The sports and video game industry are juggernauts when it comes to global revenue. You can find people around the world enamored by one sport or game. Over 20 years ago, the first sports video game franchise was born and it paved the way for what came next.
It was by no surprise that both industries had potential to succeed if they combined forces. So when the 1988 John Madden Football released, it was featured on the computer cavalcade of sports and stated that the game was simple, hot and deep.
“It is simple enough in the “quick game” mode to offer a balanced action/strategy game, but deep enough in the “standard game” to allow players to edit teams, design plays, use rosters from actual NFL,” according to CCS.
From humble beginnings, the sports genre has evolved into a worldwide phenomenon that includes football, baseball, hockey and soccer. FIFA is one of the most popular games in the world and in 2015, FIFA 16 sold over 11 million copies, according to VGchartz.
While FIFA is one of the most popular sport and sports video game, Madden sales are only strong in North America.
According to VGchartz, Madden 16 sold 2.08 million copies in North America alone. The rest of the regions were Europe with .08, the rest of the world with .26 and Japan with 0 copies sold.
This is contrasted by FIFA 16 sales which sold 6.09 million in Europe, 1.11 in North America, .06 in Japan and 1.27 throughout the other regions.
This is understandable as American Football is solely focused to America, but while FIFA is enjoyed everywhere, Madden enjoys yearly releases and the Super Bowl.
As of today, Madden 17 has released and has sold 2.3 million units around the globe after its August 23 release.
As long as gaming consoles and PCs continue to grow and evolve, so will sports videos games.
The evolution of graphics which make the game much realistic and lifelike with each new release. They are faster, easier to stream and way more interactive than when the game first came out.
Graphics and processing power have grown the most and the convenience of purchasing the game online at home through the PlayStation instead of having to go to the store to purchase the actual game itself.
Video games have evolved so much and one of the biggest reasons this continues to be so popular is because players can compete against each other which now can be done from the comfort of their own home compared to when it first started, players had to come around and use the same console and game.
Players can manage their individual players and teams by having them sign contracts, releasing and acquiring different players, customize their apparel or just their overall brand, just like actual players in the NFL.
Madden also has upgraded their injury report feature, which allows team owners to look at their players’ longevity and career.
Overall, the upgrade in features is key to making the game more exciting.
Running backs are able to juke and hurdle over players, break tackles and run through gaps, special teams are able to block a field goal, play calling and hurry up offense and defense have also improved.
Their individual stats as well as team stats are constantly being updated to reflect their current season and with gamers favorite players and teams doing good in the current season, there is much excitement to play online.
Elio Garcia, who is has watched sports since he was six years old and has played sports video games since he was eight, has grown up and evolved with video games and consoles as well.
Grand Turismo was his first sports racing game on PlayStation 1, and completed most of the levels. He is now playing Madden 16 on his PlayStation 4.
I play a variety of video games, like NBA2K, Grand Tourism and even Call of Duty.” Said Garcia. “I do enjoy watching sports, but I also have other interest and I like that I can find games that reflect these interests.”
A feature Elio likes is that in NBA2K, is call “My Park”, which allows players to take their online character created, and play one-on-one with other online players or in teams of two or three.
“The strategy part is cool, being able to manage teams, play against your friends is what makes the game very appealing to me” Said Garcia.
Another gamer, Leonard Luna, has a passion for watching sports and playing sport video games. Unlike Elio, Leonard only sticks to playing sport video games. His favorite game is Madden NFL and he gets the newest version every year its released.
A peculiar thing about Leonard, is that he believes in the Madden cover curse which is when the player on the cover goes into the new season and gets injured or has a poor performance.
“One of the more telling signs of the curse is what happened to Atlanta Falcons quarterback Michael Vick,” said Leonard. “Five days after the game was released, he broke his leg in a preseason game.”
If this curse is real, players have a cause for concern, because Madden, FIFA and other sports titles are yearly releases. According to EA, Madden 16 predicted the Super Bowl to an eerie degree, so some superstitions may be true.
Before the game, EA simulates the upcoming game in Madden and sees who wins. According to EA sports, the Madden simulation has been correct 9 times out of 12. Madden 15 predicted that the Patriots would win against the Seahawks 28-24.
Since the games are updated each year with the full roster, many enjoy the show. But the predictions never capture the energy or disappointment after the real game.
Cursed or not, according to a survey, FIFA and MADDEN are not the only sports games people think about. NBA, WWE, Skateboarding and even the Tiny Toon Adventures are in the minds of people who look to scratch that sports game itch.
The future looks bright for sports video games.