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Peter Moore leaving EA to join Liverpool Football Club as CEO

Longtime industry veteran and current Chief Competition Officer Peter Moore is ending his near decade at EA to become the next CEO of the Liverpool Football Club. …


Gamasutra News

The Sports Desk – Digging Into The Offseason With Front Office Football 8

The football offseason has begun, and with some free agents already signing with new teams, and the combine and then the draft coming this spring, there's plenty of work to be done on your franchise. For all you GMs ready to burn the midnight oil for your team, Front Office Football 8 is here to fill that need. The text simulator came out late last year on PC, and offers the kind of offseason and gameday options that any wanna-be GM and coach would appreciate.

The game features editable teams from all the NFL cities (you can also relocate your team or get a new stadium) with real-life player names, and fans of franchise management will appreciate that there are amenities such as multiple rounds of free agency (with multiple stages within each round), a coaching carousal, draft scouting, the ability to tweak salary offers, and other considerations. Players themselves can holdout, they have attitudes to consider, as well as various personality traits such as loyalty and fan popularity.

Playing through a season and offseason, I liked the info and options at my disposal, whether that was gauging a relatively weak free agent crop, picking through the players dropped later in the summer, gauging a draft prospects' potential and possible "volatility," and evaluating players before the draft and after they're on the team. I think the game does a good job of presenting the right kind of information such as a players' combine numbers, medical history, or contract wishes, without making drafting players or signing free agents a 100-percent done deal. There are few of such situations in real-life football, and the game replicates that fine line between giving you enough information to make informed decisions without making you swim in it. The game also comes with an in-depth guide, which is definitely worth studying.

Playing games seems pretty solid as well. I appreciate being able to see playart of the myriad plays available (you can construct your own playbooks from the plays at hand) as well as seeing which player is the principle target of the play. I also like how developer Solecismic has sprinkled some text descriptions for plays as they unfold such as telling you that a throw by the QB wasn't even close, or who made a key block on the play.

Stats wise, apart from EJ Manuel having the highest QB rating one season, I didn't see anything too glaringly off in terms of the stats showing up for players over the course of a year. I did think that some of the completion percentages during single games for average QBs were high, possibly padded out by the number of check downs I saw to the fullback. One of the cool things the game does with stats is that it shows you how many targets and catches a receiver has (and the carries/yards for a running back) before you call a play. Thus, you can get a quick look at who's hot and what's been working. Conversely, I didn't see a way to manage my depth chart during games, which was frustrating when I wanted to switch out my ineffective running back.

I really liked playing Front Office Football 8, and can see it being a nice complement to Madden, allowing me to concentrate on that very important part of the football season – the offseason.

Missed some of the previous Sports Desk entries? Take a look at the past installments via our Hub page by clicking on the banner below.

Have a suggestion or comment? Put it in the comments section below, send me an email, or reach me on twitter at @mattkato.

 

BOARD SLIDING IN STEEP'S ALASKA

Steep's free Alaska update is now available, and apart from introducing a new mountain with 17 drop zones, 21 challenges, branded challenges, 37 points of interest, a mountain story, a raised level cap (25 to 30), and more, one of the things players will notice is that at least one of the new mountain's villages includes plenty of rails to grind and slide. This was possible in the original, but not a point of emphasis.

I tried out the Alaska villages' and while glad they were included in the update, found that they weren't quite as satisfying as I had hoped they would be. Games with rail grinding/sliding always face the dilemma of wanting to make it easy to let players get on a rail and stay on it, but without it feeling like they are being sucked or stuck to the rail. The problem I have with Steep's board slides currently is that it's easy to slip off of them and it feels floaty, like you're not really on the rail. I compare this with series like Skate and Tony Hawk, where grinds and board slides were very satisfying. You also don't score any extra points for what you do on a rail, which is disappointing. Hopefully this is something the team can keep working on, as I want to attack rails when I see them, not avoid them.

For more on the game's future plans, check out this interview and Steep Afterwords dissection with creative director Igor Manceau.

Sliding off the rail a little too easy.

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Trying to go from trick to trick on the rail.

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THE TICKER
A quick rundown of some of the sports news from the week.

MLB The Show 17's Presentation Info, Pave Your Path in Road to the Show & Quick Manage
A handful of new info has come out about the game, including making off-the-field decisions that can impact your Road to the Show career, a way to quickly manage and sim Franchise games, and a partnership with MLB Network with new announcers Harold Reynolds and Dan Plesac.

Old Time Hockey Gets Release Date & Switch Release  

Vote for Who's On The Digital Cover For Out Of The Park Baseball 18

UniqueGames Working to Get Handball Manager & 3 Other Titles To Steam Via Team Initiative 

VR Golf Online Adds Multiplayer & Cross-Platform Play 

Bethesda's Todd Howard Has An Idea About How To Bring NCAA Back 
I love that Howard is passionate about NCAA, but in my opinion, everything EA has said and done on this front shows that they are being extremely cautious about any return to college football. I think they are waiting for nothing short of the full legal resolution of the NCAA and players' student/athlete status before returning. EA's already had to settle one lawsuit on this front, and I doubt there's a lawyer in the building that's going to risk another.

www.GameInformer.com – The Feed

[Update] Peter Moore Leaving EA For Liverpool Football Club

Update: Electronic Arts CEO Andrew Wilson released a statement regarding Moore's departure from the company.  It reads, in part:

In the weeks to come, Peter will continue to guide EA’s Competitive Gaming Division in its mission to make stars of all of our players. Peter has built a fantastic team that is now running dozens of global tournaments and events with millions of players. With more exciting expansion plans on the horizon, Peter will be working with the teams to drive a leadership transition before he returns to the UK this summer. If you see him around the next couple of months, I hope and trust you will take the opportunity to shake his hand, or give him a hug, and wish him the very best on this great adventure.

