Sports Games

I have loved sports my entire life. I have played sports since I was child and even till this day, watching sports is one of my favorite ways to relax. Therefore, I was extremely attracted to the arcade games that ESPN.com was sponsoring as an attempt to gain more publicity for its site. I have never been more disappointed in a video game in my entire life. As my prompt, I claim that ESPN absolutely fails as video game producer. As a multiple billion dollar corporation with a monopoly on the sports world, the games that I got to play seemed like a sad product of what ESPN was capable of producing. The graphics were horrid. It seemed like the playstation games from the early 2000’s were more sophisticated, while the controls made no sense at all. There were many times that I clicked the left button and my player would then continue to go right. The speed button wouldn’t work at random times, and although i did very well in the scoring, I must say that a corporation with status of ESPN should hold itself to higher standards. Although many will say that it is just a site arcade game with no real effort probably put into the game, I have other examples of games that cause ESPN to be known as a failure in the gaming world. The NBA 2k series as well as the NFL 2k series were among the biggest busts in video game franchise history. Having played the NFL 2k series, the game was primitive compared to the ultra popular NFL Madden game by EA sports. Although I am biased toward the Madden games because it is my favorite video game, anyone with any taste in sports gaming will agree that the ESPN games simply weren’t up to par with EA sports, which has become a multi-billion dollar corporation in it’s own right. NFL 2k was slow, the game wasn’t realistic, and often a player got bored playing the game. The only benefit that the NFL 2K series had in comparison to the madden series was that the graphics were far superior. However the NFL 2K series failed to create any buzz and disbanded after 8 years. Now, Madden has become a cultural phenomenon where we get to vote on the cover athlete, there is a curse of the madden cover (which for all you madden lovers out there, I do believe in) , and the madden cover athlete appears on Letterman and George Lopez TV shows. EA sports also beat out the NBA 2K series for over a decade with it’s NBA LIVE franchise. ESPN has seemingly made a increased effort, combined with the demise of the NBA LIVE brand, leaving NBA 2K as the only viable basketball game in the market, which can’t really be counted as a success. As much as people despise ESPN, there is no doubt in anybody’s mind that they can do better than the picture below, which obviously shows some very poor gaming, graphics, and even the poor controlling is visible in the game.

returnman2.jpgESPN at it’s finest?

http://espn.go.com/free-online-games/- to play the game, or take your pick in whatever game you would like  to play.

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2 comments
  1. prutting834 said:

    I have to completely disagree with the original poster in his claim that ESPN “absolutely fails as a video game producer.” For starters, he was playing a FREE arcade game that sounds much more sophisticated then other free arcade games on the internet. Not to mention, it was a sports game. Sports games are meant to be played as full games (ones you buy) on consoles or computers that allow the graphics to prosper and incorporate a manageable control system. Basing your opinion on the game you played is unfair.

    Furthermore, he brings up the failure of the 2k sports series. First of all, 2k Sports is there own company altogether and just so happen to have an affiliation with ESPN. ESPN did not design the games, 2k Sports did. Next, I know for a fact that 2k Sports NFL games were just as popular (if not more so) than Madden games. At the times when they were competing, the 2k NFL game had better graphics, presentation, and gameplay. The ONLY reason 2k Sports no longer makes NFL games is because EA signed an exclusive agreement, for an absurd amount of money, to be the only producer of NFL games. Lastly, in regards to their NBA games, EA no longer even makes NBA Live because it was so terrible in comparison to the 2k Sports NBA game. EA shut down their NBA products because of their dwindling sales. 2k Sports now controls the NBA game genre.

    I strongly encourage you to try the ESPN’s College Town, a game on Facebook. It his highly addicting and allows you to build your own university, in a similar style to Sim City. Of course, it also puts an emphasis on college athletics. With all that said, I believe you have done a poor job of providing examples for ESPN’s failure as a game designer. In my opinion, it appears you just have a bias against ESPN.

  2. crhyde said:

    I think the problem is something that you already recognized in your post. ESPN made these games to “get more publicity for their site.” Their primary concern wasn’t the mechanics of the game or creating a realistic representation of sports on your computer, it was just to get you to visit the game at all. And obviously it worked. It got you and now come of us to go to espn and play their game which they probably invested minimum time and money into. Will you still visit espn for articles and news on sports? Absolutely. That is all they care about, people spending more time on espn.com then on other places. Look at games that are incredibly successful like the FIFA games. It took years and millions of dollars to create such a captivating experience. But they only succeeded because it was their goal to make a great game that millions would pay for.

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