"As I've said previously, we know we fell short in two major areas with NBA Live 14," O'Brien said on EA Sports' site. " 5-on-5 gameplay didn't have the depth and polish of an EA Sports game and our visuals just weren't up to expectations for a next-gen title. We've been laser-focused on making sure that this isn't the case with NBA Live 15 and I'm really excited with our progress in those two areas."
O'Brien cited refined player models and lighting as visual improvements, while on the gameplay side EA's been in touch with NBA coaches to help give Live 15 more realism.
"Another equally important area of focus is improving flow and responsiveness in every area where you touch the ball," O'Brien added, "and we feel that shooting, passing and dribbling all feel much better this year."
To say NBA Live 14 was a few slam dunks shorts of a grand comeback for the long-running series would be an understatement. It was one of the most poorly received launch games on the new systems, prompting a conciliatory response from O'Brien: "We hear loud and clear that some of you are disappointed in various aspects of NBA Live 14, and I'm sorry if the game doesn't live up to your expectations," he said back in November 2013.
Our review wasn't forgiving either: "NBA Live 14 feels unfinished and, when compared to its only competition, NBA 2K14, is an unappealing retail product nowhere near deserving of your time or money."
EA and O'Brien are looking ahead now, and the producer says the plan is to start sharing more in-depth gameplay details in July: "We know we've got a lot to prove this year, and we've got a solid plan in place to provide you with all the details and take the first steps to making NBA Live 15 a game you're excited to play."