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We are rapidly approaching the next-generation of sports games, but the time has never been more right to consider a different way of doing sports games. Within five years, the majority of console customers will be acquiring their games digitally -- and one of the ideas floating around about sports games' future is sports games as a service.

What do you feel the best future mode of sports gaming releases is? Is it the current annual releases? Is it an every-other-year model? Is it a service (subscription) model? Is is something else?

Be sure to vote in our poll and explain why you favor a model over the other on your right on the frontpage and above you in the forums!

Member Comments
# 1 Kentucky_Wildcat23 @ 08/30/13 11:05 AM
I agree that 2-3 years would be good as long as it's done right. Updated rosters after each season would be find with me. It would also give a lot of people more time to really get into dynasties and my player careers.
 
# 2 Fiddy @ 08/30/13 11:07 AM
every other year, with off year support via roster updates, a tuner update, menu year change update, and possibly a patch. if they want to sell the off year stuff for $5 or $10 id be fine with it.

Madden 15
FIFA 15

College Football 16
NHL 16

toss Tiger in the mix somewhere as well..

something like the above would be great, give us time to go through those 25 year seasons they give us etc.
 
# 3 savoie2006 @ 08/30/13 11:58 AM
Every other year would be ideal.
 
# 4 Majingir @ 08/30/13 11:59 AM
Every other year would be so much better. That way, it allows companies to actually put out games that weren't rushed(since companies work on releases for the following years release,before the current years game has even been released)


But that'll probably never happen unfortunately cause all these sports game companies just do the logical thing and make money every year.

For example...They'd rather get 8M sales for 4 years from 4 game releases(meaning 2M people buy each game) over getting 6M sales for 4 years from 2 game releases(meaning 3M people buy each game).

Obviously,cause that means more money. Just sucks how they go for quantity over quality.
 
# 5 onac22 @ 08/30/13 12:09 PM
I would love to see a title release, then roster updates, maybe by subscription, every month or so. Then annually release a title update along with some DLC adding new features such as, uniforms, arena, and commentary updates. Every two or three years package it all up, clean it, add to it, and finally sell as a new release.
 
# 6 jaywv30 @ 08/30/13 12:36 PM
I like it the way that it is with one per year. I think if they did it every other year it would be the same game, we just would have to wait longer. Like if they released NBA 2k10 then skipped 11 then released 12, it would prob be about the same as NBA 2k12 was... maybe even less features because they didn't get to try some of the stuff in 2k11 that didn't work out.
 
# 7 The_Rick_14 @ 08/30/13 01:04 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by jaywv30
I like it the way that it is with one per year. I think if they did it every other year it would be the same game, we just would have to wait longer. Like if they released NBA 2k10 then skipped 11 then released 12, it would prob be about the same as NBA 2k12 was... maybe even less features because they didn't get to try some of the stuff in 2k11 that didn't work out.
I agree with this. There is a common assumption that more time means more done with the same amount of time that I just don't think holds.
 
# 8 ratedmoney @ 08/30/13 01:55 PM
Games like NBA 2K and MLB The Show tell me we should stick with the every year model. Its just getting other development teams to meet those standards.
 
# 9 CM Hooe @ 08/30/13 02:18 PM
I vote for a subscription model featuring regular and frequent updates to all aspects of the game, be it rosters, modes, and gameplay.

Games-as-a-service can be done well if done right.
 
# 10 JohnDoe8865 @ 08/30/13 03:34 PM
i vote for an every other year model. The caveat being that the developers must support the game with frequent gameplay patches, roster updates (obviously), and other improvements.
 
# 11 savoie2006 @ 08/30/13 04:16 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Majingir
Every other year would be so much better. That way, it allows companies to actually put out games that weren't rushed(since companies work on releases for the following years release,before the current years game has even been released)


But that'll probably never happen unfortunately cause all these sports game companies just do the logical thing and make money every year.

For example...They'd rather get 8M sales for 4 years from 4 game releases(meaning 2M people buy each game) over getting 6M sales for 4 years from 2 game releases(meaning 3M people buy each game).

Obviously,cause that means more money. Just sucks how they go for quantity over quality.
I'm sure it's just as much the league's fault as it is the game company.
 
# 12 return.specialist @ 08/30/13 05:21 PM
I'm in favor of a biennial format--with roster, jersey, shoe, logo, etc. updates yearly. As one poster stated above, i'd even accept paying $10 for the updates.

