When Andrew Bynum made his debut as the Lord and Savior, the future of EA Sports basketball was in immediate danger. The backlash of the YouTube video and NBA Elite 11demo led to the series being shut down for two years. When Scott OÃ¢â‚¬â„¢Gallagher tore his hamstring last June, his wife asked him what he wanted to do if he couldnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t play professional basketball anymore. He responded with what he considers, a joke.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“I told her I wanted to make video games,Ã¢â‚¬Â OÃ¢â‚¬â„¢Gallagher said. Within months EA Sports turned that joke into something more. OÃ¢â‚¬â„¢Gallagher became NBA Live 13Ã¢â‚¬â„¢s newest gameplay designer. OÃ¢â‚¬â„¢Gallagher has more than just his gaming experience at his disposal. The 6-foot-1 developer used to play point guard. Between having interest from the Denver Nuggets, Portland Trail Blazers and Utah Jazz, OÃ¢â‚¬â„¢Gallagher took his talents everywhere from Portland State University, Bulgaria, New Zealand, Australia to Macedonia. But his injury led him to focus on his other hobbies: gaming.
Hitting the sticks has always been one of OÃ¢â‚¬â„¢GallagherÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s pastimes. He created his own website, OGSports, where he focused on NBA games. He earned the respect of simulation gamers and made his stamp on Sim Nation. His involvement in the community earned him one of seven spots on EAÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s NBA Live 13 Advisory Council. Back in April he flew down to Orlando where he hit it off the development team. Ã¢â‚¬Å“I really liked the direction EA was going with the game,Ã¢â‚¬Â said OÃ¢â‚¬â„¢Gallagher. Ã¢â‚¬Å“I loved their ideas and concepts.Ã¢â‚¬Â
OÃ¢â‚¬â„¢Gallagher is confident that his experience playing the sport will help him take NBA Live to new heights. Ã¢â‚¬Å“I think itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s huge that IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ve played in every system overseas,Ã¢â‚¬Â he said. Ã¢â‚¬Å“You know every nuance, how the players sync, how they play. The game in Europe as a whole Ã¢â‚¬â€œ theyÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re more fundamentally sound over there.Ã¢â‚¬Â After an unimpressive showing of a way too early build of NBA Live 13 at E3, EA received backlash from all corners of the Internet. The community wasnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t necessarily outraged, but you could sense that 2K Sports’ NBA 2K series was slowly pulling away from the competition.
By deciding to bring in someone directly from the community, EA is hoping to show that they mean business when it comes to putting out the No. 1 NBA simulation game on store shelves. OÃ¢â‚¬â„¢Gallagher is first and foremost a gamer, so he knows what the community is looking to see. Ã¢â‚¬Å“I know exactly what the community wants,Ã¢â‚¬Â he said. Ã¢â‚¬Å“I am the voice of the community and will never for get where I came from. I know how important it for them to feel involved. ThatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s what itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s all about.Ã¢â‚¬Â
OÃ¢â‚¬â„¢Gallagher, known as OGSports on Operation Sports, is already putting in more than 40 hours a week creating Live 13. His connection to the sports gaming community is no joke: he is well-known by Operation Sports, EAÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Game Changers, Dynasty League Gaming and even everyoneÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s favorite Sim Nation Leader, Da_Czar. And, he is just as nit picky as the worst of us. “Scott … is a die hard sim gamer,” Da_Czar said. “He brings with him the shared passion and enthusiasm that any of us would have given the same opportunity. That energy and passion can only mean good things for the Sim Nation as well as for EA and Live.
So with the well-deserved backing from the community, and the experience he has garnered playing overseas, O’Gallagher is poised to make big changes for NBA Live 13.
EA Sports just might have found their new savior.
You can follow Scott on Twitter at @ScottOGallagher.