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Did PC sports games stop selling because they started sucking?

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July 30, 2008 6:19:11 AM

Or did they start sucking because they stopped selling?
July 30, 2008 8:40:59 AM

PC sports games always sucked I think
July 30, 2008 8:42:55 AM

Well there are only so many times you can change a teams stats before it becomes boring...

New content is needed or at least not so many releases.
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July 30, 2008 9:13:57 AM

Well, i really enjoyed it.

Winter Games.
Summer Games

Who doesn't remember "Skate or Die" or "Ski or Die".
I guess everybody is trying to make FPS, except Nintendo.

Honestly, i miss sports games and the destruction of keyboards and Joysticks that followed.
July 30, 2008 10:01:19 AM

Pro Evo soccer (Winning Eleeven is some countries) is good. And I also used to play Fifa (before I discovered Pro-Evo) and that was entertaining too.

I've heard that some of the PC golf games are good as well (Tiger Woods for example).

So they're not ALL bad.
July 30, 2008 10:05:25 AM

I don't know if they always sucked.

I had NHL 2001 or 2002. It was fun.

I also had one of the EA soccer games and Winning Eleven 7 that were cool to play.

And don't forget about the MS Links or Papyrus NASCAR series (among countless others).

But I was in Blockbuster today and they had all of these Madden 09 promotions; a previous thread mentioned it won't be available on PC (I don't know if that's true). It made me think about the reviews of PC sports games from the last few years - pretty harsh in general.

edit you must have posted the same minute I did llama man.

July 30, 2008 10:50:01 AM

They stopped selling when piracy, torrents in particular, became wide-spread and when console game design closed some of the gap with more complex PC gaming. Recent discussions from PC COD4 developers, based on minitoring of online play, showed their alarm at the sheer percentage of pirated PC versions of the games that were being used. The same is not observed with console versions. So, how does a company justify developing for PC (and its myriad of hardware options) to watch revenue disappear to piracy when it can churn out a console version (with no compatibility related issues) and watch the money roll in. Games in general have become poorer quality due to the derivative nature of the industry these days which is why it is imporant to actually buy the releases that go ahead and make the effort and the difference. IF a company produces dross then, personally, I don't mind if the game is copied but if a company has spent a lot to produce a game that universally acknowledged as great (such as COD4) then it galls me somewhat that many will rip that off. Same goes for movie - why buy a mediocre movie? but if it is one that you find truly amazing then show it buy actually buying it - that way movies & games studios may actually be tempted to put in the same effort again rather than just producing another generic game. The industry has overcharged for rubbish over the years but piracy has certainly done damage too. Neither side is innocent.
July 30, 2008 11:15:28 AM

pandabat said:
They stopped selling when piracy, torrents in particular, became wide-spread and when console game design closed some of the gap with more complex PC gaming. Recent discussions from PC COD4 developers, based on minitoring of online play, showed their alarm at the sheer percentage of pirated PC versions of the games that were being used. The same is not observed with console versions. So, how does a company justify developing for PC (and its myriad of hardware options) to watch revenue disappear to piracy when it can churn out a console version (with no compatibility related issues) and watch the money roll in. Games in general have become poorer quality due to the derivative nature of the industry these days which is why it is imporant to actually buy the releases that go ahead and make the effort and the difference. IF a company produces dross then, personally, I don't mind if the game is copied but if a company has spent a lot to produce a game that universally acknowledged as great (such as COD4) then it galls me somewhat that many will rip that off. Same goes for movie - why buy a mediocre movie? but if it is one that you find truly amazing then show it buy actually buying it - that way movies & games studios may actually be tempted to put in the same effort again rather than just producing another generic game. The industry has overcharged for rubbish over the years but piracy has certainly done damage too. Neither side is innocent.


If you really want to throw that stone, paragraphs are a good start. My left eye socket changed its shape during that reading.

Another good move is strolling your eyes here:

http://www.tomshardware.co.uk/forum/99992-25-pirates-re...

Welcome Pandabat.