I imagine this would allow developers more time to test skeletal forms of the game, and receive feedback from users.

However, the current business model is quite lucrative: users paying for a new installment each year. Although, were a biennial model implemented, these potential losses could be counteracted by a number of additional features (a format which may or may not have the potential to be abused by developers):

  1. $120 every two years in the current release schedule
  2. drops to $60 every two years with biennial releases
    • + $10 for the off-year content updates (potentially mandated by leagues to ensure the league is properly represented)
    • + $20 for an additional package of 'legend' or 'classic' rosters
    • + $20 for additional game modes
    • + $10 allows users the ability to transfer their team or individual player from one release to the next
    • + $20 for advanced editing capabilities (e.g. more exhaustive Team Builder or official REDMC)
    • + $20 to have users submit a picture of themselves which developers could upload to servers as an 'official' player that users could then download for use
  3. potentially $160 per user for two years
Most importantly i'm certain there are incredibly hectic time periods due to all the deadlines associated with a yearly release. Given the additional 12 months afforded by a biennial release schedule, developers would have more time to devote the aforementioned additions which could be implemented --relatively--bug and glitch free and still generate more revenue in a two-year cycle (not including DLC).
 
# 13 return.specialist @ 08/30/13 05:25 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by CM Hooe
I vote for a subscription model featuring regular and frequent updates to all aspects of the game, be it rosters, modes, and gameplay.

Games-as-a-service can be done well if done right.
I also agree with this, however, I'm inclined to feel that this model has the potential to foster a market place which provides an unfair advantage to developers, in terms of cost in combination with access to features for the end users. But hey, that is capitalism.
 
# 14 Tyrant8RDFL @ 08/30/13 05:46 PM
Im with the every other year vote.

There just isn't that much of a difference from year to year releases. I would like to feel a nice change with the game, and with a every other year release I can feel some kind of a change.

I just don't see this happening simply because the company will lose money. Unless there is a way for them to collect some profit I can't see this happening.

I see a subscription service being more of a option for the company. They make a game, and then charge like $7.99 a month for updates and improvements to the game. This would be a guarantee of $95.88 from each customer per year. You add this to the millions that buy the game, and they racked up in the money. Plus saving cost on production and other areas. I can see this being a option to us versus every other year.

I'm cool with either. I'm tired of the every year release.
 
# 15 Aranor @ 08/30/13 06:25 PM
My vote is other: anything not made by EA sports. 99% of their games are terrible.
 
# 16 DJT @ 08/30/13 09:29 PM
I was thinking a subscription type service that you can opt out of/or in to at any time. So you buy a subscription and you will get downloads to update your game with new rosters (rookies), free agency, teams moving, gameplay updates...etc.
 
# 17 8mileroad @ 08/31/13 12:55 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by return.specialist
I'm in favor of a biennial format--with roster, jersey, shoe, logo, etc. updates yearly. As one poster stated above, i'd even accept paying $10 for the updates.

I imagine this would allow developers more time to test skeletal forms of the game, and receive feedback from users.

However, the current business model is quite lucrative: users paying for a new installment each year. Although, were a biennial model implemented, these potential losses could be counteracted by a number of additional features (a format which may or may not have the potential to be abused by developers):

  1. $120 every two years in the current release schedule
  2. drops to $60 every two years with biennial releases
    • + $10 for the off-year content updates (potentially mandated by leagues to ensure the league is properly represented)
    • + $20 for an additional package of 'legend' or 'classic' rosters
    • + $20 for additional game modes
    • + $10 allows users the ability to transfer their team or individual player from one release to the next
    • + $20 for advanced editing capabilities (e.g. more exhaustive Team Builder or official REDMC)
    • + $20 to have users submit a picture of themselves which developers could upload to servers as an 'official' player that users could then download for use
  3. potentially $160 per user for two years
Most importantly i'm certain there are incredibly hectic time periods due to all the deadlines associated with a yearly release. Given the additional 12 months afforded by a biennial release schedule, developers would have more time to devote the aforementioned additions which could be implemented --relatively--bug and glitch free and still generate more revenue in a two-year cycle (not including DLC).
Although I agree that it would be best for us, the consumers, for a biennial release, I completely disagree that EA stands to gain anything from it. Unfortunately, the current model is extremely lucrative as you've pointed out. EA puts in a relatively minimal amount of work (they can't really make huge changes) and gets paid $60 per year for it. If EA followed the model you've proposed, not only would the community go nuts complaining that we have to pay for all of this stuff now, but it would raise the expectations for EA's products. Also, I doubt that stuff would sell nearly enough to make up for the loss in revenue.

