EA Sports have managed to reignite the old fire in the hearts of numerous basketball gaming fans with NBA Live 18 and 19. After taking a two-year hiatus from NBA Live 16, they have slowly been getting back on track to reclaiming the throne of basketball games.
The sheer fun that NBA Live's style of gameplay provides, together with its straightforward and - most importantly - fair system of player progression in its career mode, are easily the two main reasons why players decided to return to this franchise, despite it being an underdog title for quite some time now due to NBA 2K's merciless dominance in the genre.
NBA Live 18 laid a very solid foundation for EA to bring back players to their virtual courts once again, and NBA Live 19 managed to fortify it even further, so it's only natural that fans have been eager to see what NBA Live 20 is going to be bringing to the table.
However, EA have been awfully quiet about the newest iteration of their game thus far - so much so that some players are legitimately worried that they won't be getting a new NBA Live title this year at all.
With no official news on at least the cover star of NBA Live 20, never mind a teaser or a full-on reveal trailer, some fans are fearing that news of another cancellation will soon be published instead.
Yes there are some rumours floating about of Luka Doncic potentially gracing the cover of the game, but since EA themselves have remained quiet on the matter, the troubles and worries of Live fans still very much persist. All of this is particularly interesting when we consider the fact that we got an absolute abundance of NBA Live 19 news in June last year.
EA's basketball rival, 2K Sports, have already treated their fans with news on NBA 2K20's release date and cover stars, and they have also shown a teaser trailer which revealed the addition of female ballers.
This has opened the doors to pre-orders which, knowing 2K's audience and their ever enticing pre-order perks, will be done massively. And yet, still - nothing but radio silence from EA.
Now the question that poses itself here is: are EA really in the position to be treating their NBA Live audience like this? The short answer is: no. They really are not. Given 2K's almost unfathomable success year in and year out with NBA 2K, NBA Live is still very much the inferiour product, no matter how fun and polished it may be.
NBA Live 18 was a true breath of fresh air for basketball gaming fans, mostly due to NBA 2K18's shady microtransactions practices in MyCAREER at the time. That game made fans very hopeful for NBA Live 19, and thanks to essentially the same formula behind the two iterations, EA did manage to rebuild some of their long lost community. But it is still nowhere near enough to properly take on 2K.
What EA should really be doing is advertise NBA Live 20 like there's no freaking tomorrow. Show off the new cover star - whoever it may be, present the new gameplay changes and additions, announce the release date of the demo as well as that of the full game - just let your community know that taking another hiatus is most certainly not on your to-do list.
Stirring up hype is pretty much the go-to strategy of modern day gaming, and with 2K already making some serious waves with NBA 2K20, EA simply cannot afford to sit in the backseat and hope for players to discover their game through price cuts and mediocre to non-existent marketing again.
As consumers, sports gaming fans can only benefit from competition, and in this case, one party is miles ahead with nitro speed on, while the other one seems to be contemplating whether to shift to sixth gear or not.
NBA Live fans deserve to see their game receive all the possible love and support it can get, because only then can they hope to be victorious in their quest of reclaiming that elusive throne.