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

The first sports video game I fell in love with was Bulls vs Lakers and the NBA Playoffs on the Sega Genesis. As a die-hard Bulls fan at the time — a rarity for a young child born and raised in Detroit during the Bad Boys era, but alas — I remember always picking the Bulls for, who else, but Michael Jordan. I still remember my signature move of dribbling the ball up the court, turning towards the bottom of the screen near the three-point line before cutting towards the free-throw line for either an open jumper or an open lane to drive to the hoop. I was obsessed with the game, and it’s where my love for the game of basketball, along with basketball video games, really started to blossom.

That game is where it all started for me, and even as far as back then, I can remember thinking that as fun as the game is, it’s lacking far too many things to be a complete game. Forget not having a franchise mode — you could only play with one of the 16 playoff teams. NBA Live 95 brought the next leap forward. Who doesn’t remember all the warm and fuzzies from the new ¾ court camera? But what really felt revolutionary to me was the season mode. Instead of being limited to exhibition or playoffs, we now had the ability to play through an entire season, with stat tracking and everything. This was a game changer going forward.

And Season Mode Wasn’t Enough…

The next logical step was to add a franchise mode, and that came with NBA Live 98. There was no turning back after this. This presented a unique challenge to sports video game developers specifically: how do we make improvements to the gameplay itself while also focusing on the franchise mode which, if you think about it, is sort of like a game within the game.

Now that we had our first taste, we wanted more. More seasons. More trade options. More stat tracking. The list goes on and on. And we got it all. Multiple seasons. Three-team trades, along with a trade finder tool. Detailed stat tracking, including advanced stats. And then some. We’ve come a long way from NBA Live 98 to today. In fact, if you could travel back in time to 1998 and show someone all of the options in NBA 2K18’s franchise and GM modes, they wouldn’t know what to do with themselves.

(If you showed them NBA Live 18’s franchise mode, they wouldn’t even bat an eye. But that’s another topic for another day.)

Franchise modes were no longer seen as revolutionary inclusions. They became as expected and standard as exhibition games. What was seen as revolutionary, however, was Madden 11’s Ultimate Team mode: a card-collecting game mode where you could build different lineups to create dream match-ups. The premise was simple, but the execution has been remarkable, where we fast forward to today and Ultimate Team modes have reduced franchise modes to almost an afterthought in some respects. Some gamers refuse to play these modes due to prevalence of microtransactions. Despite this, these game modes have been a universal success for game developers.

Is Franchise Mode Dying?

How did we get here? Is this a result of consumers losing interest in franchise modes? As with most things in life, you’ll find the answer if you follow the money. Both EA Sports and the 2K team each rake in hundreds of millions of dollars each year in microtransaction revenue, with a large chunk of that money coming from Ultimate Team modes. Consumers are using their wallets to show how much they enjoy these modes, so it’s only logical that they receive the bulk of attention, which leads to other areas of the game — including franchise mode — feeling a bit stagnant in comparison.

Take NBA 2K18 for example. This year’s MyTeam mode is more robust than ever. Then there’s the MyPlayer career mode, with a heavy focus on Pro Am and the Road to 99. Both of these modes require a significant amount of microtransactions in order to fully enjoy all of the features. There is also the MyGM mode, which is sort of like MyPlayer, but for the front office. Microtransactions play a part here as well, but not as significantly as the other two modes.

The Money Is Good (With Card Modes)

Regardless, the most popular game modes in arguably the most popular sports video game are heavily influenced by microtransactions. Based on this, it’s fair to wonder what the future holds for franchise modes in sports video games. To be clear, I don’t think developers are going to stop tinkering with franchise modes because they tend to be free of microtransactions. But as much as we look to these games for entertainment purposes, they are part of a business model at the end of the day. And it only makes sense to focus as many team resources as possible on areas of the game that generate a significant amount of revenue for the company.

We can assume these Ultimate Team modes will continue to improve and evolve, but what about franchise modes? Five years from now, will they look largely the same as they do today, intact with a few tweaks? Or will they undergo a significant overhaul? Again, using NBA 2K18 as an example, MyLeague had another solid year of changes and additions, but it’s starting to feel stale.

It’s worth pointing out that 2K has not ignored MyLeague at the expense of MyPlayer or MyTeam as they have made some significant additions in recent years. But it’s starting to feel like a fresh coat of paint each year as opposed to any major renovations.

