Your thoughts on licensed sports entertainment games?

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GTxForza

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#1  Edited By GTxForza

Hello gamers in Giant Bomb forums

My thoughts on licensed sports entertainment games in general, they shouldn't release every year so they could have more improvement in terms of gameplay, physics, etc. I've heard some recent games like Fifa 21, NBA 2K21, and Madden NFL 21 has received a lot of complaints from their respective community, due to huge amount of microtransactions and various broken features.

The only differences I noticed from an installment to one another in one of the specific franchises, in general, are having some minor gameplay changes, the roster of licensed contestants, etc.

P.S Kylotonn's WRC series is pretty much the only licensed annual sports entertainment franchise I would enjoy because it's a rallying car simulator.

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noboners

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I play Madden annually, but at this point it is smarter for me to pay EA the $99.99/year to get Madden yearly on PC and at least get access to the bevy of other EA releases than buy Madden every year.

But I can complain about Madden all day. The Franchise mode hasn't gotten any updates in about 3 years, and even the updates it has gotten since Madden '04 have all gone in a negative direction. They've definitely added modes during those years, but the core gameplay hasn't changed. And since I don't play Ultimate team or whatever the 3-on-3 is called now, I just never see any of the changes they do make. I know that Ultimate Team is the "money maker," but it's not as fun if the gameplay itself is stale...and currently, the gameplay is stale.

I would be so happy if they decided to just take a year off (only introduce a roster pack or something....even if it was for money, I would rather only pay ten dollars or something to get the update than have to get a whole new game). I just think that ever since Madden went to the Frostbite engine (2017?), it has been a crappier product.

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Topcyclist

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@noboners: I don't play sports games anymore but they use to feel pretty different when I played every 2 years...Most of my friends who still play sports games ONLY play sports games and play other games like COD if I ask them too...outside that they really don't like changes in their title and are happy with everything being the same besides a roster update, so yes they need a subscription of 60 bucks a year and you just get the new madden or whatever. Most of said friends never play a game outside their current season due to not wanting old rosters or controls or whatever. Sports games are in this lucky hole that I think other industries wish they had. The people who play them are content with not getting much, even if they aren't, no one has to listen, theirs no competition cause all the competition is brought out from trying due to contracts or barriers of entry, then you have outlets that review games never really touching yearly releases of sports games cause their traffic doesn't come from sports aficionados on paper...in reality, this is all bad generalizing and sports game players care a ton, but I asked a similar question and polled it on this site and got the general consensus that most just by it cause it says madden on the cover or whatever quality be damned. The only reason I figure they still even try and don't just copy the cd of last year and slap new numbers on the box and blur out player faces or something is cause they have employees sitting at their desk...might as well work on something even if you're just fixing issues you couldn't fix in the yearly turnaround. I figure every 4 games there is a big difference in quality, cause then you're equaling up to normal AAA budget and time on a franchise but this is all generalizing from a nonfan. So grain of salt.

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noboners

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#4  Edited By noboners

@topcyclist: You're totally right and spot on with all of that. Which is why I usually just keep to myself with my complaints and all. Making video games is hard and the idea of having to release a new game on the same date every year seems very difficult. Add in that the developer is supporting the previous year's game with fairly regular roster updates and other changes for at least 6 months and it just seems like way too much to ask for a ground up change to the game. So, ideally, I would love if they just took a year off and said "hey, this year we are just going to do roster updates because we want to build the game up from a realistic in-game engine."

But, like I said, at least with the EA Sub, I can "freely" install and decide that BioMutant isn't worth my money and that I still don't think Mass Effect 1 is fun to play on top of getting my Madden fix. So everything kind of evens itself out in the end.

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FacelessVixen

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Haven't cared since NBA Street.

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apewins

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I for one don't really care if the rosters in my sports game are up to date and don't see why anyone would pay an annual fee just to have them updated. The core of most teams stays the same across several years and teams rarely go from being terrible to great or vice versa in the course of one or two seasons. Who cares if your video game team has one player in it that has since been traded, that makes it unplayable? I can see it if you're a fan of a specific team that's just been involved in some blockbuster trade like the Lakers getting LeBron but those deals don't happen very often.

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noboners

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@apewins: Ehh, the NFL has rosters change more regularly than that, but more importantly: player ratings fluctuate pretty dramatically year to year. There's also constant changing of coaches and recently there have been 3 teams who have relocated to entirely different cities.

And it doesn't make it unplayable, but when you're looking for a "realistic" sports experience, yeah, you want the right players playing for the right team. Obviously in something like Super Mega Baseball, the rosters aren't important... But if I'm paying the premium for the license, I do want the licensed product....

