Electronic Arts is once again attempting to revive the NBA Live series this year. Today, EA announced the details of an upcoming demo and revealed NBA Live 18‘s cover star, but more interesting is a sizable discount being offered.
Anyone who pre-orders NBA Live 18 will get 33% off–dropping its price in the US from $60 to $40. That’s an unusual offer for any company, and certainly not the type of thing you’d expect to see from EA. But it’s a smart move given the dominance that the NBA 2K series has over the market–an edge in price can only help to boost sales, as EA found over a decade ago when competitors like NBA 2K5 and NFL 2K5 were released for only $20.
EA today also revealed that Houston Rockets guard James Harden, the runner-up for this past season’s MVP award, will be the game’s cover star. (NBA 2K18 has Kyrie Irving on the cover, who may not be a Cleveland Cavalier for much longer.) Harden is technically on the cover twice; as pictured above, the artwork emphasizes that NBA Live 18 allows you to play more than just standard NBA games.
With just over a month to go before release, an NBA Live 18 demo will launch on PS4 and Xbox One tomorrow, August 11. It lets you play a standard game that features a rematch of the NBA Finals, with the Golden State Warriors facing off against the Cleveland Cavaliers. It will also allow you to check out The Rise, which serves as a prologue for The One mode. This is one of the new additions for this year’s game, described as a “way to pursue your legacy, centered on the player and defined by your choices.” As with NBA 2K18 and its Prelude release ahead of launch, progress you make in the demo can transfer to the full game. During the demo, limited-time live events will take place that offer “special rules, rewards, and characters.”
NBA Live 18 launches on September 15. That’s four days before NBA 2K18, although pre-orders for that game provide early access that also begins on September 15.