News Post

One of the trends we lament here on Operation Sports is what seemingly appears to be the death of the Arcade Sports Game. In a column this morning, Polygon writer Owen Good asks the ever pertinent question, "Whatever Happened to the Arcade Sports Game?"

"Ten years later, the Wolves aren't playing any meaningful games in April, and league-licensed arcade-style sports video games, spinoffs that sometimes arrived when their league's postseason began, have made few appearances themselves. Last year saw nothing from this category on consoles no NHL Hitz, no MLB SlugFest or The Bigs, and certainly nothing like NBA Ballers. You'd have to go back to the fragmented, very early days of console gaming to find a full year without some league's logo on an arcade-style game."

It seems that even when a company decides to do an arcade game, they are increasingly being dumbed down to the point they hold very little value to anyone. R.B.I. Baseball 2014 is the latest in this trend, with a cool concept which just wasn't fleshed out fully.

Is it too hard to ask for companies to develop deep, fun, fast-paced and not overly over the top arcade experiences for sports gamers?

Member Comments
# 1 rspencer86 @ 04/26/14 01:21 PM
I consider myself a "sim gamer" -- I enjoy realistic, deep sports games. But when I really think about it, some of the most fun I've had in the sports genre have been with games like NBA Jam, NFL Blitz, The Bigs, NBA Street, and NHL Hitz.

The big key is the fun factor of almost anyone being able to pick it up and play it. Good luck having a buddy come over and play you in a game of The Show who has never played before... it's far too complex for them to be competitive and enjoy it. But a game like The Bigs... within a game or two, they usually have a good handle on the controls and are enjoying playing.

It really is a shame that these types of games have all but disappeared. It seems like instead of having a sim game and an arcade game as two separate titles, publishers are trying to hit both audiences with just one game. And in the process, they aren't really satisfying either type of gamer.
# 2 fjackson18 @ 04/26/14 01:33 PM
I thought EA Sports released arcade sports games every year...
# 3 ggsimmonds @ 04/26/14 02:09 PM
I think the arcade sports game is shifting to mobile platforms and social media outlets.
To whether or not companies can develop deep arcade games, it may be that a deep arcade game is an oxymoron. If the game is too deep it diminishes the pick up and play aspect. That is not to say that such a game cannot be done, only that the market for one is quite small.
# 4 spidertour02 @ 04/26/14 02:35 PM
It's an easy answer: they probably stopped being profitable.
# 5 knick9mm @ 04/26/14 11:00 PM
I don't think people are willing to spend $60 or full price on an arcade game anymore. Gamers are stingy with their money now.

Sent from my Nexus 5 using Tapatalk
# 6 boxboy99 @ 04/26/14 11:58 PM
I think the lack of arcade sports games is a combination of exclusive licenses, licensing cost, and rising development cost.
# 7 Fiddy @ 04/27/14 07:47 AM
i really miss solid arcade titles..

i might be one of a select few who does, but its a nice change of pace going from our "sim" games to something quick and fun.

ive been saying for a few years now, i would love a Hitz, Blitz, Slugfest, Jam type of game with a 25 year franchise mode, playoff mode, ability to customize rosters/players to keep game updated, etc.

just basic stat tracking for the games above as well through the entire franchise. id be fine with just a 5 year limit instead of 25.

fast pace, stat tracking, action from those types of games would be a blast.

IMO it really stinks we cant get games like that every other year. game drops, say for 30 bucks. then every other year we get a DLC pack that we can buy that updates the graphics a bit, rosters, etc.

sweet dreaming i guess..

my arcade game now, is NHL 14. i go from playing NHL 2K10 to NHL 14 for the fast paced huge hit action.

# 8 boxboy99 @ 04/27/14 09:55 AM
Yeah, it is all about risk. I hope the new rise of indie developers changes the game. Creativity is sorely needed in gaming right now.
# 9 eaterofworlds888 @ 04/27/14 10:02 AM
I'm more of a sim gamer..... but yeah I really miss the NBA Street series.
# 10 snc237 @ 05/03/14 04:38 PM
Make me pick one and I pick sport sim however I'm a massive fan of arcade sports games. Take the new nba jam for example. Had some friends down from out of town which are not huge gamers at all and there was no way we were going to have competitive games with nba 2k. However jam was simple yet a ton of fun when we had all 4 of us huddled around the screen.
# 11 snc237 @ 05/03/14 04:44 PM
I also believe the internet has made it less desirable. If you wanted to face someone in the past they would come over to your house and play. If you were way better at sports games you would bring out the arcade game and have some crazy fun. Now if you want to play some one and have a fun competitive game you just go online and face someone thus calling a friend over isn't necessary and makes that arcade game not as desirable as once was.
# 12 LingeringRegime @ 05/03/14 04:57 PM
No more arcades.

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