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Has anyone noticed the pre-play fidgets now?

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Old 06-20-2014, 06:40 PM   #89
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Re: Has anyone noticed the pre-play fidgets now?

Quote:
Originally Posted by RACZILLA
When it comes to year over year sales, it's true that sometimes there's growth year over year for a certain period of time.

What I'm saying is it's often not the exact same people buying the game each year. You're talking about a large pool of potential buyers and aren't always hitting the same people even when the year over year numbers are fairly consistent. A bit part of that is about what else is in the market at the same time.

It's also worth mentioning that across the course of some of these franchises that the market has changed a lot. It's pretty different from say that period 10 years ago that you mentioned.
Valid points made, but I don't really agree with what I've bolded. Sports gamers are a very dedicated bunch. I don't have official stats to back this claim up mind you, but I would be willing to bet that a significantly large portion of the gamers who were buying madden/mlb/nba were repeat customers. I've been playing sports games since the dawn of time, and I know for myself, if I played a version of a game that was incredibly good, it would guarantee that I would purchase the NEXT version. Once I hear a developer claim that there isn't much to add to a game I would start steering clear of that developer and their products, because that is simply not close to a true statement. There is always going to be infinite amounts of things to add/enhance in ANY software - especially games.

As a consumer and a sports fanatic, if I play a sports game that I find incredibly good, I can guarantee you that I will be ordering the next year's title as soon as possible. Quality is what sells and creates the recurring revenue customer. With the incredible advancements in game technology this becomes more and more part of the equation. People gravitate to what mimics real life the closest - even young kids these days.

Like I said - once you show the consumer that you are not evolving/advancing your game significantly enough the following year, you will start losing those customers. The new customers come in when "word of mouth" spreads. Once again, quality being the driving force. Person A might know of person B who doesn't play said game. Person A then says, "dude, you HAVE to try this, it's absolutely incredible". I can tell you from first hand experience, this truly works. It also goes the other way, "Hey, did you get the new (whatever game)?". "Yeah, it's the same crap, don't waste your money".
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Old 06-20-2014, 07:26 PM   #90
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Re: Has anyone noticed the pre-play fidgets now?

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Originally Posted by GiantBlue76
Valid points made, but I don't really agree with what I've bolded. Sports gamers are a very dedicated bunch. I don't have official stats to back this claim up mind you, but I would be willing to bet that a significantly large portion of the gamers who were buying madden/mlb/nba were repeat customers. I've been playing sports games since the dawn of time, and I know for myself, if I played a version of a game that was incredibly good, it would guarantee that I would purchase the NEXT version. Once I hear a developer claim that there isn't much to add to a game I would start steering clear of that developer and their products, because that is simply not close to a true statement. There is always going to be infinite amounts of things to add/enhance in ANY software - especially games.

As a consumer and a sports fanatic, if I play a sports game that I find incredibly good, I can guarantee you that I will be ordering the next year's title as soon as possible. Quality is what sells and creates the recurring revenue customer. With the incredible advancements in game technology this becomes more and more part of the equation. People gravitate to what mimics real life the closest - even young kids these days.

Like I said - once you show the consumer that you are not evolving/advancing your game significantly enough the following year, you will start losing those customers. The new customers come in when "word of mouth" spreads. Once again, quality being the driving force. Person A might know of person B who doesn't play said game. Person A then says, "dude, you HAVE to try this, it's absolutely incredible". I can tell you from first hand experience, this truly works. It also goes the other way, "Hey, did you get the new (whatever game)?". "Yeah, it's the same crap, don't waste your money".
You make some good points. To provide a little more context, what I said about who buys year over year is only what I recall from being exposed to research about the purchasing habits of sports gamers. So my memory isn't perfect and even if it were it would be old data as I haven't worked on sports games in a few years. My best guess is that's still largely how it is.

I completely agree with what you're saying about players and how they influence others. There's gaming specific research that shows that in social groups of friends there are people who affect the decisions of their peers. So when I sometimes see the debates about whether or not the core football community matters to developers, my opinion is that while core fans may not be large as a %, they can have an impact on how a product (or even a brand) is perceived.

