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Are Subscription-based Video Games the Solution to Underwhelming Sports Games? 
Posted on November 7, 2011 at 05:11 PM.
Chris Sanner's recent blog post inspired me to write my own. I posted a response on his blog, and am taking pieces of that post for this blog entry. I have brought this suggestion up before, but I haven't really gotten any specific feedback. The issue at hand is that many non-casual gamers (or "Sim", as some would prefer) have become less than enthusiastic about many of the sports games releases of this generation. This has caused much bickering between the two extreme ends of the spectrum of sports gamers; those who yearn for a game more true to respective sport, and those who believe sim-gamers have unrealistic expectations. Obviously it is more complex than that, but for the sake of simplification, that is the crux of the argument.

To those complaining about the sim-gamers "whining": Where do you get off telling "sim" gamers that they're expectations are unrealistic? Why is your $60 more valuable than my $60? Maybe you like playing many games for short periods of time, but maybe I only like, say, football games. What if all I do is wait for the new football game to come out and dedicate all of my free "video game-playing time" to playing said football game. Why is it more important that gamers like you (who will dedicate maybe a fraction of the time I will dedicate to a title) are catered to and not the passionate fans of the sport/game?

This is the problem: the whole structure of the development and transaction cycle of sports games. I yearn for the day when people put their money where their mouth is. You can sit there and say I ask for too much and that (my personal favorite)"it's just a video game, not real life", but let's see how much you really care, with your wallet. I propose that games be developed on continuous cycles where new updates are released WHEN THEY'RE READY. The user pays a monthly fee for access to the product. This would solve the 1 year development cycle problem, and in turn all the bug and testing deadlines. Also, hopefully this would ease some of the financial pressure on the game companies to sell because they get a monthly income and they can focus on putting out quality updates. People who truly care about the game/sport will buy in and those casual players can buy the crappy $65 title once a year.

What are people's thoughts about this suggestion? Does it seem feasible?
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