Original Story: Game industry veteran Peter Moore – who has held senior positions at companies like Sega and Microsoft – is leaving his current role as chief competition officer at Electronic Arts. Though he won't be peddling virtual sports games anymore, he's not giving up on the spirit of competition.

Moore (pictured right, above) will be taking on the role of CEO for the Liverpool Football Club, according to the club's announcement. In the past, Moore has not been shy about his love for LFC, so it seems like an ideal match for everyone involved.

Moore will move to Liverpool and start his duties in June.

[Source: Liverpool Football Club]


Our Take
Moore's experience and charisma will be missed in the gaming scene, but those qualities are sure to serve him well. We wish him the best in his new position. 

www.GameInformer.com – The Feed

Sega Profits Rise On Back Of Football Manager 2017, Yakuza 6

Sega has released its financial report for the nine-month period ending Dec. 31, 2016, and it was a profitable period for the Japanese company.

Sega sold 8.13 million games in that period, up from last year's 6.12 million, thanks to Football Manager 2017, Yakuza 6, and continued revenue from Phantasy Star Online 2. In its report, Sega said that consumers are expecting higher-quality mobile games, and as such the development time and cost is expected to increase.

Net revenue in Sega's Entertainment Contents Business, which includes game software as well as arcade games and films, is at 155.4 billion Yen (about $ 1.4 billion) – a jump of about 14 percent. The division's operating income is at $ 15.4 billion Yen (about $ 137 million), which Sega says is an increase of 449 percent over the same period last year.

[Source: Sega]


Our Take

There weren't any major revelations here, but it's nice to see that Sega appears to be doing well. The past few years have been tumultuous in the gaming industry, and I'll take anything approaching normalcy and stability as a good sign. 

www.GameInformer.com – The Feed

The Sports Desk – Controlling A New College Football Dynasty & MLB The Show 17

College football bowl season and the BCS playoff for a national champion are around the corner. As excited as you may be for college football, there aren't a lot of video game options if you're looking to get your fix. However, Wolverine Studios' Draft Day Sports: College Football 2017 simulator might have something you're looking for. The PC title recently came out (get it at the official website for $ 34.99), and while it didn't strike me as a slam dunk in my limited time with it, CF 2017 gives you lots to consider when building your dynasty.

You can pick whichever team you like from a decent-sized list encompassing a number of fictional teams of varying caliber and program prestige. The teams and players may be fictional, but you'll have no trouble guessing who the Alabama Red Wave are, and you can customize teams, players, playbooks, and other options (the game supports roster mods and custom files).  Your Association, as it's called, can be online or off, and there are various stats, recruiting classes, training regimes, and gameplanning options at your disposal as you build and maintain your dynasty from year to year.

GAMEPLAY

Plays run in a top-down, 2D view in real-time (see picture at the top of the page), and there's no play clock – so feel free to ruminate on which play to select as long as you like. The playcalling itself isn't hard per se, and I like how you can switch between different playbooks (vertical passing, west coast, etc.) to change up the flow as you see fit. Particularly helpful on defense are playbooks for stopping just the run or pass. While the game nominally suggests plays, I wouldn't just blindly click what comes up since there were times when it would not default to a punt return on a 4th and long, for example.

Picking plays is simple enough, but one of the criticisms I have of the game is that – as familiar I am with various types of football plays – there's no play art or descriptions of them during the game. While I recognized many of the plays in the playbooks, on defense in particular there are certainly plays I don't know what all the assignments are.

Other amenities are missing, such as being able to change personnel packages during games (you can do so when you're not directly in a game, however), the ability to sim only portions of a game (like to the end of a drive or quarter), and seeing what formation the opponent is running for the coming play.

The thing I'm always curious about when watching plays unfold in real-time for sims like CF 2017 is how literal I'm supposed to take what I see happening during a play and what I'm supposed to infer about the results. For instance, If I see my linebacker take a bad angle toward a ball carrier onscreen, is the game trying to convey that my linebacker isn't good, or is it that the ball carrier is simply fast? If I see my QB throwing into double coverage, should I make a change, or is the A.I. brain behind the game simply convey that the play is an incompletion to the tight end?

Watching the plays in the game, there were times I bemoaned my QB (who was rated decently) not throwing to wide open receivers, consistent throwing into double and even triple coverage, and in general not making a lot of multiple reads or waiting for routes to develop. Judging by the onscreen action, my defense was missing tackles. While all these things happen in real life, my players were all rated in the 80s and above (out of 100), so I'm not sure exactly what I can do to remedy the situation.

There are exhaustive tweaks you can perform to give specific plays weight and shape how you want the CPU to call your plays, but as far as I know this only influences your team if you sim games.

RECRUITING

Recruiting and scouting are a huge part of any college football program, occupying a lot of your attention during the week. The filter tools and interface is easy to understand, allowing you to comb through and find a wide variety of starred recruits. You can toggle the auto-recruit function on and off from week to week, and recruiting and scouting are all done simultaneously by drawing from a regenerating pool of recruiting and scouting points.

