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Should Sports Games Embrace Their History? Stuck
Posted on March 28, 2011 at 05:38 PM.

In my interview with Mike Snider, an idea came up that was so ingenious and so simple that I was really floored it hasn't been done before: incorporating many of Golf's greats into Tiger at some point in the future for a 'greatest of' type of showdown.

Imagine having a field of Nickalus, Woods, Hagen, Hogan, Watson, Player, and Vardon playing against each other in their primes. The only place such a thing is possible is in Video Games, and that's where it should be done.

Sure there are licensing costs for classic players, but at some point, I can't help but feel this has to be a match made in heaven.

But let's take it a step further.

Team sports aren't immune from being separated from their histories either. The success and appeal of the Jordan Challenge this year cements the idea in my mind that if done right, sports games have an endless plethora of history with which to operate.

Sports games getting stale? They're only stale because there's a lack of imagination (and most likely funding for likenesses) at this point.

Take the idea of the Jordan Challenge but extend it to the rest of the NBa. Try scoring 100 as Wilt Chamberlain in a game. Better yet, recreate the 1962 NBa Season and try to average 50 a game with Wilt.

Take the $1 million dollar challenge 2K had with their perfect game and expand it to be weekly challenges from history worth $10,000. $1 million is a lot of money, but run a weekly challenge at $10,000 and you end up with giving less money overall but you see more people win.

People would buy a game to have a chance to win $10,000 each week. Be more generous and give $1 million away total and give second and third place prizes, whatever works. I know I'm already more tempted to pick up a game on that thought alone, you never know when it'd be you that won.

The simple point is, with the endless supply of history with the unlimited imagination that a Franchise mode can offer, alongside nothing but cold hard cash -- sports games have absolutely no reason why they should ever be stale.

The only thing missing from making this happen is a bit of money and a bit more imagination. I say make it happen.
# 1 videlsports @ Mar 28
2K DOES A GOOD Job on there games and I not big history buff on my sports video games Ie greatest teams, but it is a welcome addition, and I'm glad they have it on. If it is inexpensive than I say for Devs go for it.
# 2 kashmir28 @ Mar 28
Wouldn't mind seeing a little more added history in video games. Not to the level of NBA 2K11, but many sport titles have had "history" to some degree or another, usually limited to "classic" teams. I think what separates NBA 2K's Jordan Challenge is that it actually is a challenge presented to the gamer, not just teams and players from history. Madden Moments with a classic twist would be fun. Recreating "The Drive," or the Bills second half comeback against the Oilers would be exciting to young gamers and nostalgic to older ones. Of course the fees for likeness rights and such makes this type of history implementation not very likely. Wouldn't mind seeing it happen though.
# 3 RedZoneD25 @ Mar 29
I'd love to get fully licensed classic teams (60, 80, 91, 04 Eagles for me personally) with correct uniform options. I don't even care about the rewards or challenges for that sort of thing (thought I agree with the concept fully) ..I'd love to see how the 91 Eagles defense fares against the 99 Rams, etc.
# 4 Dazraz @ Mar 29
Previous PGA games have included legendary golfers before.
I think the idea works well in games like these & Fight Night but within a team game with their respective Franchise Modes I don't know if the need is as great.
# 5 CuseGirl @ Mar 29
I like NBA 2k11 as a game (well, after you "master" all the stupid controls and figure out how to layup) but I dont like the Jordan overkill.
# 6 catcatch22 @ Mar 29
2k going back to sega has always put in classic players in their games. 2k hockey on the original xbox had many, many classic teams. World Series Baseball had many classic players and even the old classic home run derby. Even EA at one time had classic football teams with Madden.

I don't think they don't want to do it. The problem is compensating all those people whose likenesses they are using. It can get pretty expensive when it comes to team sports to make a profit using the names and likenesses of classic players.
# 7 aloncho11 @ Mar 29
I totally get your point. Talking Basketball games, that is one of the main reasons why gamers are making complete retro rosters mods form late 80's to early and mid 90's since 2K7 or so. In the case of PC users these are complete mods, with real classic arenas, faces, jerseys to add to the gaming experience. This was the case of the 1992 and 1996 mods on 2K10 for PC and 2K11 isn't going to be the exception.

I remember NBA live 08 PC having a complete historic mod which had the best teams from the 50's/60's, the 70's, the 80's, the 90's and early 2000's. Although the game on PC couldn't compare to its counterpart on the next-gen consoles, but it was very fun to play.

Sure, there will be licensing issues, but in my honest and humble opinion it is one aspect of sports games that has yet to be exploited 100%. Sport games have the opportunity to deepen their universes with thousands of great players, teams and historic moments.
# 8 Suave35 @ Mar 29
More Classic teams,I'm one that loved basketball and football from the 80's and 90's.Was Just a great era in winch I grew up in.
# 9 Aimbrogn @ Mar 29
It is always fun to have the option to play as a classic team from the past. College Hoops 2k8 integrated numerous championship teams, all-conference teams,and historic team specific teams to unlock. Unlocking those teams is a joy because I had fun playing the 1992 Duke Blue Devils against the 1993 Michigan Wolverines. 2K took the time to provide authentic team apparel, courts, and logos based on the team you unlocked. None of the players are named but there are classic team rosters available over the 2k file share.It was nice that they also offered a synopsis of that classic team to help you gain perspective.

I liked the direction NBA 2k11 went by integrating the Jordan Challenge mode with a number of teams from Jordan's era in the NBA. However, it would be nice if they included a "classic challenge" mode where other moments from the past are recreated with the inclusion of historic teams. I would have downloaded a content-pack that integrated that feature had 2k designed it.

Back in the day, Madden 98 included historic teams with their appropriate stadiums. It was fun to play as the '72 Dolphins in the old Orange Bowl or the '75 Steelers at Three Rivers. I did not mind that the player names were not included because I knew who most of those players were anyway.

Sports history represents our culture and it should be integrated into games to help younger generations appreciate significance the hall of fame players, championship teams had in their respective sports. Classic teams are a great feature in sports games and I would love to see their return.
# 10 harrisonial2992 @ Mar 29
Im with the majority here. 2K has a great foundation in 2K11 but it would be awesome if they expanded those classic teams. I wanna play as Stockton and Malone. The Houston championship teams with The Dream and Drexler. Playing as Oscar Robinson and other greast such as Pete Maravich would be a surreal experience.

The more classic teams the better.
# 11 TLasorda @ Mar 29
Games like MLB the Show already include classic stadiums. Why not include the classic teams? In fact, Sony should include a stand alone game that would only include classic teams, stadiums and players. Call it MLB the Show: Golden Era of Baseball or something like that.
# 12 Shield @ Mar 29
Implementing their history is a nice parts of games nowadays, nba 2K11 did a stellar job. The Show has great historic ballparks. I however don't want any of that to deter the creators from improving in the gameplay area for the next year's installment.
# 13 AgentQ16 @ Mar 29
PLEASE!!! NBA 2K... let us play online with the Classic teams!!!! Me (a Knicks/Ewing fan of the 90's) and my buddy (a Bulls/Jordan fan) would give anything to relive our college days and rivalry by being able to play our teams against each other online. Guys like us in our 40's would rather play with the old-school teams than the current ones.
# 14 AgentQ16 @ Mar 29
...and don't forget the short shorts!!! Just ain't the same to see John Stockton or Larry Bird in baggy's...
# 15 bigsmallwood @ Mar 30
I think that with all sports games, history should be embraced and added to the games at this point.

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