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doombot13

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Remember when 2K tried to shake things up and started selling their new sports games for $20 and that ended up fucking everything up in the long run, good times.

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Shindig

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#9  Edited By Shindig

I'm playing PES almost every day but I could easily skip (and have) a few years. At least Konami sold this years' game at a cut price (leading to a sale price of like £7). Sensible, given that the updated squads can be achieved similarly with the game's edit mode.

On the flipside, I find enjoyment from going back to old titles to see where the sport was at. I played through Formula 1 to see what the 1995 F1 season was like and it is like gawping at a time capsule. Montreal still has a temporary chicane, Nurburgring's first corner isn't as harsh and Adelaide's a real treat to drive around.

When I recently checked out FIFA 99 to see what their idea of a European Super League was like, I was shocked it was the same proposed format that, in reality, failed to get off the ground. And seeing the likes of Brondby and Rosenborg getting a spot was interesting. The latter was a mainstay in the Champions' League for half the 90's but they've become a diminished force.

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Rebel_Scum

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I tend to just stick to one game per sport per console cycle.

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cikame

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I don't play sports games so it's not something that affects me personally, and considering they release a new version every year you're always going to have access to your favourite sports game, where licensing annoys me is for games like Outrun or Sega Rally, you just can't buy those games anymore and there's zero chance of them being re-released because unlike popular sports games the licensing doesn't get renewed, and there is no next installment.
It's fine for older games that can be emulated, but Sega Rally Revo is off the cards (PS3 emulation is getting there, but it's still glitchy and it ran at 30fps on that version, i bought a PC copy but it won't install).

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GTxForza

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#12  Edited By GTxForza

@cikame said:

I don't play sports games so it's not something that affects me personally, and considering they release a new version every year you're always going to have access to your favourite sports game, where licensing annoys me is for games like Outrun or Sega Rally, you just can't buy those games anymore and there's zero chance of them being re-released because unlike popular sports games the licensing doesn't get renewed, and there is no next installment.

It's fine for older games that can be emulated, but Sega Rally Revo is off the cards (PS3 emulation is getting there, but it's still glitchy and it ran at 30fps on that version, i bought a PC copy but it won't install).

It's unfortunate that your PC copy of Sega Rally Revo won't install and run on current-gen PC, oh well just like how Xbox One has limited backward compatibility with Xbox 360 games while the PS4 cannot run any PS3 games via backward compatibility.

I still have Sega Rally Revo on my Xbox 360 and sometimes I play with it for a nostalgic feel.

For the annual sports games, I can see why it has to be licensed? because to attract the fans.

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Nodima

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With the caveat that I put 700-1,000 hours into MLB The Show's Diamond Dynasty annually, my biggest gripe with modern sports games is how much the card collecting modes have diverted dev attention away from the Franchise modes. It's been almost 15 years since any real thought was put into these things, which sometimes allows for hilarious disasters like NBA 2K18's MyGM mode which contains an entire graphic novel written with all the twists and flair of a freshman high schooler's first draft. Seriously, there are periods of time where you'll go 10 - 15 minutes in that mode doing nothing but reading walls of text and making word salad dialogue choices. Put this on mute and just luxuriate in the trash that is Tex Towers.

But mostly they're just the same thing year after year - The Show has done some neat things to make players feel significantly involved in every game of a season without having to necessarily play all 9 innings of all 162 games, but it's still hard to build a narrative out of the seasons the way you'd want.

NCAA Football had procedurally generated Sports Illustrated covers, NFL 2K had weekly highlight shows hosted by actual ESPN personalities, Madden had a full context-sensitive radio show that seemed beamed in from another planet back in the mid-2000s...and none of that exists now in any state for any sport. It's the most unfortunate example of what's really driving sports gaming in the modern era, and while I'm definitely part of the problem I wish developers were able to really make those modes what you know they'd be capable of on modern consoles with just a bit of love and care.

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norm9

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I used to love buying Madden every year. The past decade though? I think the last one I bought was Madden 14 or 15(?) and have no reason to buy a new one. I can't even be bothered to download the latest one on EA Play because I still have a Create a Player save on the old edition and fundamentally, the game hasn't changed. My last Fifa was 19 and I'm still rolling with my Create a Player as well.

However, I have bought the last three Football Manager games for Switch, xbox, and PC. I have also bought the last two editions of Out of the Park baseball, and the last two Total Extreme Wrestling manager games.

I guess having an updated roster and a couple bells and whistles can still make me spend some money. I do play the shit out of them, so in the end it's worth it.