July 30, 2008 11:25:14 AM

Thanks Radnor. Long time listener, first time caller - apologies, will break up things a bit more in future. :) 

No stone throwing really, just the world we live in but will try to get to read through the linked thread in between bits of my day job. Hope your left eye improves shortly! :) 
July 30, 2008 11:31:28 AM

pandabat said:
Thanks Radnor. Long time listener, first time caller - apologies, will break up things a bit more in future. :) 

No stone throwing really, just the world we live in but will try to get to read through the linked thread in between bits of my day job. Hope your left eye improves shortly! :) 


No prob mate. the stone i was referring was piracy, bad formatting, well, everybody does it when in a rush (I post a lot from work, so, it happens). Check the link because it is a "resumed" discussion about piracy. Both sides throwing arguments. The usual arguments.

Have fun !!
July 30, 2008 11:37:42 AM

I think about the only time I played sports games on the PC was sensible soccer, (yes that was a LONG time ago) It was the regular lunch time entertainment back when I worked for some gaming magazines so I got practise in at home... Awesome game in its day :D 

I think the console suits sports games better, simple controls, best played multiplayer in the same room. Ideally suited to a bunch of mates with control pads...

The PC could do it just as well, no reason you cant connect two ps2 control pads to a pc and play on one of the best control pads of all time, BUT consoles are low tech and easier to use, and so will reach more people.

As for stopping selling when piracy became wide spread :D  that was around 1982. How many Home computer owners back in the 80's had more pirated games than genuine copies :D  EVERYONE I knew had stacks of pirated games back then I would say it was MORE rampant back in the days of cassette tapes than it is now in the days of torrents... You need to at least some limited technical knowledge to find and use piracy tools, all you needed back then was a twin tape deck. Back then real copies were around £2.99-£4.99 from what I remember :D  Still people pirated left right and centre.

Keysoft wrote "the key" which was almost ubiquitous amongst spectrum owners of the day the first anti DRM software that I know off (before the term was coined) - tackling early DRM measures.
July 30, 2008 12:42:21 PM

Ahhh, double tape decks. That takes me back! As does Sensible Soccer.

I suppose another aspect to the PC gaming problem is the fact that specs keep moving onward and upward. Newer games often require very high spec that not everyone can afford (or be bothered) to upgrade to, thereby eliminating that market segment from potential sales and for those that might be running with crippled graphics/speed then the game may be said to "suck" more.
July 30, 2008 12:58:46 PM

Of course, consoles naturally provide a more friendly and accessible method to appeal to many sports games players. What better fun than to fit in a quick bout of FIFA/PES at the half time of a real-world match on tv without moving from the couch? Could be done with a PC, yes, but more awkward.

Still PC has had some good stuff. Indy500, Indycar Racing, Sensible World of Soccer, Colin McCrae Rally Series and so on but, with control via the keyboard being an issue for many years, joypads and, by extension, consoles just made everything so much easier.

Certainly most sports gaming that I do these days is on consoles but PC will, for me, always be king of FPS, RTS and other more niche genres.
July 30, 2008 1:09:33 PM

Management games are one sports genre that suits the pc down to the ground, and normally runs well enough even on integrated graphics.

Most of the guys I know who play sports games a lot play them on their consoles, but play management games on their very sub par pcs as well.
July 30, 2008 1:10:37 PM

pandabat said:

Still PC has had some good stuff. Indy500, Indycar Racing, Sensible World of Soccer, Colin McCrae Rally Series and so on but, with control via the keyboard being an issue for many years, joypads and, by extension, consoles just made everything so much easier.


You heretic you. You forgot, 4DS Stunts, 4DS Box, Rally RAC Extreme, Striker, Striker 95, Mexico 86, Italia 90, All the golf ones, Vball (how can you forget this one, Beach Volley, two people crammed in one keyboard with 10 keys each), good old Outrun, Lotus Challenge.........good god. Im a heretic also.

Even Wings of Fury comes to mind............

