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Has Innovation Become a Thing of the Past With Sports Games?

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Old 07-03-2015, 05:08 PM   #1
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Has Innovation Become a Thing of the Past With Sports Games?


The best sports games aren't necessarily innovative. But they do, however, contain innovative features.

Take a look at our most recent "Greatest Sports Game Ever" poll, and it's easy to match the top finishers with a ground-breaking feature. MVP Baseball 2005: Hitter's Eye. NFL 2K5: First-Person Football. College Hoops 2K8: 6th Man Meter.

This isn't to say that all great games innovate or that all innovative games are great. There just seems to be an inherent connection between those games we view as quality titles and the ability to bring something new to the table.

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Old 07-03-2015, 05:17 PM   #2
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I think we are getting to the point where it's going to be hard to innovate but we aren't there yet. NBA 2k is the game that's closest to being the game that reaches its ceiling and even that series has work to do.
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Old 07-03-2015, 05:38 PM   #3
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The hitters eye in MVP 2005 was just a gimmick to compensate for the physics engine not being able to replicate realistic pitch physics. That has been solved in The Show 15.
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Old 07-03-2015, 05:55 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Guapo516
I think we are getting to the point where it's going to be hard to innovate but we aren't there yet. NBA 2k is the game that's closest to being the game that reaches its ceiling and even that series has work to do.
I gotta say 2k has been one of the main suspects of taking things out of the game only to re introduce it as something new 2-3 years later. How you can take out summer league, d-league, draft combine, and crew is beyond me. I take note of this and when they introduce it as something new, i simply dont count it as a new feature.
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Old 07-03-2015, 06:16 PM   #5
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In my opinion, EASHL is probably the most innovative thing that has came out in recent years.
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Old 07-03-2015, 06:31 PM   #6
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Re: Has Innovation Become a Thing of the Past With Sports Games?

Strikes me as a bit shortsighted for this article to not mention Ultimate Team / MyTeam / Diamond Dynasty whatsoever.

Specific to Madden NFL, I would call Draft Champions an attempt at innovation. It's certainly a new way to interact with the same game. Certainly it is buoying a little bit off of Ultimate Team, but it is not the same.

Rory McElroy's PGA Tour has a feature called Night Club which challenges the user to use the traditional golf gameplay mechanics in new and non-traditional ways. I would also call that innovative.
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Old 07-03-2015, 06:39 PM   #7
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I think everything above is true however these games are so big and complicated now, that adding some crazy new thing might just be way to big of a hassle when you can make small improvements
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Old 07-03-2015, 07:02 PM   #8
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Re: Has Innovation Become a Thing of the Past With Sports Games?

Speaking specifically about the console football-gaming genre

The days of Madden vs NFL2k were the best. Madden 05 is still hailed as one of the best of the franchise if not THEE best. And of course NFL2k5 is legendary. I owned and spent equal time playing both games because they each offered a fulfilling experience in their own way.

I think that was due to competition between Visual Concepts and Tiburon which ultimately inspired innovation and risk-taking. But now...

I've been watching Madden ..and waiting for it to blow me away with something...waiting to have that "Oh man I gotta get this game!" feeling to return but it just hasn't happened.

Madden is a good game in it's own right. But with no other bar to compare it to, how accurate can that assertion really be?

When Madden is still behind games that are 8-10 years old in certain areas of gameplay, animation and presentation, one has to ask themselves "What am I paying $60-$70 for?" because clearly Tiburon no longer feels a need to aggressively push the envelope or gamble with a formula that's tried and true.

This is getting off-topic but I really wish OS (Steve and the staff) would do something about NFL/EA exclusivity.

As one of the pillars of the online sports-gaming community, OS is in prime position to utilize their influence to bring about change or least draw attention to this subject from eyes that could make something happen.

Perhaps OS could partner with the leaders of other notable sports-gaming sites and formulating a plan...a petition...anything to bring about an end to this exclusive EA/NFL partnership.

I'd even try to make the NFL understand that their agreement with EA eliminates them from seeing the league represented to its fullest and highest potential on a video-game platform due to there no longer being competition among developers to produce the best NFL game on the market.

The NFL also needs to see that their agreement with EA goes against the very principles of fair competition that they so intensely impose and promote in just about every facet of the league.

That's the only way true innovation will ever return to the NFL-Licensed football-gaming genre, in my opinion.

Last edited by Kanobi; 07-03-2015 at 10:31 PM.
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