EA Sports' media blitz for "NBA Live 10" was led front and center by their acquisition of "NBA 2K8's" lead gameplay designer Mike Wang. But now, one year later, 2K Sports is back to announce Wang's shocking return to the company and to the "NBA 2K" franchise after only releasing one game for the competition.
"When I went over there (to EA), a lot of it was for personal reasons. I wanted to try something new, try a new challenge. But after being there and spending some time over at EA, it was clear that they do things a different way, and in a way it's just inefficient and just not the place to be to make the best games," said Wang in a recent conference call with ESPN to announce his return. "When I went there, I immediately missed VC (Visual Concepts), and it's just one of those things where I tried to stick it out as long as I could, but I wanted to come back. With some of the creative decisions over at EA, it just made it difficult to stay there. They just want to make a different game than I had a vision for.
Wang returns to his role as lead gameplay designer of the "NBA 2K" series, and the team is already hard at work on "NBA 2K11."
My brother recently purchased NBA Live 10, and from what I've seen, I just can't see myself ever playing the series again (my last straw was the dreadful 2002). 2K feels more like a real basketball game with each passing year, while Live 10 to me looks like Live 04 with better graphics.
2K did just fine without Wang this year, but I suppose the return of a motivated and dedicated employee can't hurt. Particularly since Wang is the one largely credited with bringing 2K to it's current state.