You hear all the time in sports how teamwork and bringing in the right free agents can help turn a team around, but not much thought is ever given to that theory when it comes to putting together a team of designers to work on a video game. Get just the right group of people to work on a game they're passionate about, and you could be looking at a classic. Get the wrong group, and you could be looking at something more along the lines of "Michael Jordan: Chaos in the Windy City."
When it comes to "Live 10," EA Sports brought in some of the best talent in the industry, even signing away the lead game-play designer for "NBA 2K," Mike Wang, in a move that could end up shaking the industry similar to the Lakers stealing Pau Gasol from the Grizzlies.
It's no wonder that "NBA Live 10" producer Sean O'Brien points to the team working on the game as the first major difference between "NBA Live" 09 and 10.
"The first thing people should know is we have a new production team," says O'Brien. "There are new people involved, from myself to giving Mike Wang the reigns when it comes to game play. We then brought Ryan Santos back from the old 'NBA Live,' 'NBA Street' days. He's not only a visual designer, he's a lifestyle-and-culture expert and a classic sneaker head. It's one of those things where everyone involved is passionate about what they're doing. There's a re-energized team working on the game itself, and that has helped set a context with some of the guys who have been on the team before. A guy like Garreth Reeder, who is an online expert and is really driving forward what we're doing with Dynamic DNA. Having Matt Lafreniere and Jeff Antwi around with their knowledge of the past and what has worked and, most importantly, what hasn't worked so we can evolve from there. And again, giving Mike the ability to do what he does best when it comes to game play, and for the first time in an 'NBA Live' series, he is really owning the vision and direction of game play."