The closer a recruit is to your school, the easier it will be to get their attention, but programs with more prestige have an easier time recruiting at further distances. Recruits place varying degrees of value on factors like winning, playing time, loyalty, and other factors, but apart from applying recruiting and scouting points, scheduling an interview, and offering a scholarship, you don't interact with them. Therefore, it's hard to translate their desires into what you can do for them to make them interested since you can't make them promises regarding playing time, for example. Academics don't factor in either.

I'm not sure what to make of the recruiting process. While it's engaging to tweak the recruiting points from week to week and nervously watch the players' interest (a number out of a 100) go up and down, I've had players sit at 99 interest for multiple weeks only to suddenly sign with another school. I've also had the reverse. I was delighted one season to sign a 5-star recruit out of the blue after plugging away at him all season even though his interest never got higher than 11.

Maybe you won't like these kinds of surprises, but it's a rollercoaster ride for sure. My advice is to not pussyfoot around with players. If you want a recruit, then put in the points. I've had players I thought were hot to trot cool off from one week to the next simply because I dropped the recruiting points I was applying to them that week by two.

There is variance in scouting, too. You'll get a full scouting report for some players after a few weeks, while others may take more time and points points to see all of what they have to offer.

Draft Day Sports: College Football 17 isn't the complete package, leaving features by the wayside and not always executing on the ones it has. But I will say this: Whether it was recruiting attractive recruits or getting excited watching my 2D player race toward the endzone, I was definitely engaged. I'm very curious to learn more about the playcalling, and to frankly see if there are ways I can coach better. I wasn't very good at it, but I hope that it's my fault and not that of the sim-engine. I'd also like to see future iterations offer play art, a coaching carousel (with coordinators), and more interaction with recruits.

For more on Draft Day Sports: College Football 17 (a demo is available), head on over to the official website.

Missed some of the previous Sports Desk entries? Take a look at the past installments via our Hub page by clicking on the banner below.

Have a suggestion or comment? Put it in the comments section below, send me an email, or reach me on twitter at @mattkato.

 

EXPLORING THE EARLY DETAILS OF MLB THE SHOW 17

This week fellow editor and baseball aficionado Brian Shea has some thoughts on the first trailer for MLB The Show 17 – including the new Retro Mode.

As perhaps the most avid MLB The Show player in the office, I always look forward to checking out the next entry each year. Before The Show even existed, I spent many of my childhood years pouring hours upon hours into games like Triple Play Gold on Genesis or Ken Griffey Jr. Presents Major League Baseball on SNES. It's for that reason that I've always wanted a more modern take on the retro style of those games. While the recently revamped R.B.I. Baseball has continued to disappoint into its third year, MLB The Show 17 really grabbed my attention with what it showed at this year's PlayStation Experience press conference.

When Sony San Diego announced that Ken Griffey Jr. was on the cover of next year's game, I'm sure I wasn't alone in immediately thinking back to all the games he fulfilled cover-athlete duties across the SNES and Nintendo 64. Until this past weekend, however, I didn't think the nostalgia would present itself outside of whenever Junior popped on screen. However, Retro Mode looks to be exactly the kind of thing I'm looking for. From the top-down perspective from the games of old to the pixelated overlay text that calls back to those games I grew up playing, Retro Mode looks like it could be as close as I'll get to a competent modern take on the old-school style of play I loved.

While the MLB The Show 17 trailer at PSX didn't initially seem to show off a whole lot more than that, I'm incredibly intrigued by the first few seconds of the video. The trailer shows a scene in a locker room where the manager approaches a player (presumably your character in Road to the Show) to ask him if he's willing to make the leap from shortstop to third base. From there, you have the choice to tell him no, ask him if it's permanent, or tell him you're willing to do whatever it takes for the good of the team. I've been a huge fan of recent years' Road to the Show to the point that it's where I spend probably 95 percent of my time with each entry, but small story moments like this have been sorely missed whenever I look over at the story modes built into the NBA 2K series.

I'm hopeful that these only happen in moments that make sense contextually (for example, the scenario in the trailer happening after the team's third baseman goes down with an injury and the team has a decent back-up shortstop) rather than random occurrences. It would also be nice if decisions have weight. I'd love to see the manager's trust of my player go down if I prove myself unwilling to sacrifice for the team.

The bulk of the trailer, however, consisted of players jumping around and celebrating on the field. While celebrations are nothing new to the franchise, having more personality implemented in more natural ways would only benefit the franchise. Ken Griffey Jr. was known not only for his undeniable talent, but for his swagger. It would be great to see even more personality injected into the on-field product, and in less scripted manners. Sometimes, the players in The Show can feel a little soulless until a cutscene shows them celebrating a double play or a home run. Baseball has always been full of awesome personalities, and it would be cool if MLB The Show 17 could more accurately reflect that. 

 

RELEASE LIST

Forza Horizon 3 Blizzard Mountain Expansion (Xbox One, PC) December 13
Don Bradman Cricket 17 (PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC) December 16. For more on the game, check out this previous preview.

 

THE TICKER
A quick rundown of some of the sports news from the week.

New Trailer for GT Sport Looks Impressive
The game supports 4K HDR and PSVR.

Rocket League Gets Free Starbase Arena

Pro Basketball Manager 2017 Hits PC in January

www.GameInformer.com – The Feed

The Sports Desk – How Football Manager Impacts Real-Life Clubs & Discovered Lionel Messi!

We often think of simulation video games aping real-life for inspiration, but in the case of the lauded Football Manager sim-soccer series, it very much goes the other way. From real teams and players basing decisions on data from the video game franchise, to the series helping players crossover and get jobs in the sport, Football Manager has the distinction of being more than just a digital fantasy.

