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With the Success of Ultimate Team Modes, What is the Future of Franchise Modes in Sports Video Games?

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Old 01-14-2018, 12:47 AM   #25
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Re: With the Success of Ultimate Team Modes, What is the Future of Franchise Modes in

Maybe it's because I'm so old, but I don't mind finding other ways to play sports games. I've played them in just about every manner you can think of. My first baseball board game had round cards and spinners and only featured all-time greats. Even when we upgraded to Strat-O-Matic, we still would have giant redrafts and create fantasy leagues. My favorite was to run four team leagues based on all-star teams from each division.

But I've played the LED handhelds, vibrating football fields, and bubble hockey. None of those were sim, but then, we didn't have anyone whining about sim back then. We just played. We used a tape recorder to commentate out games, including slot racing.

Even in video games, I liked sims like the World's Greatest Baseball Game, and it only featured all-time great teams. That and hardball and Dr. J vs. Larry bird were my C64 sports games. Oh, of course Summer Games, which was flipping fantastic.


Loved Tecmo Bowl, Double Dribble, and all manner of arcade sports games on the NES and SNES. Loved the "football" game Cyberball in the arcades. Would play that and the hyper realistic baseball coin-up that had the little stick you pulled back and used to swing. Played as much NBA Jam as I played NBA Live with my roommate, who was a monster Knicks fan.

And yeah, I played Diamond Mind Baseball, FBPro and BBPro by Sierra, and Action PC Football for deep, deep simulation. I played in an APBA sim league that required us to snail mail the disc to the next owner when we finished out games. I played in a Strat league in college, pre-intenet, where we got together weekly and played out a series or two of games, all redrafted teams.

So yeah, I get it that folks like their one little mode. I like sports games, and all the ways developers have come up with repeating ways to emulate the sports we love. To me, it was a lot more than the trying to just mimic reality, it was about creating ways in which we used sports games to match-up strategically.

Ultimate Team is just another new way to give players a chance to build teams that match their ideas about strategy. And yeah, it started out with players paying to win. But Madden Salary Cap eliminated that. I think it is great. But then, I rarely play LUT in NBA Live 18. I used to play HUT an ton, but now just play the Play Now games, or run through a season.

I cannot imagine having grown up in a way that I could I only enjoy a sports game if it was a paint-by-numbers representation of what I see on TV. That's not to say I would not enjoy a great sim. But honestly, the fact that we call The show and NBA 2K great sims is a problem. Because they don't really cut it either.

But I like sports games, and this is a great time to a be sports gamer.
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Old 01-15-2018, 02:18 PM   #26
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Re: With the Success of Ultimate Team Modes, What is the Future of Franchise Modes in

To me, Ultimate team modes (which, btw, started as a paid add-on for FIFA 09, not in Madden 11) is the ultimate fantasy sports mode, a true "simulator" where influence of the real world is minimized: I couldn't care less about injuries, divisions, drafts, playoffs, player "development", etc which is dictated by the economics in the first place (it's a videogame - I don't need to fly across the country to play against Boston). All I need is a basketball sim where I can play with the lineups I like.
Ultimate team could be seen as a franchise started from scratch, when you have a bunch of bums at the start and have to work (or pay) your way up. You invest your personal time or money to improve your lineup, but instead of "leveling up" your players, you earn better cards.
If you get tired playing your max lineup, you can always set your rules, salary cap, etc to bring more challenge to the mode. And it is where NBA 2k's MyTeam falls short: lack of vs CPU game modes like "vs CPU divisions" in FIFA or plain "vs CPU"/"vs other user's lineups" modes in MLB: The Show or PES, where you can choose CPU difficulty or difficulty increases the more you win against AI.
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Old 01-16-2018, 12:12 AM   #27
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Re: With the Success of Ultimate Team Modes, What is the Future of Franchise Modes in

[quote=RodionMaZ;2049187873]To me, Ultimate team modes (which, btw, started as a paid add-on for FIFA 09, not in Madden 11) is the ultimate fantasy sports mode, a true "simulator" where influence of the real world is minimized: I couldn't care less about injuries, divisions, drafts, playoffs, player "development", etc which is dictated by the economics in the first place (it's a videogame - I don't need to fly across the country to play against Boston). All I need is a basketball sim where I can play with the lineups I like.
Ultimate team could be seen as a franchise started from scratch, when you have a bunch of bums at the start and have to work (or pay) your way up. You invest your personal time or money to improve your lineup, but instead of "leveling up" your players, you earn better cards.
If you get tired playing your max lineup, you can always set your rules, salary cap, etc to bring more challenge to the mode. And it is where NBA 2k's MyTeam falls short: lack of vs CPU game modes like "vs CPU divisions" in FIFA or plain "vs CPU"/"vs other user's lineups" modes in MLB: The Show or PES, where you can choose CPU difficulty or difficulty increases the more you win against AI.[/QUOTE