We Can Still Do So Much More

As good and complete as MyLeague feels, there’s always room for improvement. I’ve made this comparison many times before, but I would love for the 2K team (or any team, really) to use OOTP as a guide for where to take franchise modes in the future. The goal should be a mode that can truly stand on its own, almost as if it’s a separate game. Whatever you feel about the current state of franchise modes in sports video games, everyone has some idea of the features they would like to see added. The question is how much time developers are going to dedicate to making these improvements. There are so many more avenues for developers to pursue within these modes.

As long as microtransaction revenue continues to rise, so will the focus on Ultimate Team modes. That being said, I would expect franchise modes to remain a part of sports video games for the foreseeable future. Even if they aren’t as popular as they used to be, removing them would cause backlash that could be easily avoided. What I think is far more likely is that the time developers spend on franchise modes will trend downward each year. They aren’t history, but they clearly aren’t the future either. For the consumer’s sake, let’s hope developers can find the appropriate middle ground.

What about you? Do you still play franchise modes? Have you shifted completely to Ultimate Team modes? Or do you find yourself playing both? Let us know what you think about the future of franchise modes in the comments below.

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  1. I will preface this with the acknowledgment that I am old and out of touch.
    While the popularity of UT is undeniable (my teenage son is certainly part of that community), I still don't get the appeal. Sure, maybe as a mini-game add on, but not the bread and butter of the franchise?
    I date back to Atari (and Mattel electronics before that), so I had to wait a while to actually get real teams & players. But for me, that was the appeal...to be able to play with and against real teams. I just don't get the long lasting appeal to UT???
    If the NHL series is any indication, they'll slowly be put on the back burner and given pretty modest updates over years instead of with each release.
    The NHL series has become incredibly stale in the GM mode, and is the primary reason I stopped playing and buying the series. EA clearly doesn't care much outside of their online play, so why should I sink my money into something they're not worried about? 
    I think the popularity is overblown and overstated. 
    If more effort was put in franchise modes they would be played more. Truth is most series have given up making massive improvements to franchise mode and have convinced people that paying for UT modes is the way to go.
    its  Emperors new clothes - people believe everyone loves this modes and they don’t....
    but they are the modes companies are pushing And advancing ....
    its a shame as the modes are shallow and a good dynamic franchise mode would be far More rewarding  
    My interests in sports gaming would die if franchise modes became even more stripped down and less engaging. However, today's youth love the thrill of connecting online and facing human opponents (some were born into Ultimate Team as a norm). I see this in my son -- although not for sports, but for games like Battlefield and Battlefront. If it's where the money is, then EA has to keep share holders happy. That's why they're in business. So, do I think Franchise Mode is an endangered species? Not altogether... but it will be VERY VERY interesting to see what EA does with NBA Live later this year. That will tell the tale - and it will be the deciding factor if I pump any more cash into basketball gaming. I'm just old school and gotta have an engaging franchise mode to stay happy.
    actionhank
    If the NHL series is any indication, they'll slowly be put on the back burner and given pretty modest updates over years instead of with each release.
    The NHL series has become incredibly stale in the GM mode, and is the primary reason I stopped playing and buying the series. EA clearly doesn't care much outside of their online play, so why should I sink my money into something they're not worried about?*

