The NBA isn't walking away from future publishing deals with EA – in spite of the disappointing launch of its most recent licensed effort, NBA Live 14.
Speaking with A-List Daily, NBA merchandising executive Vicky Picca spoke positively of the publisher – acknowledging NBA Live 14's shortcomings, but referring to the company's solid track record with sports titles.
“EA has been a long-standing and fantastic partner and there’s no doubt they continue to believe basketball is a way to expand their own global reach,” Picca said.
“They are – notwithstanding setbacks with their NBA game – an industry leader in sports gaming. We’ve always liked the concept of giving our fans a choice with NBA games. It drives competition and innovation.”
Picca also discussed the juggernaut NBA 2K14 has become, thanks to 2K Games.
“In this decade, NBA 2K14 has become one of the five bestselling console games out there. It’s the fastest-selling NBA game in history this year,” she said. “2K has figured out how to crack the code with savvy marketing and putting finger on the pulse of pop culture working with Michael Jordan in the past and LeBron James this year.
“From a technical standpoint, 2K spent a lot of time making the game look good. They did head scans for each player on each team for the next gen games, as an example.”
Picca concluded that video games serve as a critical platform for the league's expansion to new consumers, and that the NBA will continue to seek out partnerships to license its product for games.
“The more we can expand the NBA to new consumers, the better. In the video game space, we get approached regularly by partners who want to work with our brand,” she explained.
“Sometimes we’ll see something that’s intriguing and we’ll approach a developer or publisher. Oftentimes, things will take on a life of their own.”