In August of 2017, the NBA Live series made history when Electronic Arts (EA) announced that the full roster of WNBA teams and players would appear within the latest addition (NBA LIVE 18) of the game series. Made available on Xbox One and Playstation4, in a section titled WNBA Play Now, players were able to pick and choose their lady of choice based on each team and players individual skills. Like their male counterparts, each player’s skills were individually researched, measured, and balanced to reflect the unique playstyle of the league and its players. This was the first time in history that the official WNBA’s roster of teams and players has ever appeared in a video game.
NBA LIVE Executive Producer Sean O’Brien explained that, “the WNBA is home to some of the most incredible athletes on the planet, and we’ve been working hard to integrate them into our game in an authentic and meaningful way. This is only a taste of what we have in store, and look forward to working with the league on more great integrations in the franchise in the future”.
O’Brien may have given us a taste before, but now it looks like we may be getting the full course meal.
Just last week EA Sports announced that, for the first time, the upcoming installment of their basketball video game franchise would include a female create-a-player feature. These customizable characters will be able to compete in the Streets World Tour, Live Events, Live Run, and more. Players will be able to create female characters and take them around the world in THE ONE, building their squad, taking on global challenges and accessing the same skills, progression and gear as their male counterparts. Men and women can also play together on the same team in THE ONE.
There will be plenty of customization options for female characters, including multiple preset head models and hundreds of hairstyles, according to EA. The NBA Live Companion App’s GameFaceHD feature will now support scanning female faces as well. After physical features are set, players have the ability to choose the character’s height and weight. There is no difference in these limits for either female or male players as everyone will have equal options when setting their player’s physical attributes.
Female characters will also have access to the entire progression system in “NBA Live 19.” The game introduces new Icon Abilities modeled after some professional women ballers. “The new Icon Progression system will create more choice, customization options, and rewards to give you the ultimate freedom to create a female or male baller that represents you in NBA Live 19,” EA representatives reveal.
Last year, players could unlock rewards after completing games, Live Events, and certain milestones within “NBA Live 18.” Now, there are male and female versions of reward items, along with some rewards exclusive to female characters. Tops, bottoms, socks, sneakers, accessories, tattoos, and celebrations can all be customized.
“The inclusion of female players is an important step toward leveling the playing field, providing gamers increased opportunities to express their unique individuality and create a reflection of themselves while competing in the game,” EA said.
NBA 2K has proven to be NBA Lives greatest adversary in the basketball video game zone over the years, but with all of these new and progressive features we have a feeling that NBA Live may be quickly reaching a comeback.
“NBA Live 19” will be available worldwide on Sept. 7 on Xbox One and PlayStation 4.
EA Access members will receive an additional 10 percent discount when they purchase a digital version of NBA LIVE 19 on Xbox Live. Subscribers can also enjoy up to 10 hours of play time as part of the Play First Trial on August 31.
View the official trailer below.