Basically, changing to a biennial model would mean EA would make less money and have to make a better product. Sports gaming is a business, and EA has it pretty perfectly right now. No reason for them to change, as unfortunate as that is for us.

The ONLY thing I can think of that could swing revenue in their favor is if they did something like another user suggested: Madden 15/NHL 15 and NCAA 16/FIFA 16. Users would be MUCH more likely to buy an EA Sports game they don't usually buy in the in between years (especially when you consider that the products are much BETTER since EA has two years to work on them...) while at the same time buying the roster update for the other game. So for instance, if Johnny can only really afford to get NCAA and Madden every year, this would open him up to buying Madden and NHL one year, and NCAA and FIFA the other. So far, EA breaks even. Then you add in the +$20 per year for roster updates, and EA gains money. To find out if this would actually help them or not, it would take some serious number crunching/surveys.

But at the same time, don't get your hopes up. This is EA we're talking about.
 
# 18 wheresmemoney @ 08/31/13 07:59 AM
I voted every 2 years. Even better if spaced 3 years apart.

Sports arnt changing. (cept the NFL )

Graphics are reaching the point of being maxed out.

If lets say the next Madden/PES/NBA/The show was universally excepted by real sports gamers and not overpaid bribed reviewers as the best game of all time, a company would be foolish to redo it and risk breaking a masterpiece.

This would give developers time and less headache to focus on the little things we see on sunday/tuesday/saturday to get our collected WHOAS! ex, adding real commercials... DO I SMELL REVENUE! EA would love this idea if they read this. REAL LIFE ADVERTISING! Either streamed by a connected system or added by update. And perhaps give gamers rewards for making it through those real life ads like madden cards, NBA2k virtual coins, discounts on DLC.

This extra time gained by not fooling with this white whale of a g.o.a.t engine can also be put into making sports game more atmospheric(crowd/field noise, commentary), something all sports games maybe not PES suffer from. And also online play, every sports gamer can agree this is something that needs to be overhauled. AND JESUS HIRE SOME BETTER A.I PROGRAMERS!!! HIRE COACHES!!!! MAKE GAMES THINK!

This alone can make sports games refreshing/long lasting.

Picture your console taking in to consideration every decision you made during your last session of Madden and while your off to school/work/girlfriend/sleep its analyzing that data and thinking of new ways to beat you. It plays that session a million time in its a.i mind. Its seethes at the fact a mere mortal like yourself can be thought of as an equal.Next time you boot up it knows your strengths, it knows your vulnerabilities, it disregards your cheeze cause its got something for that. "Stick skills" take a back seat nextgen, intelligence and strategy is king.

Yeah i know you "causal gamers" will complain but Nintendo will still be in the console market to cater to your lack of AUTHENTIC sports gaming "casual" needs.

My third point, look at a game called NASCAR racing 2003 aka NR2003.

Perhaps the greatest NASCAR game in some circles and is still being ascetically/"little things" upgraded but the core not being touched because its simply a great game.

Little thoughtful sports gamer influenced additions in a spans of 3 years can accumulate into a wonderful experience for not only gamers but stockholders and board members as gaming companies nowadays cater to the later, than a shake of the dice yearly and risk losing supporters.

No matter what those overpaid bribed reviewers think or say.
 
# 19 xCeeTee @ 08/31/13 08:12 AM
Yeah, every other year. I said for MLB 2K13 they needn't have bothered, they may as well just done roster and tuner updates for 2K12, and added in an extra game mode which would be available via DLC for like $5. Seeing as I'm a fan of so many sports I have to buy 9 different sports games per year, why doesn't EA make a bundle? Like if you buy their season pass extra then you get: Tiger Woods, NCAA Football (Won't be available after this year,) NHL, FIFA, Madden and NBA Live. I think that system would be so much better!
 
# 20 T5063 @ 08/31/13 09:22 AM
How about yearly releases that actually improve on the previous year's game instead of starting from scratch. This would allow bugs and problems to be solved without creating new ones.
 

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