teach gamers how to play NBA Live 14. In addition, producers and designers will be online seven days a week to answer questions and provide advice.
What's more, EA Sports has posted various guides concerning controls and game features to the NBA Live website with the aim of helping players get up to speed on basic offense, defense, and play calling.
Improvements to the game's graphics and animations are also on the way, O'Brien said.
"I can tell you that we are committed to making drastic and immediate improvements. In order to get gameplay up and running this year we had to prioritize," O'Brien said. "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. Improvements on these fronts are also in development now for NBA Live 14. You will notice in the coming weeks and months that the game's visuals and animation will improve significantly."
Feedback around NBA Live 14 has not been completely negative. O'Brien said fans are telling EA Sports that they enjoy the game's Live Season and Big Moments features, which will continue to be updated throughout the NBA season. In addition, O'Brien teased that "big announcements" and "major additions" are coming to NBA Live Ultimate Team down the road.
"Let me wrap up with this; for those of you who have supported us throughout this development cycle and continue to have our backs now, thank you. We've got a lot of work to do; I've got a lot of work to do," O'Brien said. "It started 12 months ago, and continues until we build this franchise bigger and better than it ever was. This is just the first chapter in the NBA Live comeback story."
For more on NBA Live 14, check out GameSpot's review.