You have the right to your opinion on the matter, however I would challenge that by stating you truly feel that way would you play a title of that nature with wholly fictitious players, cities and teams? I don't have a problem with these 'fantasy' sports style modes being done in that manner, but when devs use the licenses of the sports I enjoy to watch and play and make them in to a complete joke without putting forth a valiant effort to recreate the true essence of the sport it reeks of exploitation. Franchise modes should be the main focus of game development, because in truth the fans of the pay for play online modes will continue to play those modes whether they evolve or not. They'll complain about lack of options, microtransactions, server issues and impact lag but they'll still play and pay away. So devs, if you should read this posts here; try to show us franchise players some love before devoting the remainder of the device cycle and post release support towards the online community.
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Old 01-16-2018, 03:39 AM   #28
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Re: With the Success of Ultimate Team Modes, What is the Future of Franchise Modes in

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Originally Posted by jfeev215
You have the right to your opinion on the matter, however I would challenge that by stating you truly feel that way would you play a title of that nature with wholly fictitious players, cities and teams?
Of course I do. I did it with Pro Evolution Soccer 3-6, where there were almost none of the licences and main "franchise" mode - Master League - was based around the team with non-existing players and you started in "generic" 5th division of some championship. And it was fun because gameplay was million times better than in license-packed FIFA 04-07. Heck, I played PES 5 until FIFA 09 on x360 came out in 2008, bringing next gen graphics and physics.

I don't have a problem with these 'fantasy' sports style modes being done in that manner, but when devs use the licenses of the sports I enjoy to watch and play and make them in to a complete joke without putting forth a valiant effort to recreate the true essence of the sport it reeks of exploitation.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jfeev215
Franchise modes should be the main focus of game development, because in truth the fans of the pay for play online modes will continue to play those modes whether they evolve or not.
That's the main difference: I'm a fan of the game of basketball, not NBA. Yes, it is cool to use "real-world" players (mostly retired legends) but the franchise recreated after real NBA is just plain stupid. Why do I have to play Denver 6 times and Cleveland only twice per season in a videogame? Why do I even need playoffs? Most sports use round robin tournaments to determine the best of the best without the need to split participants into divisions or conferences. You don't even need "home" and "away" matches because they have no difference in videogames besides the look of the court.
So the true videogame franchise would allow me to set up no-division, no-playoffs, fantasy-drafted, customized teams in round-robin format with 1-3-5-whatever number of rounds so I can play the league the way I want it to be played, that suits my needs better and not forcing me to edit rosters to enjoy playing some wack teams like Nets or Dallas if I happen to be their fan (or rearrange divisions, or add/remove teams I want or don't like).
In the end, we all want to use players we like and real-world representation of NBA just won't allow us to do that if we are now GSW fans.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jfeev215
So devs, if you should read this posts here; try to show us franchise players some love before devoting the remainder of the device cycle and post release support towards the online community.
I believe I saw a statement from devs before 2k15 or 2k16 that franchise users are less than 2% of overall player number who only buy the game and not generate any further revenue. So it is logical that devs are putting minimal effort to support such game mode: it is really time consuming to improve various aspects of the franchise which will be ignored by the majority of players anyway.
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Old 01-16-2018, 12:06 PM   #29
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Re: With the Success of Ultimate Team Modes, What is the Future of Franchise Modes in

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I don't have a problem with these 'fantasy' sports style modes being done in that manner, but when devs use the licenses of the sports I enjoy to watch and play and make them in to a complete joke without putting forth a valiant effort to recreate the true essence of the sport it reeks of exploitation. Franchise modes should be the main focus of game development, because in truth the fans of the pay for play online modes will continue to play those modes whether they evolve or not. They'll complain about lack of options, microtransactions, server issues and impact lag but they'll still play and pay away. So devs, if you should read this posts here; try to show us franchise players some love before devoting the remainder of the device cycle and post release support towards the online community.
This is BS. Just because you view franchise play as the end all be all, it doesnít make it essential. Look at the reaction to NBA Jam.