I talked with Miles Jacobson, the studio director at Football Manager developer Sports Interactive, who told me about the many ways the series is used in real-life.

When did you guys become aware that the game was being
used by real clubs?

Miles Jacobson: The
first time was actually a long, long time ago. It was before we were even
Football Manager, when we were still using another brand name that I shall not
mention because I'd get told off by lawyers when I do. There was a news article
in a newspaper in the U.K. called the Evening
Standard, 
which is a London-based evening newspaper. They did an
interview with André Villas-Boas, who at the time was José Mourinho's chief scout. [Villas-Boas] now has become a very successful soccer manager in his own right. He said that
he used our database for part of his scouting for Chelsea. We kind of had
an inkling that people would be using it, because why wouldn't you? If you've
got this great reference guide there. And you have to remember this is about
probably 15 years ago, so this is before any of the current scouting
systems were there. But if you have the availability of a database that has a
load of players around the world, you may as well be using it. So, that was
when we first heard that someone was using it, and I guess we worked with
Everton probably about 10 year ago now when David Moyes was still their
manager. We worked with their scouting network and actually gave them a copy of
the full database rather than just what you see in-game, because there's a lot
more data that we have in the core database than what we use in the game.

Now we
are in a situation where people are paying us for it. We worked directly with a
few clubs, and have a deal with a company that were called Prozone but are now
part of Stats Inc. – the biggest provider of data for the sports industry
(so they claim). [Stats Inc. is] an American firm who worked with loads and
loads of different sports, and they are licensing our data to clubs around the
world which is great – and a little bit
odd – but still great. I even had a case just last week…we have a bunch of soccer
players who beta test the game. We have around 1,500 of them around the world, because who better when you're trying to work on a real-life simulation then
actually have the subject matters helping you test it? I'm sure the guys who
work on Civilization at Firaxis, I'm sure that they wish they could get Genghis
Khan beta testing their game. But we're lucky we're doing it in the real world.
A soccer player got in touch with us last week and said, "My manager's just
been watching over my shoulder me playing the game, and he's asked for a copy to
be looking at our opposition next week." So I sorted him one out as well. It's quite strange and incredibly gratifying that the world we're trying
to simulate is so heavily into the game as well, and think that it's realistic
enough for them to be using it to help aid their work. It's become "life
imitating art imitating life imitating art." But it helps us learn about things
as well. I'm a supporter of a soccer club called Watford; we're in the Premier
League. We're only a small club, but it's where I grew up, and we work quite
closely with Watford on a lot of areas. Two of the staff roles that are in the
game this year, the support scientist role and the data analyst role, they've
been added because I get to spend a load of time in Watford's training ground, which is utterly incredible for somebody who has supported them his whole life.

You
mentioned clubs and players who use the game. Can publicly say who?

It's
difficult for us on that because we don't have commercial deals with any of
them. If you see a soccer player tweeting about the game, they've probably had
a free copy from us, because we watch for that kind of thing as well. There are
some that talk about it. There's a player who was at Swansea the last couple of
seasons, Bafétimbi Gomis, he's on loan at Marseille this
season. He said that he decided to join Swansea because he played as them in
Football Manager and realized that he was gonna get good service. And you hear
that quite a lot. Ousmane Dembélé is another player who has come out and said in an interview,
or certainly it was in the interview this week, that he uses the game to decide
where he's gonna be playing. It's pretty universal. I think now that we've
become part of the sport, and it's great that I'm talking to you guys today
because I'm actually a big fan of your site. But it's also quite rare for us to
talk to games websites. In Europe, we're in the sports section, not in the
games section. Very recently, we've been in the news section because
we've simulated the different possible outcomes for Brexit in the game. So just
the other week I was on a BBC Two show called Daily
Politics
sitting there with two members of Parliament debating Brexit and
football, so it's strange how these things have happened to us, but it's
fantastic that we're recognized in that way and seen more now as a soccer brand
than we are a gaming brand.

You've talked about clubs using the game in different ways. Can you talk a little more about how they use specific features? Are they using it to sim game results or predict the performance of specific players?
There's two ways the clubs tend to use it. The first and
probably the main one is the data and the database itself, because we have them
largest scouting network in soccer. We've got 1,300 scouts around the world in
51 countries and regions. So there was a very big deal made the other week when
Man United decided to recruit 50 more scouts. I'm just sitting there going, "Oh
what, are they adding a new league into their game?" We have the scouts that
are on the ground and they are watching the first team, reserve team, and youth
team players. That side of things is very important because when you're
using things like Stats Inc. or Scout7 or Wyscout, they are only looking at
teams already playing first-team soccer. Whereas we're always looking for those
new young talents coming through. So, the bigger clubs are utilizing the
database partly to look at those younger players and getting them on their
radars so that they are sending scouts to come watch them at early stages, but
they also use it for doing due diligence on signings.

It's very difficult to get
information for a lot of clubs in Europe from South America, from Eastern
Europe, from Central America as well. People don't have the networks there, so
looking for the next Alexis Sánchez is an important thing for people to be doing. So again, agents are
sending videos to clubs constantly. Every day you're getting hundreds, if not
thousands, of videos being sent to you by agents. If you've got a quick
reference guide to see whether that agent has actually only sent you a video of
the five best touches that player has done in 25 years, or whether they really
are consistent like that, go and have a look in our game database. And if you
think you've seen something in the video and you think that in the game
database it looks like they are good enough, then clubs will go and watch those
players. So, it's part of the due diligence process that it gets used.

