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NBA Live 14's second patch will start to deliver on dev's promises

Samit Sarkar (he/him) is Polygon’s deputy managing editor. He has more than 15 years of experience covering video games, movies, television, and technology.

With NBA Live 14's second patch, which could arrive as early as Feb. 10, developer EA Tiburon will start to deliver on its promises about improving the game that was critically panned upon its launch last November.

Shortly after NBA Live 14's debut as a launch title on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, executive producer Sean O'Brien addressed the game's poor reception in an open letter posted to the NBA Live website. O'Brien acknowledged that the team at developer EA Tiburon hadn't accomplished what they'd set out to achieve, and promised that the studio would make significant improvements and additions to the game.

Tiburon released the first NBA Live 14 patch in December, and the studio noted that it was mostly a table-setter for the updates that would arrive later. The second patch will include some of those new elements, O'Brien announced today in a blog post.

One of the main pieces of the patch addresses a notable complaint from fans: the lack of a dedicated tutorial. The patch adds a mode called Shootaround that lets players take any NBA athlete onto a practice court so users can familiarize themselves with NBA Live 14's controls and gameplay feel. According to O'Brien, Shootaround is Tiburon's "first step" on the path of "delivering a robust, comprehensive onboarding experience."

"we're building for next year's title"

The second patch also features revisions to lighting and textures that should make in-game players "pop from the gameplay cameras" rather than look like clay, said O'Brien. He noted that while Tiburon has been doing head scans for some NBA stars to facilitate the development of realistic face models, it takes a lot of time to implement those faces in the game — so they won't arrive until 2014's NBA Live game, which will likely be released this fall. Additionally, the patch includes some gameplay improvements in areas such as responsiveness for dribbling and passing, as well as the addition of jerseys from the 2014 All-Star Game.

O'Brien closed by saying that all the content contained in the patches is being developed with an eye toward the future of the NBA Live franchise.

"Don't think that we're doing all this work at the expense of the next NBA Live," said O'Brien. "Instead, we're building for next year's title and including everything we can in the current game right now to improve the experience for our loyal fans."

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