Where did sports video games go wrong?

SDS

I was reading the recent thread on here comparing which is worse - Madden or The Show. Tons of good examples were posted of what is wrong with each of them. Well it got me thinking....Back to 2004 when me & my friends had PS2s and we all played MVP baseball 2004, Madden 2004 & NCAA Football 2004. We LOVED these games & had a blast. There were no patches or updates - The games were the same at launch as they were when you traded them in the following year. Nobody ever complained about gameplay and I never got frustrated or mad at the game other than the occasional heartbreaking loss to someone you really wanted to beat lol. So it got me thinking...When & why did sports games devolve into the current state of games we have?

SDS

It’s harder to make a game then you think. They are good but not great

SDS

Greed. Afraid of change. Laziness. Incompetence. All of the above.

SDS

Online team building modes and micro transactions.

SDS

I think there are a couple of factors that led to sports games becoming so bad. Consoles are more powerful than ever and feature better graphics and more realistic physics engines, so collectively expectations have gotten higher and higher. Couple that with developers claiming to make games that are true “simulation” experiences when In Reality they aren’t leads to a lot of disappointment. Also, I think the ultimate team/dd modes have really hurt games too because these modes are the big money makers so the developers are obviously going to spend a lot of time and effort on them and often times neglect other areas of the games. Exclusive licenses and a lack of any real competition has really been a problem too. Madden has been the only nfl game and the show the only mlb game for a while now and it’s pretty evident that when a game has complete domination of a market for that long they start to get stale

SDS

Here is what happened, when ea had competition they put out a better product. Now with 2K making a game let’s see what happens. Also SDS has not competition, they know we will play it because we like baseball. If someone could challenge them the issues would be fixed if they were losing players to another game.

SDS

@beanball0571 said in Where did sports video games go wrong?:

Here is what happened, when ea had competition they put out a better product. Now with 2K making a game let’s see what happens. Also SDS has not competition, they know we will play it because we like baseball. If someone could challenge them the issues would be fixed if they were losing players to another game.

I remember when mvp baseball and the mlb games were both really good. Madden and nfl2k were both really solid. Once the competition ended everything went downhill

SDS

Exclusive licenses, and with that, the fact that each iteration often lacked innovation and in some case even removed features, yet still would sell well. So in that regard the consumer is also to blame, because if “good enough” is accepted there’s no reason for them to strive for more, especially with the short development turn around each year.

And from there the issues sort of mirror the AAA game industry as a whole...when it comes to releasing incomplete games or prioritizing modes that are manipulative and exist as a means to compel you to spend more money, etc...so it goes beyond sports games with that stuff.
It also doesn’t help that there’s always a company that’s willing to set the bar lower....what that does in turn is normalize things that would have been deemed unacceptable years ago. That’s how you end up with SDS being praised for not being as bad as xyz, and on a base level it’s true, but it’s also true that the things SDS is doing today would have been considered awful 10, or even 5 years ago...perception becomes so skewed because these practices have been accepted and normalized by the consumer, 5 years from now people will likely say “SDS is better than” while they are implementing the same strategies as EA and 2k are today.

SDS

@Yankee_Nation said in Where did sports video games go wrong?:

I was reading the recent thread on here comparing which is worse - Madden or The Show. Tons of good examples were posted of what is wrong with each of them. Well it got me thinking....Back to 2004 when me & my friends had PS2s and we all played MVP baseball 2004, Madden 2004 & NCAA Football 2004. We LOVED these games & had a blast. There were no patches or updates - The games were the same at launch as they were when you traded them in the following year. Nobody ever complained about gameplay and I never got frustrated or mad at the game other than the occasional heartbreaking loss to someone you really wanted to beat lol. So it got me thinking...When & why did sports games devolve into the current state of games we have?

Because expectations have changed.

SDS

Expectations and the lack of communication with a greater audience. Half of the problems in the game would probably be passed over had it not been discovered. It's an effect similar to when you buy a new car and suddenly notice it everywhere, can't remember the name...

But yeah, that and community beta programs and companies releasing partial games waiting for bugs to be reported.

SDS

@Ikasnu said in Where did sports video games go wrong?:

Expectations and the lack of communication with a greater audience. Half of the problems in the game would probably be passed over had it not been discovered. It's an effect similar to when you buy a new car and suddenly notice it everywhere, can't remember the name...