As far as what may cause someone to pass on a game there are all sorts of factors. There might be another title that's more attractive at the time. It could be that a game didn't meet expectations as far as how it's improved, as you said. One of the biggest factors IMO is that within social groups of gamers, people tend to play what their friends are playing. The value proposition these days is all about time. How much time am I going to put into a title and is it worth it?

Sports gaming has changed a lot over the last decade. The core audience has gotten older. Games have become more complex. The expectations for realism have been raised. There are also other genres that have snatched up younger gamers making it tougher to compete and bring new players into the fold.

Overall though I still think there's a lot of opportunity in sports gaming. We may not see days where there are 5-7 games for each sport again, but as long as there are players who are passionate and vocal there will also be developers (and even marketers!) out there trying to bring people what they want.
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Old 06-20-2014, 07:40 PM   #91
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Re: Has anyone noticed the pre-play fidgets now?

Quote:
Originally Posted by RACZILLA
You make some good points. To provide a little more context, what I said about who buys year over year is only what I recall from being exposed to research about the purchasing habits of sports gamers. So my memory isn't perfect and even if it were it would be old data as I haven't worked on sports games in a few years. My best guess is that's still largely how it is.

I completely agree with what you're saying about players and how they influence others. There's gaming specific research that shows that in social groups of friends there are people who affect the decisions of their peers. So when I sometimes see the debates about whether or not the core football community matters to developers, my opinion is that while core fans may not be large as a %, they can have an impact on how a product (or even a brand) is perceived.

As far as what may cause someone to pass on a game there are all sorts of factors. There might be another title that's more attractive at the time. It could be that a game didn't meet expectations as far as how it's improved, as you said. One of the biggest factors IMO is that within social groups of gamers, people tend to play what their friends are playing. The value proposition these days is all about time. How much time am I going to put into a title and is it worth it?

Sports gaming has changed a lot over the last decade. The core audience has gotten older. Games have become more complex. The expectations for realism have been raised. There are also other genres that have snatched up younger gamers making it tougher to compete and bring new players into the fold.

Overall though I still think there's a lot of opportunity in sports gaming. We may not see days where there are 5-7 games for each sport again, but as long as there are players who are passionate and vocal there will also be developers (and even marketers!) out there trying to bring people what they want.
Excellent post and very informative. Thanks for posting this.

ONe thing that I found very interesting in your post was that you mention the core audience for sports games has gotten older. With the rising expectation for sports games to get closer and closer to real life, why does it seem that decisions regarding Madden's development over the last decade have seemed to attempt to buck this trend? You see all of the other major franchises really striving to hit the realism mark, and have been doing that for several iterations now, yet Madden is just now starting to strive for a higher level of simulation and realism. Is EA simply chalking this up as a mistake? Would appreciate your opinion on that.

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Old 06-20-2014, 08:10 PM   #92
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Re: Has anyone noticed the pre-play fidgets now?

Quote:
Originally Posted by GiantBlue76
Excellent post and very informative. Thanks for posting this.

ONe thing that I found very interesting in your post was that you mention the core audience for sports games has gotten older. With the rising expectation for sports games to get closer and closer to real life, why does it seem that decisions regarding Madden's development over the last decade have seemed to attempt to buck this trend? You see all of the other major franchises really striving to hit the realism mark, and have been doing that for several iterations now, yet Madden is just now starting to strive for a higher level of simulation and realism. Is EA simply chalking this up as a mistake? Would appreciate your opinion on that.
I don't want to hazard a guess at what EA's doing. I really don't know. I like to talk about this stuff in general terms because I'm passionate about sports gaming but I'm biased by having worked at Tiburon. A lot of my good friends still work there so I don't feel right speculating. In general I don't critique or speculate about what's happening at other gaming studios.

I guess I can say that it's subjective to try and understand to what degree a developer is striving for realism so long as you and I are on the outside looking in. Obviously, developers know at this point that realism is the standard by which core sports gamers judge quality.

I do think that football specifically has some challenges that aren't as apparent in other sports titles. The sport itself is much more complex than something like basketball or hockey. I'm not an expert on either of those sports but I can pick up a controller and play and enjoy those games. With football there are people that do know and love the sport and pick up the controller and can do next to nothing.

