NBA Live goes global for cover stars

Frenchman Tony Parker of the Spurs lands global cover slot, with Gasol, Deng, and Bargnani taking the honors in their respective homelands.

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NBA commissioner David Stern has been vocal about turning the North American pro hoops league into a global institution, starting with a team playing out of Europe within the next 10 years. That international approach appears to have dribbled down to the league's gaming adaptations, as Electronic Arts today announced a starting lineup of four cover stars for NBA Live 09, none of them Americans.

Parker has also been featured in Subway ads.

San Antonio Spurs point guard Tony Parker will take the main honors, fronting the game around the world, including in his native France. However, gamers in some regions will instead see their fellow countrymen on the boxes. Los Angeles Lakers power forward (and NBA Finals runner-up) Pau Gasol, Chicago Bulls small forward Luol Deng, and Toronto Raptors power forward Andrea Bargnani will grace covers in Spain, the UK, and Italy, respectively.

The international emphasis in NBA Live 09 goes deeper than the cover. Electronic Arts is tripling the number of teams from international hoops federation FIBA in the game, allowing gamers to play for the pride of one of 24 countries. The game also features a FIBA World Championship mode using the leagues rules and tournament organization.

North American gamers upset at their countries having to share the spotlight with the rest of the world can take solace in the fact that they'll at least be able to get their hands on NBA Live 09 a little bit sooner. The game is scheduled for release on the Xbox 360, Wii, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 2, and PlayStation Portable in North America on October 7, with the rest of the world receiving it October 14.

For more on NBA Live 09, check out GameSpot's hands-on preview.

Discussion

58 comments
westlyside
westlyside

EA rules!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

strawberry9
strawberry9

live always has the worst cover athletes ever... I mean you guys remember tracy mcgrady, how he was injured all that year... and then now this loser is on the cover... KG is an amazing choice by 2k9, and tony parker is just the first step to failure for this game....

_FORCE_96
_FORCE_96

im i like the only person who wants a sacramento player like artest on the cover-im english so i dont know much but why did Bibby go to the Hawks!?!?

kylemesina
kylemesina

either of this players should be the cover of nba live 09 1.KG 2.D HOWARD 3.RAY ALLEN 4.PAUL PIERCE 5.STEVE NASH 6.LEBRON JAMES 7.ALLEN IVERSON 8.CHRIS PAUL 9.DERON WILLIAMS 10.TIM DUNCAN 11.CHAUNCEY BILLUPS i hope that these players will be the cover of nba live 09 :)

geomyr
geomyr

yeah nba 09 cant' wait im hoping that kg is the front cover cause the celtics won the nba title.

HanSolo10
HanSolo10

Kobe should be on the cover, he's the best player in the world. Especially one on one everybody knows this. I think EA should go back to their 2005 game or even a couple years earlier and get pointers from what they did in the past. They're better off just recreating the games that made "Live" good and just update the rosters at this pointe. Live was such a good game and had great dunks, plays, animations, music and even creating custom players. I just want a basketball game that has the same things and is fun to play and looks good. I don't know why they have done such a poor job on recent years. They were on the right track before, go back to what worked before.

its_mmd
its_mmd

K.GARNETT and his adidas TS shoes.

CRONALDOisGOD
CRONALDOisGOD

whe nwill david stern get his chance to be the cover?

cheerios3d
cheerios3d

Great news EA but I still think the US should 've its own cover star after all the sprort was created here.

cooldude03
cooldude03

There should be only one. Ea forgot the title it's NBA. If you want to include FIBA than maybe it should be called FIBA Live. It would definitely be the number one FIBA game. EA wake up, your dropping the ball again.

Superdude475
Superdude475

Oden should have been on the cover. I'm sure he would've had a great season.

is0lati0n
is0lati0n

2K is still king of NBA sim no matter who's on the cover.

Chief_Kuuni
Chief_Kuuni

wow, that's about all I can say to that

RRiLLA
RRiLLA

final cross... i really dont have to say anything more then croatia is better :P just kidding.. as long as you or your parents werent envolved in the war no beef to you

Jalannom
Jalannom

Put a rookie on the cover.. actually, how about the Laker girls?

tbolt_88
tbolt_88

Kobe belongs on the cover. But when I think about it no, I wouldnt want the best player in the NBA on the cover of this crappy game. Seriously, Id expect these games to be starting to get good by now but no..Live has been terrible since 2006.

combatsoldier
combatsoldier

Who cares about the cover. Its all about the game that should matter. People dont buy a game for the person on the cover. They buy it for the game. Whats up again pin head. Great icon.

hunter8man
hunter8man

I could care less who's on the cover. The question is will the Live series ever be as good as it once was, or will 2K just keep stomping it into the ground. Live has a very long way before it even gets close to reaching the level of 2K.

MiiOnWii
MiiOnWii

o well, who cares if parker is on the cover, this game is as boring as watching the real spurs on t.v....2k is totally going to dominate EA again when it comes to basketball games and no PAUL PIERCE does not deserve the cover unless one of the new features for the game is faking injuries!!!

Ranteal
Ranteal

You see we want basketball players on the cover, not actors. Thats why pierce isnt on the cover. Should've put Duncan. Parkers ok, but Duncan is the reason for all those rings. As far as there not being an American on the cover, who ******* cares?

kungfuj0
kungfuj0

I have no problem with them going international with the game and all that, but there should be an American on the cover here. The Celtics just won the title after years of sucking, and Pearce won the only MVP that counts, the Finals MVP, plus he's already done Live commercials, so why not put HIM on the cover here? I guess it makes too much sense for it to actually get done.... Ultimately though, I don't care who's on the cover. I just hope Live 09 takes another leap forward in its quality. 08 was an OK game, but it had alot of holes in it. I'm hoping like hell that 09 fixes those holes. If they fix those holes, then I wouldn't care if they put CANDACE Parker on the cover of it, I'll still give it a look!

finalcross
finalcross

I really thought for International Flavor Parker or Nash would be the best choices. But Nash being Cdn, doesn't really attract foreign gamers. I'm just glad that 24 countries will be in the game, my Serbia better be in there.