On the
other side of things, you mentioned yourself about the predictions side of
things, and that is something that people are doing more and more now, but it
tends to be the data analysts of football clubs who are doing it. They will play the game, play the match that they have coming up that weekend, play it
with loads of different formations, loads of different team selections and see
which one comes out the best. And then that becomes part of the report that
they are giving to the manager. The data analysts tend to love it because
it means they get to sit there and play Football Manager for a few hours. Whether
the manager takes notice of that, who knows? Only the manager can decide that,
but I know that some of them do take it more seriously than others when people
are doing those predictions.

On the
other end of things, for your scouts, what kind of feedback are they getting
from the clubs in terms of information that the clubs think are right or wrong?

Well, having 1,500 soccer players who beta tests us helps,
because if we get one of their dates of birth wrong, we know about it pretty
damn quickly. Although they seemed more obsessed about their height then they
are their date of birth. And some of them are obsessed about their pace and
will send you videos of them having races against other people in their squads,
which are always very useful.

But we tend to keep the scouts separate,
in most cases, to the clubs. So the clubs won't often know who our scouts are,
who are watching the players. And we get lots of feedback from players and from
clubs directly that the scouts themselves have very strict guidelines to work
to. It's a book; it's about 200 A4 pages of guidelines. Then we have
various checks and balances in-house as well that we do before things go out.
But we have to be careful when we're getting feedback from the actual soccer
clubs themselves, because they tend to be biased. The players tend to be biased
toward their own skills. The agents are super biased, because all of their
clients are the best clients in the world. So we tend to be very, very careful
when we get that information back, and it really needs to be proven to us for
us to change something in the database.

Have you ever thought about making a club-only or professional-only
product that might have different tools or gives clubs access to features different than the public game?

Essentially, it's kind of there already, because
that's the thing that we're doing with Stats Inc at the moment. That's a bit of
recruitment software, called Recruiter, and gives people access to the
information that they need. Some of the clubs that we work with, they utilize
our database in a way that works for them. So they're keeping notes on lots of
players, and our data and links to our data will be part of those notes. At the
moment, our database is an offline solution; it's a giant, multi-gig Microsoft
Access beast of a database, which is horrible. But in the next year, it should
be going online. And once it is online, then that makes it a lot easier to
actually share with clubs.

Do you guys have any examples of a particular
player or a prediction that was surprisingly prescient, or maybe even gotten
wrong?

Well, we're very proud of the fact that our strike
rate on the data is around 99.5 percent, which is certainly better than most
soccer clubs out there get. I think the most famous example of a player we got
right was in the days before child protection law was prevalent, and we could
have players who were under the age of 16 in the game. When he was 13, we
introduced to the world a young kid called Lionel Messi, who as we all know has
become the best player in the world – or if you're Christiano Ronaldo, Lionel
Messi has become the second-best player in the world. But, Alex McLeish, who is
a soccer manager who's managed all over Europe, tells a story of when his
son Jon came to him and said that he should be trying to sign this guy called
Lionel Messi, and three years later Alex McLeish did try and sign Lionel Messi
for Rangers in Scotland just after [Messi] made his first team debut for Barcelona
and scored two goals. His son is now a very successful football agent, who
probably uses our database to find his clients.

So he's probably the most famous. But every year, you know
Anthony Martial…Manchester United could have saved a hell of a lot of money
if they bought him when we first had him in the game, rather than spending the
money they have on him. We told them they were crazy to let Paul Pogba go, but
they still did back in the day. But there are some that we get wrong as well. I
think the most famous one that we've got wrong was a guy called Tó Madeira, and
the reason that we got that one wrong is because he didn't exist. One of our scouts had added one of his friends into the
database for a laugh. That scout doesn't work with us anymore.

There are also
players like Freddy Adu, Cherno Samba, Tonton Zola Moukoko who we predicted to
be great players, as did a lot of other people, but for various reasons it
didn't happen. In Tonton Zola Moukoko's case,
it's actually quite sad, in that his mentor passed away when he was 19, and he
couldn't cope mentally any more.

There certainly are hard-to-quantify aspects of players, but do you see with computing power and algorithms that maybe in a few years you guys nail down some of those?
I think we do part of the work, and the data and the
pro-sports data providers do part of the work. There's a Holy Grail at the moment
for a thing called "expected goals." So, a few data providers and a
few bookmakers started looking at algorithms for expected goals, which is
basically from any position on the field, and with any player, what is the
likelihood that they're going to score when they have the ball in that zone.
And the problem with that at the moment is there are about half a dozen
different algorithms being used, and they are all utter nonsense. So the race
is on to try and find one for that, because that will certainly help,
tactically.

The other hard aspects
are always the mental side of things, and whilst we can simulate that to a
large degree, without having an actual, real mind in there, without having
artificial intelligence squared, or whatever they decide to call it, because
what we have at the moment inside the game is incredible artificial intelligence
based on a bunch of numbers.

Going back to the clubs themselves. I was curious if they had any recommendations to you about features or things they wanted in to help them professionally?
Not necessarily to help them professionally apart from the expected goals thing, which they do keep cracking on about. Some of the clubs have asked for a specific predictions engine to make it easier for them which players are injured, and we have a tool like that internally in the studio because newspapers come to us and ask us to predict the games the next week. So things like that will happen. It's normally clubs wanting us to add things in the game to help, 1.) Their enjoyment of the game and 2.) So that they're in the game. Kit men at clubs – people who carry the kits around – they all want to be in the game. So, maybe they'll get into it at some point, but we'll only add them if we can see a positive or negative toward them being in there. We don't want NPCs being in the game unless they actually do have an effect. We already have a personal assistant who has no effect at all and you can't fire. From talking to a lot of soccer players, if you've got a good kit man, it tends to boost morale, believe it or not. So maybe we will add them at some point in the future.

