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The Yearly Release Cycle Needs to Be Changed Up

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Old 01-13-2011, 11:34 AM   #17
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You are simply wrong when you say the developers and gamers would benefit from this. I want to say it's all about the money. To EA a new release is NEW money. a new Ultimate Team Mode is... NEW money. They make money because you have to reset and start over.

Personally I don't mind. I enjoy my yearly releases. It's just $60. It's fun to get excited about upcoming games, cracking open that new game and popping it in the system the first time. It's a simple join but a good one. I don't want to see it done every other year.

As for the patches and such... I knew the moment XBOX Live started making patches available where it was headed. Honestly it's not as bad as it could be though. I have been a long time PC game player and patches have been used there blatantly to get broken games sold to you too early. Yes XBOX games might need patching but rarely do they need to be overhauled. "Front Page Sports Football" anyone? lol
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Old 01-14-2011, 03:37 AM   #18
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I agree just update the damn games I would love to keep my Dynasty going from year to year! High Heat Baseball allowed you to convert your saved files to work with the next release!
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Old 01-14-2011, 05:09 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by PS9119
I agree just update the damn games I would love to keep my Dynasty going from year to year! High Heat Baseball allowed you to convert your saved files to work with the next release!
Yes, being able to transfer your save files to the next game would be a nice, no, an essential feature.
With most of my time spent playing EASHL, I never manage to finish more than a season of BaGM or BaP offline before the next game comes out.
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Old 01-14-2011, 06:25 PM   #20
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Great article. I would actually prefer a biyearly release for all sports games as well. Sports games are starting to become stale. I would rather give game developers two cycles to take the time necessary to drastically improve the previous game. I'm still waiting for an nfl 2k5-esque halftime show with cyber news anchors. That will probably never happen again because gaming companies never have enough time between cycles. I'd doubt that they would build on something like that each year.
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Old 01-15-2011, 08:44 PM   #21
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I think that bi-annual releases could still be problematic in terms of game quality because there is then more time/resources devoted to keep the first product updated versus developing the new game. In practical terms, a bi-annual schedule will not happen because too many consumers buy the product the day it's released. I haven't looked at any sales numbers, but I would bet the most profitable day for a game developer is release day. If more consumers were willing to wait, then maybe something like a bi-annual schedule would work; however, given the impulsiveness of most gamers in terms of buying the games...it won't happen.

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Old 01-16-2011, 04:54 PM   #22
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Never going to happen. Profits would be less than half when you consider, at current rate, development cost would double - when considering a two year development cycle, while profits that might only slightly increase from a yearly release would need to cover cost for a two year span. Makes no sense, at least economiclly, to do that.
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Old 01-16-2011, 05:14 PM   #23
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I don't really care what the developers do as I don't purchase the newest version every year. I alternate the NHL and FIFA series (except this year where I skipped FIFA all together) as well as alternate Madden and Tiger (except this year where I will skip Tiger all together).

I do tend to buy NCAA FB every year, though I did skip 07 and 08.

I haven't bought a basketball game since College Hoops 2K6.

Baseball is a bit different as I bought The Show 10 from a friend as a curiosity to see if I enjoyed it. I liked it well enough (and like what I hear from the devs) that 11 is a likely purchase. The 2K series is in my rear view until I hear that it simply cannot be missed.

I'm a sim-style racer, but still play Forza 1. I have no interest in GT5 even though it is my favorite series in the genre. I didn't like what I heard/read about it.

I simply do not have the time or money to purchase games every year. It would be nice to have an every other year cycle, but, again, I already do that. As far as buying the updates and whatnot, I don't envision myself doing that. I rarely purchase anything that is available as DLC. I suppose that would change if it were the only solution, but it would be just as likely that I would end up playing different games, or not playing at all.

Paying for updates and the like is the first step toward making us pay $60 for a game that comes incomplete. The day will come when you will buy a disc that must be used to play the game you downloaded. Your system will identify your unique 360/PS3 address with the unique "address" of the DLC with the unique "address" of the disc. There will be no more used game problems because each disc and all DLC content will work with only your individual system. Of course, the disc will be $60, DLC will be micro based where you pay by piece. Each NFL division would be $5, the Super Bowl stadium will be $5, dreads and ponytails will set you back $5 (though all hair styles will be unlocked that way).

Just wait.
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Old 01-17-2011, 06:17 PM   #24
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I would welcome the doing away of yearly releases for sports titles. As it stands, there is not enough improvement being made to the vast majority of sports titles to warrant a $60 purchase every year. Fans of the series can and do grow fatigued from having to spend $60 a year for a roster update and a few gameplay tweaks and would rather spend their money elsewhere on a different genre of game that won't be outdated in a year. I do not anticipate the coming release of a new sports title. Instead, I dread it because I know the current version I own will be worth nothing.

I would rather spend $60 on a sports game and then $20 a year later to get the update for next season. The series would benefit from having a longer development cycle and the next iteration of the series will truly feel improved and original. Also, stretching out the release cycle to 2 or 3 years will build more hype and anticipation for the next game. Sports games are never nominated on video game websites for game of the year because nothing feels special about them anymore. You have a problem when it is tough to tell the difference between this year's version of a game and last year's.

Companies need to explore different models than the yearly release cycle to keep their titles fresh and interesting. I would feel like a sucker for buying the same sports title for two consecutive years in a row, so I don't.
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