Ranteal
Ranteal

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

ganon546
ganon546

Wow didn't think Parker would get the cover. I mean its a not a bad move but I just thought they would put someone like Kobe, Lebron, or my personal favorite Dwight Howard on it.

sdkingsht
sdkingsht

yeah yeah. so with Parker on the front. does that mean the game will be soft and overrated? :|

Viral-venom13
Viral-venom13

Well it really doesn't matter who is on the cover as i just look at it as a case protecting the real gem thats inside which is the disc and thats whats important, i mean there may be different atlethes on the covers but the '09 game is still the same so....it doesn't matter!!

SonicBalla
SonicBalla

Great just like all Spurs games this is going to put me to sleep

Kratos_Cruxis
Kratos_Cruxis

NOOOOOOOOOO!!! Spurs Fan from UK!!!!! Bloody Deng WTF!!!!! Bring on Parker!!!!! Yea im not too pleased...

RRiLLA
RRiLLA

this just proves that live is going to suck since tony parker is on the cover.... hey i only hate because im jelous he got eva lol but seriously, if your going to put a different cover athelete in each country why give us a french-men? i would say kevin garnett, because lets face it, nobody can hate him, im a lakers fan and i was happy to see garnett win just because he has been waiting so long. but obviously that wouldn't work considering he is the cover athelete of 2k9. I would also have said chris paul just because he is a beast but again 2k8 got that one first. Nobody wants shaq on another cover so forget him, and even though nash is a good player he never stands out more than enough to consider him decent. Kobe would be a good choice considering he was MVP but Gasol will be on the cover in spain so do you really want two lakers on the cover of one game? The one person they should put on the cover is stephon marbury because it says a lot about the game. It was once good but over the last few years it blew... just kidding, but i do hate starbury and i was born n raised in NY. To be honest if you put a knick on the cover it would have to be crawford but in all fairness the person i would see on the cover if having to be american would be allen or pierce, not because they were all on the winning team but because pierce and allen have both overcome a lot in the last year. I cant think of any other reason why not to pick them. but seriously parker on the US cover is not the right choice

nickfury187
nickfury187

Snowblind, where have you been. The NBA is not as dumb as the NFL. The more titles, the more money for the league. They haven't sold rights to EA. NBA 2K9 is already on it's way!! Stop spreading lies!!!! :) EA has NFL 2K has MLB EA has FIFA That's is I think.

moicmoi
moicmoi

Our national TP on the US cover !! That's great !! :-D Notre Ti-Pi national sur la pochette américaine ! C'est génial ! lol

ken-e
ken-e

@snowblind54 NBA 2k9 has already been announced with Garnett as the cover man

snowblind54
snowblind54

Henninger, 2K can't follow suit because just like the NFL, EA bought exclusive licenses to the NBA. Thus, don't expect to see a new NBA 2K for a while until EA's license ends and they don't buy a new one. Also, don't expect to see many new features in NBA Live for a while, cause hey, why should they? There's no competition!

Led_poison
Led_poison

wtf Bargnani sucks, worst 1st round pic for raptors

Henninger
Henninger

Its a good idea & if EA feels it'll work they'll do it more often. But they should've had a US star also since basketball came from the US (please no1 prove me wrong if I am). I also like the fact that EA put the FIBA teams in the game. Now all 2K has 2 do is follow suit.

drangel_jam
drangel_jam

I wish they'd start adding features like these after nailing the gameplay. What I mean is, make an eccentric game that plays really well first, and then make it better next year and then add FIBA, and whatever. I haven't enjoyed an NBA Live game since NBA Live 2001. All of these won't help if the gameplay is a bad as it has been lately. The funny thing, is that I think NBA 2k9 will eventually catch up and do FIBA teams. If you think of it, NBA Live usually innovates more than NBA 2k, remember ISO, All Stars week-end with dunks? Anyway, I miss 2k's 24-hour mode.

TheRealMC01
TheRealMC01

good idea, but i'm going to be getting nba 2k9. but yeah, the U.S. deserves it's own cover star.

DeltaSpirit
DeltaSpirit

Tony Parker on the cover well can he at least bring along his wife?

jeff89jdf
jeff89jdf

does any1 else think that a worldwide, Olympics bball game would be tight

Questlove711
Questlove711

I think the MVP from last season deserves a little love (even though his team lost the championship).

burnit2earnit
burnit2earnit

how bout pickkin someone who speaks english? lebron, kg, or howard should be cover. not some french guy who isnt even that good to begin with.

rsoxguy12
rsoxguy12

at gwf: kg landed the cover of nba 2k9

gwf123
gwf123

i think kg shoulda been on the cover i dont think hes been on one and hes better then tony parker

AZisBack
AZisBack

Tony Parker on the cover huh? As much as I hate the Celtics I think one of them should be on the cover. I understand putting people on the cover for their respective country. I think that is a great marketing strategy. But why deprive the US?

HipHopsamurai
HipHopsamurai

mAn Ray Allen should be on the cover ........JESUS SHUTTLESWORTH!

ocdog45
ocdog45

tony parker... i guess. i don't play nba games no more so i don't care.

nocoolnamejim
nocoolnamejim moderator

Tony Parker for the cover? Wow. That's pretty rediculous.