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Pared's Blog
Apathy - Reflections on the status of football gaming. 
Posted on November 22, 2011 at 11:28 AM.
There is no better word to describe what I feel towards the football genre as a whole than the one used to open this entry.

As we move forward, we continue to see development increase exponentially in many areas for so many sports gaming genres outside of football. Soccer (or football, if you'd prefer!), hockey, baseball and basketball... the behemoths of professional sports both locally and worldwide continue to provide entertaining video games despite the quibbles from continually disgruntled gamers that will never understand the negatives that coincide with a yearly development cycle. FIFA, NHL, NBA 2k and MLB: The Show continue to spark high interest year after year with their improved physics, evolving gameplay mechanics and jaw-dropping (for some more than others) presentation.

In the genre of football gaming, we are continually given a half-hearted developmental effort that can only be viewed as being parallel to the consumer sold on these games. Take away the license and what do you have? A sub-par effort that refuses to take chances or address the needs of the faithful community followers such as our members here at Operation Sports. These feelings aren't just felt here - a quick scan of youtube or other gaming sites will show unhappy customers who buy the game year in and year out, despite the growing trend in this genre.

How many gamers have given up as easily as I have? Despite my enjoyment of Madden 10's online franchise, the games just don't seem to have the passion you'd expect from a developer wanting to give their all on something they work on year after year. Perhaps they have raised the white flag in catering to the community... when it was only improving the game. Can you honestly say this game would be as enjoyable as others if the "Jets" and "Pats" were replaced with "Skyfighters" and "Soldiers?" Even the aspect of re-creating the medium they are portraying seems to be missing the mark.

Where is the emotion? The pride of taking a sport many love and recreating the same excitement that generates the feeling and exuberance of fist-pumping, crowd-cheering screams and elation? Sadly, we may not see it anytime soon, if recent history is used as a guideline.

What are your thoughts on football gaming and where the genre is headed? Hit me up in the comments section below.
# 1 newefan @ Nov 22
i do agree . it seems like ever since ea got the license they got lazy or just don't care anymore. what i don't get is how fifa and nhl games that EA produce get a physics upgrade the last 2 years but both football games never did .the 1 way they tried to do so at least to me was the collision in M12 but even then it's still not what the nhl and fifa game have .i seen a coment some where that the football games should be given to EA canada which i can't disagree with that but thats where CAM WEBBER comes in for the next football games. if you didn't happen to read the article on him it was a q&a type you should read it. to me it sounds like he wants to make football games for the hardcore sim fans and that even he noticed the flaws that us the consumers do and wants to fix them asap . we all know how that gos though so we just have to wait and see when ncaa and madden 13 comes out if he means it or not.

also for all the reasons you mentioned is why i waited to buy madden12 untill it was 40$ new because its not their yet . have you ever noticed that the crowd in madden never boos the away team when they score and cheer when the home team dosi have . as for presentation to me theirs no difference in feel of a playoff and seasion game like you said wheres the EMOTION.

PS :if you want to read that cam webber article you can check it out on simfballcritic's youtube channel he has the article on one of his vids
# 2 cwash020 @ Nov 23
Man...I started playing College Hoops 2K8 since NCAA BBall is back in full swing now. I am STILL, 4 years later, blown away by the atmosphere that game possesses. The crowd interaction when the game is close, or the opposition is trying to make a comeback is nothing short of amazing. It's to the point where I get anxious and my palms get sweaty when I am about to blow a lead, or I have a chance to pull an upset. No other game outside of NCAA Football 06 has made me feel that way. THATS what I need Madden to do for me!
# 3 TheTodd84 @ Nov 23
Love the article. Great take on the Sports Genre. Couldn't agree with you more. Nice Job. Sadly, I haven't bought Madden since 09 and NCAA is no longer a first-day buy for me. I even traded NCAA 12 in for MW3. And that's almost blasphemy for me. But, sometimes you have to realize a poor investment and cut your losses.