But yeah, that and community beta programs and companies releasing partial games waiting for bugs to be reported.

OVERWHELMING feedback on the beta forums for MLB20 was positive, praise inducing stroke jobs telling, begging, pleading, to not touch a thing except fielding and fine tuning throw meter. Pitching and hitting were deemed rewarding. Challenging yet rewarding.

Somehow what we got and what the beta demonstrated changed dramatically. Not sure it was "bug reports" that caused this.

SDS

Ultimate team modes and “loot boxes” have turned sports games into slot machines. People come on here to post their trout pulls as though they hit the jackpot, and justifiably so since it’s an exciting moment.

Meanwhile gameplay is tuned to give the lesser player with better cards the advantage over the better player with weaker cards. At the end of an evenly matched game neither person is sure who played better, so both resolve to improve their team since that’s the only objective measure of progress.

Opening packs is more exciting than actually playing the game.

SDS

Patches ruined the games. It use to be released tested and I’m a good state of play. Now they know that they can work on the game at anytime and don’t put in the effort any longer. Knowing that they have problems or areas that didn’t have much or enough time put into them. I agree with others as well that lack of competition has made them lazy.

SDS

The ultimate team modes are the main issue, but it’s a great mode and fun to play, the real problem is when each company decided the competitive aspect of each game should take place in the ultimate team mode as opposed to the team based modes that don’t cost money to play. I’m not sure of a game that’s made any real game changing improvements since they’ve basically moved everything competitive into the pay to win formula. This year I even watched FIFA players flip a coin over who’s $20,000 ultimate team should advance in the tournament because EA couldn’t connect them to the server to actually play. Sports games are laughable these days compared to only a few years ago.

And don’t pretend they “can’t” make it. They’ve perfected an imperfect game. This is exactly how it’s suppose to play. They can reward you with hits, they can pin point your pitches, they just don’t want it that way.

SDS

The game makers realized they could make billions if they turned the games into to pay to play. $$$$ then they put all their focus into making people think they have to pay for content/upgrades to gain an edge and balanced gameplay went down the drain. There is too much money to balance the game when it's more profitable to trick us to thinking one more upgrade will get me over that hump or wow my team is so much better after buying that upgrade. There is now logic in all these games to squeeze more money or time out of us. Patches have always been in H2H games and so has cheese, but it's easier to watch YouTube or read a forum than it was back then. Nowadays little Johnny can go on YouTube for an hour and learn the cheese plays and exploits and beat better skilled players that don't run exploits. You just have to accept it for what it is though and enjoy it, because if you don't enjoy it and still do it then that's on you.

SDS

@Yankee_Nation said in Where did sports video games go wrong?:

I was reading the recent thread on here comparing which is worse - Madden or The Show. Tons of good examples were posted of what is wrong with each of them. Well it got me thinking....Back to 2004 when me & my friends had PS2s and we all played MVP baseball 2004, Madden 2004 & NCAA Football 2004. We LOVED these games & had a blast. There were no patches or updates - The games were the same at launch as they were when you traded them in the following year. Nobody ever complained about gameplay and I never got frustrated or mad at the game other than the occasional heartbreaking loss to someone you really wanted to beat lol. So it got me thinking...When & why did sports games devolve into the current state of games we have?

Straight simple answers is microtransactions. Yeah it's cliche but kts the truth. Most sports games from previous were built on franchise modes as there staple. They needed to have significant improvements and new features from year to year to give people a reason to buy the newer version other than a roster update. Developers needed to work harder and be more creative in order to deliver a game that was above the previous version. Sadly since microtransactions have been introduced and the amount of profit they bring, all companies have to do is find new ways to make people buy packs instead. And they don't care losing some of their player base in the process. Think of it like this a guy who spends hundreds or thousands on microtransactions effectively makes up for any sales lost from some people not deciding to even buy the game let alone spend money on said transactions.

SDS

Expectations are too high for a lot of people with sports games today. For someone that grew up playing nes, SNES, 64, ps2 and beyond, the games now are incredible.
I think what makes people unhappy today is forums that tend to be negative. And YouTubers that spread cheesy gameplay (not so much in the show but in 2k and Madden).
I'm not suggesting these games are perfect, and competition would help but in reality these games are pretty amazing imo.

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