In anticipation of NBA Live 18’s demo, which is coming tomorrow, August 11, EA announced today that James Harden of the Houston Rockets will be the cover athlete for NBA Live 18. They also revealed the game has been moved up from its original December release window, and will now be launching on PS4 and Xbox One September 15.
Those who pre-order the game will get a 33% discount on the game, with EA Access members also receiving an additional 10% discount.. All the progress players make and the content they unlock in tomorrow’s demo can carry over into the full game when it launches, a first for this series and its demos.
In the NBA Live 18 demo, players can journey through The Rise, which is the prologue section of The One – the single player campaign introduced at E3, and culminates in the player being drafted into the NBA. The demo will also contain specially-timed Live Events – limited-time raid-style activities all of which have their own special rules, rewards and characters.
Rewards players earn in the weekly Live Events will also carry over into the full game, so EA encourages players to return to the demo every week before release. Finally, NBA Live 18’s demo also contains a Play Now match between rivals Cleveland Cavaliers and Golden State Warriors for players who just want to knock a few game’s out.
NBA Live 18 features Houston Rockets’ player James Harden as the cover athlete because EA sees Harden as a “wholly unique individual, staying true to himself and reaching stardom through his skill and authenticity,” so he embodies what EA hopes players’ characters become in The One. James Harden had the following to say about being the cover athlete of NBA Live 18:
“When I heard about working with EA Sports and being the cover athlete of NBA Live 18 I was pretty excited for the opportunity. NBA Live 18 is all about creating your own identity and making your mark on the league, and I can definitely relate to that. If anybody knows about creativity it’s me.”
EA also revealed the game’s box art and released a trailer showcasing James Harden, both of which you can check out below. NBA Live 18 launches on PS4 and Xbox One September 15, though you can try out the game early with its demo, which releases on August 11.