    I agree Hank. NHL used to be a yearly buy for me. No question. I have not picked a version up in 3 years due to the lack of Franchise development.
    I do not think that Franchise modes will die, because I think that UT types modes will fall out of favor at some point. There is always a pivot. They already get little, no no, attention as it is. To be frank, they would lose way too many yearly sales if they do away with Franchise modes.
    I can enjoy playing UT, and even spend money on it. If the Franchise mode were to disappear, I would no no longer buy the games every year. Madden is already a no buy for me next year, because of the lack of improvements In Franchise. (See my NHL comment above). The only reason I played Madden was because it was gifted to me.
    At some point, the devs will realize that they neglected their bread and butter customers. The true question is, will it be too late for them when they realize it?
    To add, will sites like OS continue to be around if this happens? Love this place. Some days more than others. Check out the card collecting forums here. Crickets.
    I'm not a fan of card collecting modes at all. I want the most realistic experience possible. If franchise modes start to suck or go away I'll no longer play sports games. If you ever watch 2KTV on NBA 2K, they pretty much never talk about mygm/myleague.
    I've said it before and I'll say it again; I hope these modes continue to be successful. I hope The Show, 2K and Madden continue to see revenue increases. The market has changed and they have to adapt. That being said, with a successful product just don't forget about the other segments of your gamers. Whether you hit franchise hard over a cycle or two, or more incrementally over a longer stretch, give us what we want too. With 2K, I'm at the point where I don't have any major franchise wants. Tuning is honestly what's needed now. I hope the online franchise heads get the full offline offering. The actual gameplay and graphic changes shine through more now as I dive deeper into the game. We're not going to be able to bottle the MUT/MyTeam genie. It's here. Just don't leave the old timers behind in the process.
    dynastymgrguy
    My interests in sports gaming would die if franchise modes became even more stripped down and less engaging. However, today's youth love the thrill of connecting online and facing human opponents (some were born into Ultimate Team as a norm). I see this in my son -- although not for sports, but for games like Battlefield and Battlefront. If it's where the money is, then EA has to keep share holders happy. That's why they're in business. So, do I think Franchise Mode is an endangered species? Not altogether... but it will be VERY VERY interesting to see what EA does with NBA Live later this year. That will tell the tale - and it will be the deciding factor if I pump any more cash into basketball gaming. I'm just old school and gotta have an engaging franchise mode to stay happy.

    I saw the same thing with my son. I got him Ghost Recon Wildlands and watched him grin from ear to ear as it installed. Then, jumped strait online with his friends. I played some of the campaign, but I don't think he has ever touched it. Now they're on to PUBG. It's just where the gamers are now. It's an online social thing now.
    I can't get into the ultimate team modes if they force me to play other people. I just get so frustrated with the "bought teams" and the cheating and glitching. I have always preferred to play solo in franchise mode, and watch a movie in the background or a sporting event. For the past two years I bought NHL but was very disappointed and traded it in very early. Currently, all I play is the Show. But even that needs a lot added to the franchise mode this year. I really hope that they come through with some solid additions. I enjoyed the Diamond Dynasty mode more than I ever have with the solo challenges/missions.
    The solo challenges in Ultimate team for NHL made me buy the game again but they were sorely lacking and the franchise mode is so stale for some reason. I feel that that game plays like/caters to "video game" hockey and not real strategic hockey. I would love to be involved in a robust online franchise mode that does not have severe lag in the NHL series or MLB series. That would be the only way I would be willing to play online with friends again. 
    I do realize that now maybe more than 50% of NBA 2K gamers here in China are playing MT mode, and some of them are investing heavily on it. I know a few friends who spent more than 1000 USD  on each 2K title buying card packs. 
    but me, as a 2K gamer since 2K1, I never got into these modes. I just want to play using my favorite LAKERS, going through a season just like the team does in real life. 
    My favorite mode is actually NBA LIVE 10's dynamic season, where all the stats and rosters get updated each and everyday according to the real NBA season, that made me felt like I was participating the real NBA season. And you can rewind to play some games to change the outcome or re-experience the day. I've always hoped that one day this mode shall return to NBA LIVE or come to NBA 2K, but obviously for many gamers and developers,  it's not important. I understand. 
    So please.. Season mode and Franchise mode, don't die.....
    Or I'll just have to go to quick game. 
    Of course UT type modes "seem" more popular because for the most part they are played online. Most gamers that play franchise or league modes play them offline.
    I personally buy all my sports games to play offline franchise/season or tournament leagues in FIFA.
    Don't get rid of franchise mode.
    I'm glad to see this article here. It gives me at least a small glimmer of hope that someone else feels the same as me on this. A couple of years ago, I began playing FIFA 16 with updated squads even though 17 had already come out. In fact, I ended up playing a whole year with several teams I like while everyone else got on the 17 bandwagon. I just didn't see a purpose.  Then I didn't buy The Show 17 because I was still finishing 16. And when I finished 16, I was able to update MVP2005 to run current rosters and teams. Then I started exploring all the other sports games that have amazing communities keeping the rosters updated. And not just updated, but also with download after download of classic seasons. Now it's two years later,  and the ONLY game I play that is a current release is FIFA 18. For NFL, baseball, hockey, and NCAA basketball I play old games. The newest one in all this is NHL Legacy, again, fully updated (I replace Arizona with Vegas).
    The bottom line is this, older games played fine unless you have some obsessive need for cutting edge graphics. Give me lesser graphics for better physics any day of the week. But the true test the old games pass that every new game has complicated to the point of overproduced ridiculousness is season/franchise mode. When they even have one that's worth playing. The older games just said, "here's a schedule, here's your team, pick what you want to manage, play all the games, we'll keep all your stats and give you a playoff". Done. What more do you need? Well apparently people need that fantasy element and the card collecting and yadda, yadda.  I simply do not get it. I have no interest in it. And the XP and the points, and... just exhausting. I wanna play the game because I love the sport. I don't want an RPG. I'll stick to my MVP2005 and MLB2K12, Madden 08, FIFA 14 and 16, NCAA10, NHL Legacy and 2K10,  all updated and given classic team historical mods.
    I haven't put in serious time into a console sports game in a couple of years now (despite buying the latest madden and MLB the Show and NBA 2K17 - i've skipped 2K18). The reason is that I find FAR more enjoyment out of two other games: OOTP, Draft Day Sports College Basketball and Football Manager (soccer).
    In addition, the last great NFL game I played was NFL Head Coach 09.
    I know what type of gamer I am, and it's the type that loves coach mode and franchise. As both those options seem to find themselves less and less part of the big name console sports games every year, I'll continue to give my hard earned money to the sports management sim developers, who continue to fly the flag of true franchise gamers.
    And this is why I firmly believe sports gaming is in the dark days.  As with many of the above posters, I have no interest in card collecting games (or online gaming).  The state of sports games being stale (largely due to stagnant franchise features) has made my purchasing of games no longer an annual event.  Heck, even going every other year has been a waste of money.  Sadly, it does appear the end of gaming (for me) is near.  Though I prefer some arcade aspect to my games, I may have to switch entirely to text sims, since those are the only games that seem to care about franchise features.
    GlennN
    And this is why I firmly believe sports gaming is in the dark days.*

