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Competition Creates Better Games is Baloney

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Old 08-28-2009, 02:28 PM   #9
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I think some of the folks are making gigantic leaps in logic here...

All I hear to refute my points is simply that people don't believe review scores are reliable methods of measuring game quality. If review scores aren't, what is? The answer is nothing.

And if it's not review scores, it's stuff that makes conspiracy theorists gush with enthusiasm.

As for 2K vs. The Show, both games are competing on the PS3, so there is still competition there. That is just an excuse to try to disprove the scores both games are getting.

And as for a game staying the same in review scores equating to improvement, that's not a bad assumption to make, but it simply means that a game is barely improving at all. Would two games which are competing heavily against each other just barely improve year over year? If the theory was true, that would make no sense. Plus, using that logic would simply show that the review scores for the games which aren't in competition with each other are simply improving more and more in the reviewers eyes would it not? Thus the theory would be equally false.

The fact remains the three things I list at the end of the article play much bigger roles in a game's quality: budget, time given for development and actual talent making the game. Could those be affected by competition from other companies? Yeah, but it hasn't hurt Madden or NCAA review scores wise so far if competition was the thing that primarily drove those decisions.

What drives those decisions is a desire to make a greater profit, which could sometimes be affected by competition, but not always.

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Old 08-28-2009, 02:35 PM   #10
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I like your logic, but I disagree. With Madden, reviews on Metacritic are not accurately scoring the game. They are almost afraid to give Madden a lower score because they feel as if they would be disrespecting John himself. Fact is, Madden has not progressed well enough on next-gen to even warrant those scores. Why else do you have people still comparing it to 2K5? Playing the game and having to tweak sliders to make the game they PAID for work properly. Poor patches that do nothing for the game? So we as football gamers know for a fact that only so much faith can be put into those reviews.

Competition forces innovation. Its kind of hard to present the same features 4years in a row, if you have competition and they not only mastered what you are doing, but have created some other features that may have been a strong innovation in the genre.

Look @ NCAA 10, the game is a far cry from where it was from NCAA 03-07 (last-gen). It should be leaps and bounds ahead of where it is currently, and fact is, Metacritic is not going to show you the REAL reviews of the game. Or how its a glossed up version of the last two or three. What if NCAA CFB had competition, think EA would be scratching their heads asking us what Presentation is? I don't think so.

NBA Live used to be better than NBA 2K...but competition made 2K step up to the plate and hang Live out to dry. Now it is NBA Live that is trying to restore its former reputation. Why? Because 2K has been beating it for so long, they recruited new talent to improve their prospects of taking the crown.

PES is actually a very very good soccer game. But the bias in reviews from mainstream sites/mags tend to favor FIFA. Could it be those advertising dollars??? IDK, FIFA is good as well, however BOTH games are outstanding and the scores make it seem lopsided.

Heck outside of sports gaming, If I go into a GAMESTOP, they all try to tell you how wonderful XBOX 360 is...and how bad the PS3 is. Yet 360 has an almost 60% failure rate, and PS3 is actually the better system!

People have bias and it affects how competition is viewed, but please understand that competition definitely breeds a better product. EA nor 2K want to be known as the company with a terrible rep for making sports games.
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Old 08-28-2009, 02:41 PM   #11
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Again, the only refute is to simply discredit review scores? That's a gigantic assumption that the business is incredibly corrupted and EA (or other companies for that matter) is paying off reviewers to score their games better. Remember the scores I use are taken from a few dozen review sites, so you would have to assume EA is paying off all of those sites for the average to be higher, which makes no sense.

Perhaps the reason why reviewers as a whole score a game higher (any game) is because that game is simply better at reaching the buying audience -- who the reviewers represent -- than another?

You listed a bunch of the assumptions I just showed aren't true as well, which makes no sense.

Again: budget, time of development and talent developing the game. They're all much bigger in determining the final quality of a game. Competition MAY play a role in those three factors, but I would submit the drive to make a bigger profit no matter what the competition is drives those decisions even more.


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Old 08-28-2009, 02:56 PM   #12
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But MMCHRIS S, the reviews cannnot be playing the same games we are playing and giving out the scores they do. You are telling me Madden 07-10 all were worthy of an 80+ score? Not even. And AP2K8 was a generic mess because it was pretty limited in appeal and what it could do.

And of course companies like EA want to make a bigger profit, thus hardcore gamers (esp. sportsgamers) suffer. Imagine if EA, 2K, SCEA, and everybody made football games....you can't honestly say that EA would have created a half-baked Extra Point show? Its not logical.

Look at the Wii. If the Wii had 360's game catalogue they would rule the gaming world. But because they had no competition, they created a bunch of shovelware and now that 360 is presenting NATAL.....don't you think they are getting a little uneasy? Thats what happens when you have competition. You HAVE to step your game up and keep it that way.

And I really would like to know the people who are reviewing these sports games, because I am pretty sure they A) don't know much about the genre, B) Don't look at the fine line over a number of years (read:the game has not innovated nor changed, and C) They are not very good at these games.

People need to know what REAL football looks and plays like...same with the NBA and Soccer etc. Fight Night 4 is a QUALITY game and deserves an almost 10 score, but I bet you it has the same score as Madden on Metacritic. And if you read some of those reviews....they do not have a clue as to what they are talking about.
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Old 08-28-2009, 03:02 PM   #13
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I don't think this article disproves competition between companies leads to better games . All these ratings are too subjective from year to year. Madden 10 scored worse than 09 because expectations were higher, even though it's a much better game. Some years games just come out with a roster updates and still get a higher rating.

The other thing is the rating scale probably isn't linear. Only great games score in the 90s, but there are many average games that score in the high 80s. There may be a huge difference between an 85 and 90, but the difference between 75 to 85 may be minimal. The bottom line is, numbers can be used to tell whatever story you want. If you did a comparison of how many features were added during competitve years vs. non-competitive years, the story may be different.

In this case, if your gut tells you games were better when there was competition.... I'd go with your gut.
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Old 08-28-2009, 03:04 PM   #14
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The people who still compare Madden to 2K5 are the people who were never big fans of Madden.
I played the 2K football games on Dreamcast and PS2, and what really gets me is that not only is 2K5 not as good as the Madddens today, it wasn't as good as Madden 05.
If 2K had gotten the exclusive deal. The same people would be complaining how 2K10 isn't as good as any of the maddens.
People like to bitch.
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Old 08-28-2009, 03:06 PM   #15
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Again, you are simply making a lot of assumptions about dozens (if not hundreds) of reviewers in order to disprove the stats. Some people would beg to differ on your thoughts on Fight Night, and others would agree with you. You are simply trying to make the same logical assumptions and leaps which this article shows don't hold weight.

You have to think outside of the box and realize that direct competition within a sport isn't the only competition a game goes through. Madden is competing with every game on a store shelf for the consumers dollar. In the end, every game is under some sort of competition in reality because the business simply makes it that way. But to say that direct competition within your own sport is the biggest reason why a game is good or bad is simply false.

Once again: budget, time of development and talent developing the game are bigger factors and they are influenced by a companies will to make a profit in a crowded video game marketplace moreso than what the other company is doing with their NBA game or what-have-you.

I suppose I should have entitled the article "Direct Sport Competition Doesn't Create Better Games" as it's more in line with the point I'm trying to make. But the point is very valid in today's marketplace and stands on it's own.
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Old 08-28-2009, 03:09 PM   #16
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No matter what it still doesn't help anything when we don't have a damn choice. Competition IS better if only for at least having that extra choice every year.
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