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Sports Games Can Take Lessons From Grand Theft Auto IV

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Old 05-05-2008, 04:06 PM   #1
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Sports Games Can Take Lessons From Grand Theft Auto IV

Operation Sports' Chris Sanner takes a look at lessons that sports games can learn from Grand Theft Auto IV.

"Let me preface this article by saying Operation Sports has caught on to the Grand Theft Auto IV craze as well, so I'm very sorry if you have been trying to avoid the game for some reason or another. Most gamers these days seem to be playing GTA IV (as evidenced by my Live friends list), so it is only natural the staff members at Operation Sports catch the craze as well."

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Old 05-05-2008, 04:57 PM   #2
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I was just thinking the same thing yesterday, why can't sports games be more like GTA, the two that comes to mind are the aforementioned MLB 08 and NFL2k5. With all the audio that can be crammed into games nowadays, why can't we have different broadcasters for different games.

Different networks for different games, same idea where NESN would broadcast the Boston Red Sox games, and Yes would broadcast NY Yankees games.

Why not have a Story mode for a season, pick a team any team, and watch their story unfold, I think Prizefighter of all games, has the right idea on this one. How cool would it be to have the Boston Red Sox story unfold for 2009, free agent pick up, trades, Yankee rivalry ect....You get the picture
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Old 05-05-2008, 05:42 PM   #3
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The only main problem with this idea is that sports games come out every year. I know nothing about how to make a game but I constantly read from game designers how hard it is to make an entire game over the course of only one year.

How many years did they spend on GTA IV? 3 or 4? If they spend 3 or 4 years on a game it should be 3 or 4 times better and more in detail than the majority of sports games that we play. The only games that have a real chance at duplicating GTA are the games that are not cyclical like Prizefighter or Backbreaker.
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Old 05-05-2008, 06:17 PM   #4
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Pretty much every genre of video game could learn something from GTA IV. I believe sports games are headed in the right direction and will become more and more detailed and realistic. However, I am concerned that sports games, which I am guessing get smaller budgets than games like GTA to begin with, are also going to suffer in terms of their inovation by having EA dominate the genre monoploy-style.
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Old 05-05-2008, 06:18 PM   #5
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Well maybe it is time they change that and make a whole new game rather than the yearly tweaks. They could easily have it so you could d/l new rosters (at a fee) and possibly some minor changes to a current game (say something like madden 08) and focus their time on a whole new game to come out in 2 or whatever years.

There is no question it is time these companies give gamers something truly new rather than keep using the same engine year in, year out and simply do some minor tweaks. It is 2008 and I for one am sick of my football games (or any major sports game) being tweaked out versions of almost 10 years ago.
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Old 05-05-2008, 07:57 PM   #6
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I have come to the conclusion that now is the time for sports games to stop with the yearly releases and provide roster updates instead. If they focused on making a project over a 2-3 year period we will see major improvements in sports gaming.

Of course, I highly doubt this will ever happen. Paying for a development team over 3 years will cost the same as paying them every year for three years. The major difference is the company will make less money by releasing $20 roster updates as opposed to $60 games every year.

Now, some will say, "But GTA IV did it. It happens all the time in non-sports games. They work for years and get one big pay day."

Yes, that's true. But that's because that's how it works in non-sports gaming. We're asking for a system that has pulled in millions of dollars for companies to change so the gamer can be happier. I don't see a company considering the gamer over the yearly revenue.

Right now they already have the gamer and the yearly revenue. So why change a formula that works for them? The only way this changes is if gamers just simply stop buying new titles. But that would never happen because we always want the new thing and we want updated rosters.
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Old 05-05-2008, 09:26 PM   #7
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"Games are meant to be played however the users want. So why are companies still limiting our choices in terms of options?"

What games have you been playing? EVERY old school arcade game (Pac-man, Space Invaders), EVERY glory days NES/SNES sidescroller (Mario, Zelda, Donkey Kong Country), EVERY Japanese RPG from every era, etc. are all designed for you the user to play the game with parameters set by the developer...not the user.

Sure there were advances in camera control in the 3-D era (often badly done in the early days) but you still had to beat Bowser, defeat Ganon, save the world in FFVII in the EXACT way the developers designed.

With the exception of World 1-3 instead of 1-4 the "choices" offered to the user are often nil...need I even mention Mega Man and the pretty much required method of beating the bosses in order to advance.

Really, who are you kidding?

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Old 05-05-2008, 09:35 PM   #8
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Re: Sports Games Can Take Lessons From Grand Theft Auto IV

If you're limiting yourself to EA Sports games then I can see the complaint about not paying attention to detail but play nba2k8 or even the 4 year old NFL 2k5 and there's little stuff everywhere.
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