Anyway, great article.
# 4 devroid @ Nov 23
Right there with you. I finally got a ps3 last year after effectively giving up sports games for a few years and was excited to get Madden again. Played last years demo, rented it to give it more of a shot and was utterly bored with it. Game felt exactly like I remembered it from the ps2. Really wanted to like this years but the demo, while much imporoved from last year, still bored me. I don't know how these guys can see the stuff that other studios are doing with their various licensed sports offerings and not step up their game. Why am I forced to see a replay of the one yard plunge for a TD but the 3rd and 15 conversion that I made on a diving catch to set up the TD gets completely ignored?
# 5 shadia147 @ Nov 24
There's a documentary on the history of Madden Football. In that Documentary there's a part where they talk about John Madden's first glimpse at the product that would bear his name. His quote is something to the effect, "That ain't Football". He then took it upon himself to teach EA's DEVs the game of football on the level that he would expect with a product bearing his name.
If you look at the decline of Madden Football, you can look at not just one event, the licensing issue from the NFL, but a second event that happened at roughly the same time... John Madden stepped away.
John Madden cares about Football. John Madden should care about the product (That bears his name). Unfortunately, he's not in the age group that probably plays video games. So he sees millions in sales, sees EA's touring the country showing brief highlight clips of the game, sees all these kids showing up at Madden tournaments, and probably thinks the game must be on the same quality as he left it. Why would he think anything different?
This is not to blame John Madden. I get it. But if Madden was still involved, I doubt highly that you'd see the apathy you see today. They need a Football Guy in charge, not a bean counter or a computer geek. And having someone who played QB on his high school team doesnt cut it.
# 6 shadia147 @ Nov 24
In respect to my above post... If I was in charge, I don't know how long the contract with John Madden goes, but I would re-name the game "Manning Football" and put Peyton Manning as the QC manager from a football aspect. I would also get someone like Keith Jackson to represent NCAA football. Put their names on it.. Let them "Own" the game themselves. I bet you anything the Apathy would disappear.
# 7 wallofhate @ Nov 24
Imo it simply comds down to them trying to please both the sim player and "arcade" side. All they have to do is make the best game to themselves. Just mimick football as close as possible.
# 8 wallofhate @ Nov 24
You cant please everyone so why even attempt it. But i cant fully blame developers because i figure EA handcuffs them somewhat
# 9 wallofhate @ Nov 25
@Dolpfan i see your points and i agree with you. What i mean though is they say in their interviews how the basically tryinfg to balance pleasing both crowds. What i feel is please yourself. Most successful movies,games etc are projects that the people involve say i just made what i would enjoy or think cool and what I would enjoy. Trying to please both total polar opposites your never gonna please either.
# 10 BwanaKuu @ Nov 25
@dolpfan, The Show is not succesful. Is it a fan/cult favorite? Sure. But it loses money every year. SCEA is only allowed to continue making the game because it's Sony's way to show off the power of the PS3.

Madden won't change until the sales decline. I'm pretty sure the sales have increased over the years. Your average football fan LOVES Madden each and every year. People in my college play it non-stop. They love it every year. We represent a very tiny portion of their market, maybe 1% if we're lucky.

This reminds me of an old MMO forum I was a part of. They HATED WoW much the same way OS hates Madden. But they represent a tiny percentage of the 13+ million that play the behometh that is WoW.
# 11 Pared @ Nov 27
"The Show is not succesful. Is it a fan/cult favorite? Sure. But it loses money every year. SCEA is only allowed to continue making the game because it's Sony's way to show off the power of the PS3."

This is completely untrue. Why would you even make such an incorrect statement?

I know of this first hand and what you're saying is 100% incorrect. It only makes me question the rest of your comments if you truly believe this.
# 12 rangerrick012 @ Nov 30
You hit it right on the head. Compare Madden to 2K. You will never mistake Madden for a real NFL game, whereas 2K gets the feel of the NBA right on. It's the little things, and Madden just seems to either ignore them or not care about them year after year. Though they did make strides with the pregame and some of the in game presentation, the commentary is laughably bad.

And all we hear is 'wait til next year' year after year...every year you should be out to make not only a better game, but the best game ever. And the fact that Madden still is being compared to a game that came out in 2004 says alot about where they stand in that area.
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