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In a recent non-scientific poll we conducted here on Operation Sports on the frontpage, more than 57% of Operation Sports readers who participated say they think the sports game release calendar is too condensed and needs to be spread out.

On the other side of the debate, 32% of OS'ers did not see a problem with the release schedule.

OS User DJ summed up the problem many sports game fans face in the replies to the post:

Quote:
"The condensed release schedule is something I'm not a fan of. Speaking just from a personal standpoint, it's hard for me to justify spending money on a new football, hockey, basketball and possible wrestling game within a 60-day window.

Along with the finances, there's also the issue of having enough time to actually play these games. It's difficult to find time to play one of these titles, let alone 3-4, which is unfortunate if you're a fan of the sports and games that are being released annually."

From a personal standpoint, this rings especially true. Granted, as the editor at Operation Sports I get early access to some games and get most of mine reimbursed -- but even doing that I run into a time crunch. To give games adequate time, I'm having to self-impose a more spaced out release schedule just so I can enjoy the games individually a bit more.

This year, our 'prime time' release season started with Madden on August 23. By the time WWE 2K17 dropped on October 11 -- we had had every major sports game release in that small window sans MLB The Show.

Contrast that schedule to the one where we used to have sports game releases start in June with a Golf or UFC title and go all the way into Mid-October with a WWE release.

It would seem an obvious move to possibly shift NBA 2K back into October closer to the tip-off of the NBA season and perhaps move FIFA up to the summer, before most club teams kick off their seasons worldwide. At that point, NHL would have room to breathe and so would the NBA franchise.

In reality, the WWE 2K franchise would probably do fine releasing on Black Friday or something like that -- as the WWE's prime time in their schedule is January - April in the lead up to Wrestlemania. But I'm just looking for ways to spread out the releases at this point from a consumer point of view.

So what do you think? How would you move the releases around to better serve customers? Sound off in the comments!

Member Comments
# 1 Sparkles @ 12/06/16 09:15 AM
I think the biggest thing for me is cost. Spending 60 bucks a year on multiple titles just to get a roster update and some changes that justify a fraction of the cost. I think once frostbite kicks in, and all games are graphically up to date, we'll start to see 2-year cycles imo. I just think the problem with 2-year cycles is that YOU KNOW EA will make you try and buy >$50 DLC for some stupid thing. Hopefully it won't be a necessity but we'll see
 
# 2 Sparkles @ 12/06/16 09:17 AM
In addition: I COMPLETELY agree with Fifa's release date. Its too late into the Premier League season to be released (practically the 3rd week of the season). But I don't think we'll see a change in that anytime soon
 
# 3 jcas007 @ 12/06/16 10:35 AM
This year 2k moved up both nba and wwe games ,and ea sports releases fifa and nhl within 2 weeKS and there both there titles which only makes deciding which 1 to buy tough choice cause most ppl can't afford both so soon together
 
# 4 Moose Factory @ 12/06/16 11:43 AM
I miss the days of playing NCAA football in July... 😢
 
# 5 Richardcg @ 12/06/16 12:00 PM
I agree. Have this problem almost every year. I play mostly sports titles. Madden, NBA2K, NHL etc. I have responsibilities as we do. So I have to decide which game in want to get because they are released so close together. If they were released a lil but father apart it would be a little bit easier.

Also, another problem is I can't finish any of them by the time the next one is released. I don't like siming games and I hate playing on such short minutes. Only one I actually can finish an season on is Madden.

Another thing is having to start over every year. I think every sports game should have Yr to Yr saves like MLB The Show.
 
# 6 pjburrage @ 12/06/16 01:15 PM
The way the seasons all start in the same window doesn't help. Could FIFA move to early August, possibly, but I suspect the research probably shows that early August is not necessarily a good time for their market. You also have the aspect that the Transfer Window closes end of August which admittedly could be covered by a update, but kids will want to play as there clubs new signing straight away.

The other factor moving with moving FIFA up in the schedule is that every other year you'll have it overlapping the Summer tournaments.

However I suspect the biggest issue is that all games companies really only have 100 days to sell their games in the run up to Christmas, and this is not unique to sports games - see this years shooters release schedule.
 
# 7 DblocW @ 12/06/16 02:22 PM
Same here. Tough...right now wrestling sorta fell out my rotation. While im running a 2K lg, And playing in 2 madden lgs...plus playing other things and a family etc....sheesh...but this falls in general..4th qtr of almost every emyear EVERYONE dropping something
 
# 8 veguss2001 @ 12/06/16 03:42 PM
I played Madden exclusively for a month, then switched to 2k. That's the only sports game I generally have time for. I wanted PES but didn't think I'd be able to invest time in it. Skipped WWE this year so yeah. Every now again I'll play UFC 2. 2K is the only sports game I have something steady going on. I do miss NCAA in July. That was time when I could pour hours into a Franchise.
 
# 9 Retropyro @ 12/06/16 06:13 PM
I would imagine 2K could move WWE to around Royal Rumble - WrestleMania time, that would probably give it a sales push with WWE being on more casual fans mind at that time.

Changing Madden, NHL, FIFA and NBA would be difficult. Maybe FIFA to July, but that creates some roster issues with the transfer window in August.
 
# 10 poulka @ 12/06/16 07:35 PM
I agree with comments it would be hard to change most games release times. While cost is huge for me, my real big issue is gaming time. Being much older now I just don't have the time to really get my value out of most of the sports games. I have really been looking at that issue I have come to the conclusion I am playing more variety of games than when was younger. For instance FIFA is a title that I have just started playing in the last six years. Plus a wide variety of different racing titles. For instance I now play F1 and Forza series games that I didn't have like fifteen years ago.
 
# 11 statum71 @ 12/06/16 11:50 PM
I'd like to see FIFA come out in late July.
 
# 12 AccordingtoJane @ 12/09/16 11:23 AM
It is pretty hard to play every title. Maybe if they made the releases more meaningful instead of milking every game every year.
 
# 13 Jm0ney2001 @ 12/09/16 12:01 PM
The reason they are all released in sep-oct is bc the season of each sport and the holiday season. Everyone wants their game to be on someone's holiday wishlist. No one is asking for a game that came out in July.
 
# 14 BizDevConglomerate @ 12/09/16 08:59 PM
Major sports titles need to be be released on a bi-annual schedule. With all of the DLC, and patches currently implemented, there's no need to release a disk every year. Plus they are already talking a non disk future. Release the DLC version, and save money on hard copies, expand the versatility of gaming instead of living down the options of where we can play what we purchase. Change the activation CONSOLE SETTINGS, SO WE CAN PLAY OUR DOWNLOADED GAMES WITHOUT BEING ON LINE. This is a big issue if you have had to purchase numerous systems and forgot to deactivate your initial system. They halt you from playing the game on YOUR console that you purchased. Friggin ridiculous.
 
# 15 sheredia @ 12/11/16 09:00 PM
doubt many would complain about a release every other year for sports games.....i mean, unless they are adding something significant, there is no need to release a new one every year. it would save money and resources. just update rosters, courts and uniforms for the off year (for a small price). it will give us sports gamers something to look forward to and we can get a game that isn't rushed and is fine tuned. we can save money and developers can release better games. sounds like a win-win to me.
 
# 16 Sportsworth @ 12/19/16 09:51 AM
I could care less about the release dates because I never buy a sports title on the first day it comes out. I spread out my sports gaming playing time so by the time the new one comes out I'm still on the previous one. Not to mention by the time I'm ready to upgrade to the next game, its already 10-15 bucks cheaper at gamestop and I can find a used or discounted copy.
 

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