We've been talking about how clubs use the product, but can you give us some examples of gamers using the game to get hired by the clubs themselves?
We've got people who have ended up as commercial director
of a small team in Spain. One of our scouts has recently become a data analyst
at Plymouth Argyle in the U.K. There are lots of public stories, but
also lots of stories that aren't. One of our chief scouts through his work with
us ended up also being a chief scout of a team in the Champions League, and
does both roles. We have footballers at clubs who are scouts for us, and have
had scouts for us who have become footballers. Most of the football journalists
that are under the age of 35 in the U.K. have ended up having our game on their
C.V. in some form, which is probably another reason why we end up getting so
much coverage in the sports press because they're all fans of the game anyway.
Any club that has a data analyst – if that data analyst hasn't been playing
Football Manager for the last 15 years, there's something wrong with that. It
has definitely been a game that has helped influence people's careers, and
that's something we're incredibly proud of.

I spoke at a conference called
Soccerex just the other week and had people coming up throughout the whole
thing saying, "Thank you for making the game." Really powerful people
in the football who became a lot more interested in the sport off the back of
playing the game. It's those kinds of compliments that are really incredible,
and keep you going a lot of the time. Because, it's not that easy working 14
hours a day, six days a week during a year, every year working on a series of
games. To then have people critique it or to be active on Twitter and have
people having a go at you there. It's not always easy, so having people that
you admire, that you look up to, coming up to you and admitting that they got
some of their knowledge from our work is quite incredible.

For another angle on the game, I highly suggest you read Anthony Kyne's (from HB Studios) guest Sports Desk column on his obsession with Football Manager.

Missed some of the previous Sports Desk entries? Take a look at the past installments via our Hub page by clicking on the banner below.

Have a suggestion or comment? Put it in the comments section below, send me an email, or reach me on twitter at @mattkato.

 

 

RELEASE LIST

Motorsport Manager (PC, Mac) November 10 (check out more about the game in this previous Sports Desk)
Steep (PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC) December 2

 

 

THE TICKER
A quick rundown of some of the sports news from the week.

FIFA 17 Infographic Covering Players' Time With Alex Hunter In The Journey Story Mode

PES Club Manager Additions
Update to the mobile title includes voice commentary, new licensed clubs (Arsenal, Liverpool, Shalke, Borussia Dortmund, and more), leagues, the ability to loan out youth players for XP, and more. 

Here Are The Patch Notes For The Recently Released Update For NBA 2K17 

Forza Horizon 3's First Expansion Brings On Winter
Microsoft has announced the game's first expansion, which introduces winter to the game. No details have been given yet, but it'll be out before the end of the year and promises "less-than-ideal" road conditions.

www.GameInformer.com – The Feed

The Sports Desk – Glitches, Every NBA 2K17 Shoe & Football Manager 2017

As much as we love the sports games we play, that doesn't mean we can't have some fun at their expense from time to time. So this week I've included a few examples of when the good times go bad, or at least humorous.

The YouTube videos below are just a few examples of the funny glitches that gamers have found, and while they certainly show some crazy things happening, I don't know which platforms these posters are on or even if they've since been patched out of the games. It's just a lighthearted look, and surely some amusing fodder for this year's Glitchy awards

Kicker Ices the Game – Madden NFL 17

(Please visit the site to view this media)
YouTube user: TheSharingankunai

Instant TD! – Madden NFL 17
(Please visit the site to view this media)
YouTube user: SB Nation

"False Start, The Entire Offensive Line"– Madden NFL 17

YouTube User: RyanMoody21

The Invisible Man – NBA 2K17

YouTube User: Almighty Solo

No Face – NBA 2K17

YouTube User: Prime 23 Jordan

The Universe Is Broken – NBA 2K17

YouTube User: EJ 2K

A Little Unlucky – FIFA 17

YouTube User: GameSprout

Crazy Legs – FIFA 17

YouTube User: NI:CK

A Crunching Tackle – Pro Evolution Soccer 2017

(Please visit the site to view this media)

YouTube User: BaSsMaNLoFtY

No Goal! – Pro Evolution Soccer 2017

(Please visit the site to view this media)

YouTube User: NADER WESMI

Stop the World, I'm Getting Off – MLB: The Show 16

(Please visit the site to view this media)

YouTube User: Alexander Wayne

Batman – MLB: The Show 16

(Please visit the site to view this media)

YouTube User: Beast Mode Does Stuff

Blackout – NHL 17

(Please visit the site to view this media)

YouTube User: ZeCanadian

Flopper – NHL 17

YouTube User: LGF Gaming

Missed some of the previous Sports Desk entries? Take a look at the past installments via our Hub page by clicking on the banner below.

Have a suggestion or comment? Put it in the comments section below, send me an email, or reach me on twitter at @mattkato.

 

 

SEE EVERY SHOE IN NBA 2K17!

One of the many big features of NBA 2K17 this year is the absurd amount of shoes you can use for your character in MyCareer and other modes. The developers over at Visual Concepts were cool enough to give us every shoe in the game – 395 in all.

