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Competition Creates Better Games is Baloney

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Old 08-28-2009, 03:10 PM   #17
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No disrespect intended but this write up is as subjective as the review scores that were used to form this rationale.

I don't believe for a minute that if the 2K football series still split the NFL license that EA would not have stepped up their game years earlier.

As for the NHL 2K series... it was on top a few years back because of the gameplay and the NHL 0x series stepped it up big time and took the crown back.

D you really think the MLB 0x series did not do their best to make the absolute best baseball game possible in order to beat out the 2K baseball series. Please...

Again, no disrespect intended, but I believe this article is about as left as you can go and was just written to get a debate started. Let's keep it real and OBJECTIVE guys.
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Old 08-28-2009, 03:16 PM   #18
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Way to go Chris! You figured it out!! You set up your own criteria to determine whether competition helps make better games, applied that criteria to unscientific numerical data, and then you DISCOVERED competition makes no difference. Period. No more discussion.

The fact that you set a few arbitrary parameters and found them not to be met in answering a question does not equal, as you say, "truth." It wouldn't have mattered if you used different factors or even more factors. At the end of the day, the answer you arrived at is only an opinion supported by data and nothing more. To pass this article off as debunking an "urban myth" and putting the "theory to bed once and forever" is not only WRONG but extremely arrogant.

The only data you use to arrive at your answer are metacritic scores - that's it. But we all know the flaws of not only that site, but of reviews in general. Most game reviewers spend only a limited amount of time with these games and they are usually susceptible to hype and a gaming company's influence. And nobody does this better than EA. For Madden, the story was "This is the best one ever" and "this is a true next-gen experience." So after months of buildup and hype, and with the game looking reasonably polished from a distance, of course the reviews were positive.

But what reviews don't account for is how the game is perceived after an extended period of time, which is when the true merit of a game is realized. So let's look at Madden now - more and more you are hearing complaints about the game and it's gradually building into a chorus that this is the same broke-*** football game with a couple of new features. Does anyone here after spending almost a month with the game really believe that the game deserves an almost 9 rating? I don't think so. But this is the problem with reviews and Metacritic - reviews do not reflect the true merit of the game - only the gaming community.

The only thing I know is that the last good Madden game in my opinion, and in a lot of other people's opinions, was 2005, the same year NFL 2K5 came out. So there is a valid argument that will survive your your article despite your belief that you put the theory to rest. Maybe Madden would have be the same even if 2K was making NFL games. Maybe it would be better, who knows? It's all SPECULATION.

The only thing that is not speculation is the fact that this article does nothing to dispel the notion that competition in sports gaming makes games better.
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Old 08-28-2009, 03:21 PM   #19
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So in other words, you say "reviews are the only data available. Because my position is based on reviews, it is correct. You cannot argue with my point because there is no other data."

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Old 08-28-2009, 03:26 PM   #20
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+ bigsmallwood. My thoughts exactly. It seems most of these reviewers give the devs a break number 1. Number 2: You hit the nail on the head. Some of these reviewers don't seem to know much about the sport or game their playing. Same people who complain about missed layups, complain about interceptions in madden. They don't know sports, and don't really know what to critize about the game. Madden and apf are good games, but you have to know what you're doing, and what to expect. All pro was a great game, too bad most people never gave it the time of day because they didn't have the license. Competion breeds EXCELLENCE. It gives consumers a CHOICE. Even if you didn't like 2k football, it seemed to push madden devs to innovate more. This whole arugment boils down to two things, money and shareholders. Im done.
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Old 08-28-2009, 03:33 PM   #21
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Wow, where to begin. First off, I actually am coming to agree with your main premise, which is that sports game developers respond to direct competition and make better games, whereas they don't improve their games with exclusive titles. But your efforts to convince me of that point leave much to be desired.

Don't look at review scores. There are SO many other factors that go into a review score. Probably the main one is where we are in the life span of a console. It's pretty obvious that Madden 10 is better than Madden 2006 (on 360) for reasons that have nothing to do with competition from 2k or anyone else. But the main reason for that improvement is that people had no idea how to develop for these consoles when they first came out, and they've had several versions to work on it since.

All that said, I don't think that competition necessarily would make Madden a better game. Without question, it gives the consumer more choices, and consumers like choices. But the idea that Madden stopped innovating becuase 2k5 was no longer around is simply false. Madden 2005 was a good game b/c EA knew what they were doing and made a good game. It had nothing to do with being "pushed" by 2k5's sales (and by the way, 2k5's sales never came CLOSE to pushing Madden)

Competition breeds imitation, not innovation. What that means is that if you have an interesting concept, such as the pitching meter, throwing mechanisms, and R stick sliding from MVP Baseball, a rival title may discover that people like that and copy it into their game. So, you end up with multiple titles that are becoming more like one another, while trying to maintain some part of their identity that they think will give them an edge.

But Madden 10 competes with Madden 09 every bit as much as Madden 2005 competed with NFL 2k5. The only question that matters, from EA's standpoint, is "Why would a consumer buy this?" If you don't continue to innovate and improve your product, people won't see the reason to pick up a new version.

I think that Madden 10 is very good, and it disproves the idea that Madden is incapable of improving in an era of exclusivity. People who work on Madden have said that Ian Cummings has been around for years begging them to try something like Pro-Tak, and it's only now that they put people like him and his team in a position where they could act on their creative ideas. Pro-Tak isn't perfect, but neither was NHL's Shot Stick in NHL 07. It took a few years of refining a new idea to build up that terrific franchise, and I would argue that there are more revolutionary changes in Madden 10 (vs. 09) than there were in Madden 2005 (vs. 2004), or NFL 2k5 (vs. ESPN NFL Football) for that matter.

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Old 08-28-2009, 03:33 PM   #22
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Good article, Chris. I don't know if the comp can be completely discredited but I did state something about resources and dev time, among other things, in that poll about competition making games better. I chose the "somewhat" answer then explained in the comments section. I actually didn't think about the reviews side of things but that is a great point you brouight up.

Many heads on this site only see so much and it's usually only what they WANT to see. It's very narrow and emotional thinking more times than not a broader perspective. I know that also comes with what people are exposed to whether it be because of age or lack of corporate and/gaming dev understanding.
It's a bigger ball of wax than most even know and it's funny how when I pose a more logical and understanding perspective on things, people wanna flame me with a ton of emotion as if I don't know what I'm talking about. You just cleared up a bunch but it's still funny how some are flaming at you in these comments as if they really know what's going on. Again, narrow minded thinking.
Again, great article.
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Old 08-28-2009, 03:41 PM   #23
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You pretty much are making the same assumptions that were the point of making this article. SURE it sounds good on paper, but when the assumption is tested with the only numbers you can come up with to compare games it doesn't hold weight. Those numbers are also the ones which are what the companies themselves use internally to judge game quality outside of profits.

If the industry standard of just plain game quality measurement is good enough for them, it's good enough for me for this quick little study
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Old 08-28-2009, 03:42 PM   #24
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Re: Competition Creates Better Games is Baloney

Wow, so many flaws here I don't know where to start.

Using video game "review" scores....

There's a saying: There's lies, there's damned lies, and then there's "statistics".

The whole premise is ridiculous and not even worth arguing, anyone who understands reality as it relates to economics and knows history knows the premise is fatally flawed.

The "invisible hand" of capitalism works, has worked, and will always work to benefit the consumer.

It's like trying to argue that Communism is a better economic system than Capitalism and produces better goods and services, just a joke.

If you actually believe this tripe, I suggest picking up some books on Economics, not written by Marxists.
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