The real issue, as Iíve seen it, is that the more sim sports dominate console sports games, the more the sports market has contracted. It is literally the least creative and most boring mode in sports games. Again, I say that with a long, long history of playing sims, everything from board games to text sims to action sims on the PC.

Further, I still have a hard time considering any of the franchise modes on consoles as worthy of the attention they get here. They are as much of a joke as you complain the other modes are, to me. I had long believed that you could not use a controller to control a player in a sim. That was sacrilege. So instead of whining about the state of sim sports, I decided to start just playing these modes that others seem to enjoy.

I found that the MyCareer stuff, whether it is cinematic or just grinding a player to the pros to be monotonous and boring. I really hate it.

But I found the UT modes to be really nostalgic, reminding of the days I sat in my bedroom floor surrounded by baseball and football cards, and later, StratOmatic and APBA cards. Iíd create rosters and lineups, comparing their stats and/or ratings.

Sure, I played a ton of straight up games. But Iíd also do All-Star leagues, battling divisions against each other. With my friends, we create small leagues and do fantasy drafts by hand, sorting all the cards on a ping pong table. With just 6 teams, we also had full minors.

It seems like, as sim sports gaming has become less and less popular, those committed to it have regressed even more, become even less open-minded about what can be fun about sports gaming, as though they are defending the last stand.

What a waste of time, when opening your minds a little might result in having more fun overall, even if your favorite modes get less love.

Mostly, when I see millions of folks enjoying something, I try to find what it is that is driving that joy. Sometimes, it still doesnít click, like MyCareer. But often, I find myself enjoying something I thought I would hate. But it requires a serious attempt to enjoy it, not a cursory quick look and judgement.

When I moved to console gaming from PC, which basically happened when the sim sports genre mostly collapsed, I thought I had to give up first person shooters. I knew that keyboard and mice were faster and more accurate, and my attempts at Halo made me nauseous. But I picked Halo late for the Mac, and started to really enjoy it, but the performance was crap. I decided to give the Xbox version another try. This time though, instead of going in with my knowledge of the keyboard and mouse being superior, I went in thinking that if millions of kids can not only play this, but love it to death, I can adapt, too.

So I forced myself to play it with a controller, ignoring how terrible it felt. At some point I realized I was just playing and loving it, feeling as natural with a controller as keyboard and mouse. That opened up a ton of gaming for me, which I had cut myself off of using nothing but a closed mind.

And seriously, shedding the religious devotion to sim sports had the same effect on me. It opened up the consoles as a fun place to play sports games. I just had to stop restricting myself out of some devotion to sim sports.


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Old 01-17-2018, 09:28 AM   #30
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Re: With the Success of Ultimate Team Modes, What is the Future of Franchise Modes in

The future isn't good. We've already seen the impact on franchise modes with an increased focus on UT, and when you hear comments by top execs from EA and other companies about the success of UT to their bottom things don't look good for sim fans. The future is likely either a simple roster update or a monetized franchise mode.
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Old 01-17-2018, 10:44 AM   #31
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Re: With the Success of Ultimate Team Modes, What is the Future of Franchise Modes in

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Originally Posted by KSUowls
The future isn't good. We've already seen the impact on franchise modes with an increased focus on UT, and when you hear comments by top execs from EA and other companies about the success of UT to their bottom things don't look good for sim fans. The future is likely either a simple roster update or a monetized franchise mode.
As long as 2K and The Show continue to marry deep franchise mode features with good gameplay I'm cool. 2Ks MyLeague devs directly acknowledge how much the segment means with both words and what they actually add to the game. All without game changers twitter polls. The wish list thread on little old OS is enough. The Shows franchise is deep enough for me to get enthraled in what I'm doing. Im a causal baseban fan at best, though. Both could use more immersion, but the heavy lifting is already done. I get my franchise fix with those game and I'm happy with where they are. I'm indifferent when it comes to Madden. It looks great and plays a good game of football. I can scratch my NFL game itch when it comes. I'm cool with that too.

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Old 01-17-2018, 03:28 PM   #32
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Re: With the Success of Ultimate Team Modes, What is the Future of Franchise Modes in

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Originally Posted by KSUowls
The future isn't good. We've already seen the impact on franchise modes with an increased focus on UT, and when you hear comments by top execs from EA and other companies about the success of UT to their bottom things don't look good for sim fans. The future is likely either a simple roster update or a monetized franchise mode.
Maybe some day EA will out source the franchise mode? The actual games are played on Madden, and then imported back and forth with a text sim that handles all the franchise aspects?
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