We've compiled them all (thanks to Samm Langer in our creative department) into one large post image showcasing every shoe in the game.

Click on the image below to see everything from old-school Chuck Taylors, every Kobe shoe, to a host of Air Jordans. Enjoy!

 

 

IN-DEPTH DETAILS FOR FOOTBALL MANAGER 2017

Sports Interactive and Sega have released a mega 30-minute video detailing the new features in Football Manager 2017.

Highlights include:

  • Improved match engine featuring new camera angle (behind the goal), reworked player A.I. (almost double the number of decisions per second), and additional animations ("over 1,500 motion-capture elements").
  • Refreshed commentary and more contextual comments.
  • Social media presence in the game. News comes and fan comments come from social posts. Social media also amplifies your interview answers, possibly adding more pressure to retaining your job or giving you more of the benefit of the doubt.
  • More suggestions from your backroom staff, and those suggestions are also surfaced better.
  • Pre-contract conversations for transfers. Talk about contract perimeters, goals, and other topics to try to lure players to your club. Players will hold you to any promises made. There's a dedicated transfer panel to see all the news, and more drama around the transfer window, including players holding out for better deals.
  • Put your face into the game and apply it to your manager.
  • A.I. managers and a mid-season transfer window have been added to fantasy draft play.
  • Quick Start option.
  • There's plenty of scouting info for upcoming opponents and their managers, including highlight videos for players.
  • Match analysis includes heat maps and where possession is won or lost.
  • Player traits are amplified, possibly coming into play when decided who they decide to sign with and their reaction to their playing time.

This is just the tip of the iceberg. For the full rundown of features in this year's game, head over to the official Football Manager site.

 


RELEASE LIST

Infinite Air (PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC) October 25
Franchise Hockey Manager 3 (PC, Mac) October
Football Manager 17 (PC, Mac, Linux) November 4
Motorsport Manager (PC, Mac) November 10 (check out more about the game in this previous Sports Desk)
Steep (above)(PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC) December 2

 

 

THE TICKER
A quick rundown of some of the sports news from the week.

Forthcoming FIFA 17 Update Brings Bug Fixes, New Presentation Elements, and More
This includes Premier League presentation overlays and, interestingly, and a downgrading for Pro Club team overall ratings. It's out for PC, and will be released for consoles at an undisclosed date.

NASCAR Heat Evolution's October Update
Includes a la carte offerings for spotter audio, paint schemes, and challenges. Full pricing as well.

F1 2016 Patch Introduces New Difficulty, Bug Fixes
It's already out for PC, and coming to consoles.

www.GameInformer.com – The Feed

The Sports Desk – A New Football Experience

The NFL season is right around the corner, and with EA's Madden already out, you're probably looking for even more video game football. Today's Sports Desk features a title that you may not have heard of which could satisfy that need. Plus, if you're a fan of the other brand of football, soccer, I've got an analysis of Pro Evolution Soccer 2017 Advanced Instructions from the game's demo – a feature that should be invaluable out on the pitch.

PRO STRATEGY FOOTBALL 2016

Pro Strategy Football 2016 is made by one person – the dedicated Kerry Batts. Batts makes the game in his spare time, and it's packed with features that only a die-hard football fan would include.

The unlicensed game puts you in the role of both coach and GM of a pro team, and you call the shots from what plays to run (which you then see play out automatically via sweet old-school graphics) to whom to draft.

The game is very user friendly in both its menu systems and options. For instance, play calling can be automated (there are also suggested and favorite plays), you can sim the draft, or choose to see potential draftees' abilities or not. On the other hand, you can also choose your own defensive line shifts, instruct your players to try and get out of bounds as the clock winds down, and obsess over the player ratings and team tendencies to come up with a master gameplay from play to play.


The routes of individual receivers can be altered via the expert play calling option. Players can switch between beginner and expert every play.

While Pro Strategy Football isn't as expansive as soccer's Football Manager series, for instance (this is the creation of one person, after all), I was impressed with some of the touches Batts includes. You can see replays of simmed games and edit player names. Player are improved via drills and training camp. The draft day trading system features the well-known point system for draft picks. There's even local competitive multiplayer.

The offseason does not include key features like free agency and contracts due to the real-life complexity of that aspect of football, but Batts says he's considering adding a light version of free agency featuring contracts and franchise tags. Similarly, he might add a potential attribute for players in order to create gems and busts. Both features may come out post-launch depending on what the community thinks, or perhaps they'll be shelved for next year. Batts is being flexible with these post-launch possibilities. Online multiplayer and other potential additions to the Steam version of the game are also up in the air.

There's no such thing as too much football, and Pro Strategy Football 2016 presents a slightly different take on this familiar game.

Pro Strategy Football 2016 comes out in September 6 on PC. The Mac version should follow later in September, with those for the iOS and Android coming out later. Pricing among the different platforms varies, and there will be some slight differences between the desktop and mobile versions.

Check out its Steam page or the game's official website for more.

Missed some of the previous Sports Desk entries? Take a look at the past installments via our Hub page by clicking on the banner below.

Have a suggestion or comment? Put it in the comments section below, send me an email, or reach me on twitter at @mattkato.

 

DO PES 2017'S ADVANCED INSTRUCTIONS WORK?

The demo for Konami's Pro Evolution Soccer 2017 is out now in advance of the full release on (September 13), and one of the key features of this year's game is Advanced Instructions. These are offensive and defensive tactics above and beyond the usual set of strategic options that shape how your team plays. I tried out some of them in the demo and wanted to give you a quick overview of the difference they can make.

