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Fun Outside the Box Sports Games Ideas 
Posted on January 15, 2023 at 03:20 PM.
Back in the early days of console video games, sports leagues sold their license to several game manufactures. The NBA had at one time around 7 league licensed games. MLB had between 7 to 9 at one time. NCAA had 3 football titles. Even the NFL had up 3 to 5 games released in a year at one time. All these games were produced by different manufactures and brought different things to the table.

Nowadays we’ve all these leagues signing exclusive deals. This has hurt the year-to-year game as no one is pushing a publish like EA to make Madden better since they are the only NFL game in town.

Now, we won’t see this change as the leagues have figured out there is too much money in selling off the exclusive rights to the highest bidder. But in recent years we’ve seen a few smaller developers start making some football offerings, from Axis Football to Maximum to Mutant Football, etc. we’ve gotten some non-NFL titles to have fun with in a fictional sports world.

So what other ideas are out there for new and exciting sports titles? There are new leagues and other ideas of fictional leagues that developers could looks at. We’ll look at fictional league ideas. We’ll look at sports leagues from the past that could make for a fun title today. Let’s dig in.

Honorable mention: Varsity High School Football and College Football
Years ago, I wrote a blog with ideas on a High School football game. Spear Interactive and Pyramid Lake Games are in development of a High School football game now. Because this game is in active development, it doesn’t make this list but I wanted to say how excited I am for this upcoming title. This game is very much in the spirit of the list I’m putting together. I cannot wait to play this title.
Also, EA is bringing back a true college football title. This game is one everyone is excited about and I can’t wait for its return in 2024. But again, it is already in development so it won’t be on the list below.

11. XFL or USFL game – These spring leagues could be fun for an upstart or independent studio to get into football. Both leagues too could have a flashback to their pasts (original first XFL season, USFL from the 80s.) adding extra modes.

10. Softball – Women’s sports are becoming more popular and getting more TV exposure. We also now see the WNBA in NBA2k and women’s teams in FIFA. Softball has been one of the ones we see on TV a lot now. Why not produce a Women’s softball title? You could do a fictional pro league, NCAA, National teams or whatever. But this game could be an independent developer’s dream if done right. This could be the best women’s sport to test the market with.

9. Track and Field – The old button mashing Track and Field games from the NES were a lot of fun back in the day. I’d love to see it brought back. And if you do it, keep it the same simple button mashing gameplay for the old days.

8. Mutant Hockey League – Back when the original Mutant League Football came out, they also made a Mutant League Hockey. There’s been a lot of folks hoping the team behind the MFL would next go back to Hockey. Of course, the Mutant team could go even further and give us Mutant basketball, Mutant Baseball and Mutant soccer as well. But to keep it true to its original roots, Hockey should be their next sport.

7. Pele’s NASL – The NASL is a footnote in history but an important one in the growth of soccer in the United States. While I know there is a new NASL (although it is more of a minor league) this game would the old league. Sure, getting the rights might make this one impossible but, in an age, where retro is king and NBA 2K has eras modes, why not give us the old 1970s, early 80s league in all its glory. With the passing of Pele, you could do this as tribute to the king. And you could also show the fun and crazy rules the league had. The 30-yard line offsides, the 5 second shootouts. A NASL game with the NY Cosmos and all the legends that made it to America via the NASL would be a lot of fun. And because of the rule’s differences, it would be a different game than most other soccer titles.

6. MLS and lower tier US Soccer game – MLS license is in FIFA. (Or whatever EA calls it next year.) I don’t really want to see if leave but I am open to an MLS only game. I think it could include licenses too for the USL and other lower US tier leagues so you could have more US Cup tournaments. Years ago, there was an MLS game being developed but it never came to be. I think this would help MLS get more exposure and now that Apple has their TV rights, maybe this one might come to be.

5. College Baseball – This one was tried years ago when EA lost the MLB licenses. While the MVP NCAA Baseball games were good and under-rated, they never really caught on. I believe College Baseball is more popular now and that could a hit, especially if it is under taken by a smaller or independent studio. But make sure you do it right and get all the stadiums and not just the 20 or so that EA got.

4. Outdoor Baseball Association – This would be a fictional league with fictional players. All the action would be on outdoor courts, complete with rain, show, wind and other element effects. Sure, we’d never see a baseball game played in the rain, but that’s the beauty of video games, we don’t have to worry about slips and injuries like they would in real life. Make the league customizable so people can put teams where ever they want for an added bonus.

3. Legends Baseball League – Much like the NASL game idea above, I think a game that featured baseball legends from the past would be a hit. You could assign different era rules like deadball, juiced ball, etc. But having a game where you could start a franchise with the likes of a Babe Ruth, Ted Williams and more could be a lot of fun for baseball fans who love the games history. Throw in some historic parks from long ago (or versions close enough to them) and let us have some fun era specific baseball fun.

2. ABA – The ABA is another era game would be great. The ABA brought us a lot of cool innovations and of course the ABA ball is iconic. Being able to play a franchise with those teams would be great and even better if you allowed us as an owner to come up with some of the crazy promos they would run. Dr. J and more ABA legends would help make this title a fun Retro game.

1. Negro League Baseball – The Negro Baseball League feature some really great and colorful players. This game could be a great way to honor them and this league. Keep it firmly set in the era and allow this game to give us some education in a league that gave black players a place to shine in an era where they weren’t welcomed like they should have been. Josh Gibson, Satchel Paige, Oscar Charleston, Cool Papa Bell would get the attention they deserve.
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