But yeah, why did they stop doing good games like....Where da fack is Carmen Sandiego ????
July 30, 2008 1:13:01 PM

Ananan said:
Papyrus NASCAR series


They were excellent. Then EA took over, and the series became a cartoon. Papyrus NASCAR 3 is still much better than the latest EA NASCAR imo.
July 30, 2008 1:43:56 PM

Papyrus rocked!! Tough to play but rewarding to get right.

Slightly off the sports topic but , yeah radnor, Lucasarts adventures like Carmen Sandiego (Full Throttle, Sam & Max, Day of the tenatacle, Monkey Island Series, Indy Jones Series) ... excellent, excellent games. Also X-Wing/Tie Fighter Sims - would love to see those done on modern machines.

Just remembered one of the best soccer games I ever played was Microprose Soccer on the C64. World Games, Kickstart II, IK+, all great. Then back to Hypersports, Enduro Racer on the Spectrum.

Probably forgotten more games than I can remember. :) 

July 30, 2008 5:09:54 PM

Well, one can always relive the spirit of small, simple, yet fun games with recent things like Hobosoccer.

Google it and you'll find it's very fun, specially with 2 players.
July 30, 2008 8:05:34 PM

I've always been a huge fan of PC sports games. I remember 2 of my favorites going way back were a text based soccer management game and a text based grey hound racing game. That's right, I used to spend hours playing a text only game about friggin dog racing. Later on favorites were Jack Nicklaus Golf, Unnecessary Roughness and Hardball - all by Accolade. The great thing about these games was that you got the best of great sports action along with an amount of control and simulation that you don't even see in today's sports games. Jack Nicklaus Golf had a course editor of almost professional quality (in terms of both game development and golf course design). Unnecessary Roughness had so many features including play in different eras, but the one I loved the most was the play editor. It pisses me off to no end that 10 years later Madden (supposedly the god of all football games) has such a pathetic play creator compared to what this game had a decade earlier. You could literally create any play imaginable as long as it was legal (ie the 11A offense). And Hardball was by far my favorite. As just a generally huge baseball fan this game was awesome. The amount of stats this game would throw at you was insane. You could literally look at how any batter hit against LHP-in the month of July-when playing at home-in close and late situations- with risp. It also allowed for a huge amount of customization. While I know MLB isn't going to get rid of the DH nor dumped a few teams it was easily doable in this game.
Well that's enough reminiscing. What happened is that as these games mixed more and more the simulation and action aspects and consoles began to rise the trend went towards the easier to use (and develop) console style of games. Really it came down to the developers seeing more money to be made on the console. Not only do sports gamers for the console out number pc sports gamers, but they are also willing to spend $50 for a roster update every year. Allowing PC sports games to be highly customizable hurts the potential for year-to-year sales because why would somebody pay for a roster update or new uniforms/logos that could be modded in for free? Taking away those abilities pretty much kills off the core audience. The problem today is that EA isn't going to bother investing in more simulation based games for the PC (unless there's a Sims Sports expansion). And at the same time those making the hardcore simulations are not going to or can't afford to add in features -like live action play- that might attract a larger crowd. What's happened is that we've come full circle to were sports games were 15 years ago. Consoles have the great looking action based sports games and PCs have the highly sophisticated simulations. There's nothing really in the middle.
October 18, 2008 9:53:01 PM

I think it's because

1) the games are customizable now and you can go through multiple seasons with a franchise. That makes it less necessary to buy next year's version.

2) the new versions now aren't automatically better than last year's version. I love NHL 2002 still! It seems to have the right mix of fast speed, hard hitting, and difficulty, especially since you can change all the game dynamics from goalie skill to game speed, to passing ability. I'm much more hesitant to buy new versions in the past 2 years because the new version takes time to learn, and it may not be better than the one you're used to.

It sucks having to learn a new system, and a new game. But if the gameplay is better, then that can overcome the learning curve. However there's no guarantee that the gameplay will be better recently, they've been worse or there's no change, but you have to learn a new system anyway. Might as well stick with the old version you love, especially if you can play out a franchise with it. I still play High Heat 2001 baseball.
October 19, 2008 2:00:23 PM

I never liked any sports game; except M.U.D.S. That was great.
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