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Pappy Knuckles's Blog
Spectator Mode In Sports Games: What's The Deal? 
Posted on December 28, 2012 at 10:01 PM.
NBA 2K, Madden, and Fifa are currently three of the more popular sports game franchises today. While none of them is universally loved, the general consensus seems to be that theyíre usually fun titles to play. (I personally preferred Pro Evolution Soccer to Fifa this year, but thatís another topic for another day.) With each development cycle, the creators of these games strive to add enough new bells and whistles to make us want to buy their next product. They also have to avoid the pitfalls of not changing things that were working well in the previous game too drastically and alienating their loyal consumers. The balancing act that these men and women who work on these games have to perform every year is not a task that I envy.

EA MMA and Rockstar Table Tennis are two games that are not often uttered in the same breath, but both titles offered something great that has been missing from the three previously mentioned games, as well as virtually every other sports game this generation. That ďsomethingĒ is what is typically referred to as Spectator Mode, the ability to watch others compete online.

In EA MMA users could set up a fight card and watch their friendsí matches while waiting for their turn to begin. This is similar to the setup that you see in most fighting games and it works very well. My memory is a little fuzzy with Rockstar Tennis because itís been a while, but I believe you could choose to watch those matches by joining through the in-game menus. You mightíve also been able to do join through your friends list too, but Iím not 100% certain on that. The thing thatís important though is that both of these games managed to pull it off well. So what exactly is holding up these other games?

I canít tell you how many times Iíve been in an XBL party with my friends when theyíre having a great game and wish that I could see it go down. Spectator Mode would solve this problem. For online franchises/associations this would great as well. Imagine not only having to beat your opponent in playoff game, but also having to do it when there are other eyes watching you play? It would certainly add an element to online sports gaming thatís been missing for a long time. Spectator Mode just seems like a no-brainer at this point. Weíre almost heading into a new generation of consoles and I feel like this should be standard across the board. Hopefully it happens sooner rather than later. Can you all think of any reasons why this isnít already being done?

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Comments
# 1 Jimbo614 @ Dec 28
I agree. I will tell you that "The Show's" Website offers a running box score of games currently online.
 
# 2 S S0DEN @ Dec 30
This was discussed by EA before, they said it was due to the draw/strain this would put on the server as the game was being played and viewed/streamed.
 
# 3 tril @ Dec 31
This would be a great feature for on line leagues. Its a great tool for scouting your opponents. that is what game planning is all about. the VIP feature does this, but I dont know if this is viewable by others in an online format.
 
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