Staff Roundtable: When Is the Best Time To Release a Sports Game?

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Old 07-11-2011, 05:59 AM   #1
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Staff Roundtable: When Is the Best Time To Release a Sports Game?

NCAA Football 12 is being released tomorrow, but Madden's release date is the one that has caused a stir this summer. Up until this year, Madden had revolved around the "Madden Holiday" that sat right in the middle of August. This release date had become a tradition that helped to get people excited about the looming NFL season. However, this year the game's release date is being pushed back to August 30 to more closely align with the real NFL schedule -- assuming the lockout ends. Of course, we still have NCAA Football being released in its well known July slot, which is obviously well before the start of the actual college football season.

There are clearly a couple different philosophies at work here. So do you guys get more excited about a sports game when it's released well in advance of the upcoming real season, or do you get more pumped about playing sports video games when the real season is underway or about to begin?

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Old 07-11-2011, 07:21 AM   #2
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NCAA style. With the difference in times, I believe a patch would get the game up to speed at the same time as if you went with the Madden style. You just get a month more to play the game.
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Old 07-11-2011, 07:47 AM   #3
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I think EA just wants to give NCAA Football more time before it's "big brother" comes out. I enjoy both games, but I find that as soon as Madden is released, NCAA jumps right on the trading block for me. Giving the college game another couple of weeks sounds like a great idea. I think realeasing Madden at the end of August is the perfect time to lead into the new NFL season. I will however miss Madden in mid August simply because it was always a great birthday present.
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Old 07-11-2011, 08:42 AM   #4
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I prefer the NCAA style because that way we have time to get adjusted to this year's game, make a good slider set, and adjust rosters. This way, when the real season starts, we will be ready to play a great game from September to January and not have to worry about adjusting anything.
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Old 07-11-2011, 09:40 AM   #5
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In the case of Madden, it may be better to push it closer to the real season for 2 reasons, 1 it gives NCAA players more time to rock before switching over to the Big Boys and 2. with this years lockout there is going to be lots of movement in the league after the dust settles.

I also think that EA is making a move because they know that if there is no agreement than I do not believe they can still use the roster names. Remember, the player association was dissolved and the names and likenesses of players is not own by the league but by that every association that no longer exists. I say they are pushing it back just in case the league needs more time to figure this mess out and I say its a good move.
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Old 07-11-2011, 11:01 AM   #6
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I'd be happy if the game shipped a week in advance to the opener of the real life season. The extra time could help with patching bugs, more play testing, and proper player ratings/rosters. I know these companies are concerned with helping retailers hit sales numbers, but quality of product can drive sales, too.

Yes, NCAA ships earlier to allow it to get a share of the sales before Madden comes along. But you won't see people in parkas in the bleachers of Wrigley Field in August because of retailers. There is a time for everything. College football in July is just wrong. EA can bring back Arena Football if they need to move some units in the summer.
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Old 07-11-2011, 12:46 PM   #7
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why do people think there is going to be "extra time"? that extra time will only happen once for the first time they change the date, the development cycle is still ultimately just going to be a year long for every game after that. old games had less bugs because the newer consoles are more difficult to develop for.

pro-games should come out when the first preseason game starts, just as the athletes need some time to get ready for the year so do the developers and most gamers.

i'm also mostly a franchise guy who will restart after the trade deadline.
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Old 07-11-2011, 01:28 PM   #8
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I dont think it matters, as long as its around the start of the season. IMO, seevral months before the seaosn starts is a bit odd.
a new College football game in the middle of the summer is really pushing it, cause this is when the baseball season really get interesting, for fans of the sport.
In addition, college football is a late summer early fall sport. the game shoudl be released just when all the college kids head baclk to school. maybe a week before.
Last thing I want to think about is leaves falling off the trees in the middle of the summer.
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