There aren’t many fans of sports games more hardcore than those who visit Operation Sports.
To us, the desire for more realistic sports-simulation experiences to be created by developers is extremely high. We want nothing more than great, balanced and realistic simulations of sports.
To that end, we believe the absolute best way to achieve those experiences as a community is to take an active and positive role in sports game development, not a confrontational one.
We do not, in any way, condone trashing developers, cursing at them or assuming the worst about what they are trying to accomplish in creating great games. Over the years, partnering with developers and producers to collaborate on the issues facing sports games and giving realistic suggestions as to how to correct issues has led to real progress.
Offering constructive and creative feedback is, and will always be, the absolute best way to see better games released year after year. In our short video series talking to the guys at 2K Sports, the consensus opinion was that people working on games take notice and listen most to those who offer consistent, high-quality feedback on games. Last weekend at EA Play the developers of Madden, NBA Live, FIFA, Need For Speed, Battlefield, Battlefront and the entire EA mobile lineup brought in 300-plus of their Game Changers to provide first-hand feedback on their entire game lineup.
It’s no coincidence that the community members who end up working on games are typically those who consistently worked to improve the experience for other gamers versus those who spent their time tearing down the merits of a developer’s passion or talent.
The culture we live in today certainly seems to lead to results via negativity in some respects, but we have yet to see that when it comes to sports games. Some of the best features in sports games today were the result of the community offering constructive feedback on sports games.
Today we’re calling out the community in a bold way, to challenge everyone to step your game up and offer solutions and not complaints. We want better sports games, and so do you.
Past results speak for themselves, and we think everyone should follow a simple template when addressing a concern about a game they are playing:
First, document your problem with video.
It’s easier than ever to capture video with the PS4 Share and/or the Xbox One Game DVR features. Include context around the situation and (if possible) show the steps to re-create the issue. While normal text-based feedback is still valued, video is irrefutable proof of an issue.
Second, bring the problem to a developer with what you think a solution might be.
Complaining without a solution is simply complaining. If you see a problem, documenting it, explaining why it’s a problem, and what you think an ideal solution would be will end up with better results. It’s also important to do this respectfully and not assume anything.
Third, after presenting the problem, respectfully following up a time or two is fine. Hounding a developer is harassment and not constructive.
Following up a time or two with a developer is fine. If you daily ask a dev, sooner or later you are going to get frustrated and end up with a negative relationship. Your capital will be ruined, and your ability to affect change diminished. Devs do see everything, good or bad. If you need follow up, contact one of the community leaders of the game you are interested in. You will find most of them on Twitter or even here on the OS forums.
We believe that sports games can be made better. There are certainly issues where the community could easily partner with developers to identify problems and work out solutions.
We are committed to helping provide a place for this to take place. Know that developers read Operation Sports daily, and we want to help be a place where real solutions to sports game issues are created.
What we are asking of you is to join us. Please provide problems you see with documentation, please provide solutions you think might work. Always be respectful.
As a community we can all work together to provide a better experience within sports games. Leave the unnecessary negativity at the door, and let’s work with developers rather than against them in the future.