    Agreed. For me, the pinnacle was the 2003-2005 time frame. Online hadn't blown up yet, and more importantly it was before exclusive licenses. So many choices. The good ole days.
    Franchise Modes are pretty much all I play in Sports games. If they go, then I will too. I love creating teams, prospects, developing them and building a team up. And you can change it all by trading players for you guys or whatever if you get tired of your team.
    I do not get the appeal of Hut and MyPlayer. I have tried them out a little, but it was more of a play a little until I start my Franchise, doing the Domination mode in NBA 2K. I don't really enjoy playing online, especially since most people will just try to find a play or cheap way to do things that there is no way to stop. Also, they get boring after your player gets high or until you get a team of players like: Durant, Wall, Porzingis, etc...
    And then there is the money. I don't get why people would buy a game, then waste a bunch more so it is more playable. I feel spending $60 on a game is plenty and with other games don't want to throw more money at something. If it's not good without the money, it doesn't seem like it'd be worth getting to me.
    I despise Ultimate Team modes. If I want to build a dream team, I'll edit a roster. Heavily customizable franchise modes are the best sports gaming experiences for me. No micro transaction garbage, play at your own pace, with your own rules, and contemplate every what-if scenario that you can think of.
    I understand that the younger generations in general couldn't care less about an in depth single player experience, and that the collectible card games are where the money generation is at, but for me, they're less than worthless to my gaming experience, unless they're funding more legends on the roster(that I can use in my modes), more work on the franchise mode, and more work on perfecting gameplay.
    Without a deep Franchise Mode, I would have no reason to play sports games anymore. I don’t play online at all. Although I think $60 every year is a lot already, the extra revenue available online will eventually phase out franchise modes. Unless they make us spend money in the Mode. What’s it going to eventually cost to play a game and use all its features? Hundreds?
    Without a Franchise mode I wouldn't buy sports games. MyTeam modes don't interest me in the slightest. I've dabbled with them to try them but they're a waste of time in my opinion. The only modes I play when it comes to sports games are Franchise modes. I guess according to this article i'm in the minority but then I read the comments and everyone seems to share my sentiments. 
    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.
    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.
    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.
    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.
    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.
    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.
    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 doesn’t make it essential. Look at the reaction to NBA Jam.
    The real issue, as I’ve 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. I’d create rosters and lineups, comparing their stats and/or ratings.
    Sure, I played a ton of straight up games. But I’d 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 doesn’t 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.
    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    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.
    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.
    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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