So it's tough trying to strike that balance between a game that someone can pick up and play and also provide depth and realism. Some of the best sports games do a great job at managing that. In recent years NBA 2K11 was that game for me. I didn't buy it every year but the Jordan content plus the fact that it was a fun, realistic, and easy enough to play made it a must have title for me.

The whole sim vs. casual concept isn't necessarily an either/or proposition. The very best games accomplish both goals. It's just a difficult task to get it right, especially for something like football.
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Old 06-20-2014, 08:11 PM   #93
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Re: Has anyone noticed the pre-play fidgets now?

Quote:
Originally Posted by GiantBlue76
Excellent post and very informative. Thanks for posting this.

ONe thing that I found very interesting in your post was that you mention the core audience for sports games has gotten older. With the rising expectation for sports games to get closer and closer to real life, why does it seem that decisions regarding Madden's development over the last decade have seemed to attempt to buck this trend? You see all of the other major franchises really striving to hit the realism mark, and have been doing that for several iterations now, yet Madden is just now starting to strive for a higher level of simulation and realism. Is EA simply chalking this up as a mistake? Would appreciate your opinion on that.
Most data suggests that the average video gamer is roughly 30 years old. Which if you think about it makes sense. I'm 35 and I grew up with Nintendo, Sega, etc. Kids today have so much more to occupy them.

I've been teaching for 15 years and each year less and less kids talk about video games. Years ago when a new game or system came out I would have 15-20 kids out of 120 staying home to play. Now it's about 2-3.

As for sports games. Hardly anyone even talk about them. Maybe Fifa and NBA. Once in awhile Madden.
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Old 06-20-2014, 08:27 PM   #94
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Re: Has anyone noticed the pre-play fidgets now?

@Raczilla -

I understand you having a bias in that situation and I appreciate that honesty.

Quote:
Originally Posted by RACZILLA
I do think that football specifically has some challenges that aren't as apparent in other sports titles. The sport itself is much more complex than something like basketball or hockey. I'm not an expert on either of those sports but I can pick up a controller and play and enjoy those games. With football there are people that do know and love the sport and pick up the controller and can do next to nothing.
This is the one area of your post that kind of rubbed me a little wrong . The reason being is that I am tired of hearing this. The problems most people have with Madden are not necessarily because they are not doing things to really push the envelope, it's that a lot of the things that we are clamoring for were already done in other games. When I see something that someone else was able to do on technology platforms that were far less advanced than we have now, then I see this being thrown out there, it tells me that the people trying to do it now don't know how, or are not capable of doing it. This DOES carry weight with me if what I was asking for was not already apparent in games of the past and was something that no one else had ever done before. In the case of Madden, that is not the case.

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Old 06-20-2014, 08:36 PM   #95
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Re: Has anyone noticed the pre-play fidgets now?

Quote:
Originally Posted by GiantBlue76
@Raczilla -

I understand you having a bias in that situation and I appreciate that honesty.



This is the one area of your post that kind of rubbed me a little wrong . The reason being is that I am tired of hearing this. The problems most people have with Madden are not necessarily because they are not doing things to really push the envelope, it's that a lot of the things that we are clamoring for were already done in other games. When I see something that someone else was able to do on technology platforms that were far less advanced than we have now, then I see this being thrown out there, it tells me that the people trying to do it now don't know how, or are not capable of doing it. This DOES carry weight with me if what I was asking for was not already apparent in games of the past and was something that no one else had ever done before. In the case of Madden, that is not the case.
I think you might be interpreting this differently than I intended. I don't mean it's more complex to develop the game.

What I'm saying is that the sport of football is more complex than those other sports. So it makes it tougher to make a football game as simple and accessible to play than other sports titles. That would go for whoever was making a football game. It just makes balancing the realism vs accessibility part a little tougher IMO. The best football games ever have already done it for sure.

In terms of whether or not something from a past title is possible to implement, I'm not the person to ask. I have no idea how tough it is to get certain things right.

I can tell you that I don't think a player should ever have to care how difficult something is. That's for developers to figure out and make it happen if it's something that's important.
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