The optional instructions are activated via the Game Plan menu, and you can choose four total: two offensive and two defensive. During the game you can select between the different instructions by holding down the left trigger and pressing the d-pad in the appropriate direction. An icon at the bottom of the screen near the player name shows you which ones are currently turned on.

Offensive Instructions:

  • Hug the Sidelines (Players spread out across the entire width of the field)
  • Attacking Fullbacks (Fullbacks come forward with wingers moving into the middle)
  • Wing Rotation (Forwards cycle along the wing to give the player with the ball options)
  • Tiki-Taka (Teammates take up positions to maximize possession of the ball)
  • False 9 (The striker drops back into the hole and other forwards fill the space)
  • Centering Targets (Designed for lobbing lots of crosses into the box)
  • False Fullbacks (The fullbacks tuck into the midfield ahead of the center backs)

Defensive Instructions:

  • Tight Marking
  • Deep Defensive Line
  • Swarm the Box (Defenders bunch near the goal)
  • Counter Target (Some forwards stay past the halfway line looking for a fast counter)
  • Gegenpress (Multiple players aggressively try to win back the ball when possession is lost)

Not all of the instructions were available in the demo (such as False Fullbacks and Gegenpress), but I got a good idea of how useful overall the feature will be.

This is a shot of Atlético building an attack with all of the Advanced Instructions off. Contrast this with the screen below:

Here is a similar attack with Barcelona that uses the Hug the Sideline Advanced Instruction. As you can see, this changes your attacking options. Also, notice the other forward way at the top of the screen at the opposite touchline. Using Hug the Sideline, he'll stay there, giving you an option to switch fields and create width. However, this also takes away a possible defensive option in the midfield if the other team starts a counter-attack.

Here's the tiki-taka instruction, and appropriately ball carrier Alba has more teammates to pass to. They may not be bearing down on the defense as much, but they're making themselves available for more passing options.

On defense, the instructions aren't as complex, but they are undoubtably useful.

Above is the normal defensive back line without any special instructions. Below is that line playing with the Deep Defensive Line instructions.

It's not a massive difference, but it can be important. The trade off here is that the deeper the line you play the more space you open up between your defenders and your midfield. And when you give some opposing forwards time and space they can make you pay.

Below you can see the difference between the Swarm the Box instructions (the first screen) and without any defensive instructions (second screen). Playing more compact in the box naturally leaves you more exposed to passes out to the wing.

Since you can assign and select multiple instructions and change them on the fly, they will be very useful for unlocking your opponent and stymying their own plans (the CPU also uses instructions). I'm very interested to match instructions not only against what my opponent is trying to do, but to maximize my own players' skills and how I like to play the game. It should also help differentiate teams from each other and make them play more like they do in real life.

 

89 THINGS WE KNOW ABOUT NBA 2K17

Fellow editor Matt Bertz has put together a whopping preview covering just about everything you want and need to know about the latest installment of Visual Concepts' venerable hoops franchise.

From gameplay to MyCareer, MyGM, and beyond, Bertz thouroughly breaks down the September 20 title. Check it out here.

 

RELEASE LIST

NASCAR Heat Evolution (PS4, Xbox One, PC) September 13
NHL 17 (PS4, Xbox One) September 13
Pro Evolution Soccer 2017 (PS4, Xbox One, PS3, 360, PC) September 13
NBA 2K 17 (PS4, Xbox One, PS3, 360, PC) September 20
FIFA 17 (PS4, Xbox One, PS3, 360, PC) September 27
Forza Horizon 3 (Xbox One, PC) September 27

 

THE TICKER
A quick rundown of some of the sports news from the week.

Infinite Air Gets a Release Date, New Riders & Release Date

Gran Turismo Sport Delayed Into 2017
You had to figure the game was due for its customary delay when Sony canceled the beta that they'd been advertising since the game was announced. If they did it becase it needs it, I've no problem with that. If they did it just to accomodate the Neo, I'm not going to be happy.

FIFA 17 Adds 23 Brazilian Clubs & PES 2017 Adds Chilean Teams
In FIFA, 18 of the teams are from the first division and the rest are from the second division. There were no Brazilian clubs in FIFA 16. Meanwhile, competitor PES 2017 is getting 16 Chilean teams. Neither of these deals are exclusive. As we near release, both franchises are still wheeling and dealing, trying to carve out what they can. It can get confusing – for instance, FIFA has added these Brazilian teams, but PES has an exclusive with Brazilian side Corinthians. Check both games' official websites (here for FIFA and here for PES) to see more.

NASCAR Heat Evolution Announces Its DLC Plans 

www.GameInformer.com – The Feed

The Sports Desk – A New Football Experience

The NFL season is right around the corner, and with EA's Madden already out, you're probably looking for even more video game football. Today's Sports Desk features a title that you may not have heard of which could satisfy that need. Plus, if you're a fan of the other brand of football, soccer, I've got an analysis of Pro Evolution Soccer 2017 Advanced Instructions from the game's demo – a feature that should be invaluable out on the pitch.

PRO STRATEGY FOOTBALL 2016

Pro Strategy Football 2016 is made by one person – the dedicated Kerry Batts. Batts makes the game in his spare time, and it's packed with features that only a die-hard football fan would include.

The unlicensed game puts you in the role of both coach and GM of a pro team, and you call the shots from what plays to run (which you then see play out automatically via sweet old-school graphics) to whom to draft.

The game is very user friendly in both its menu systems and options. For instance, play calling can be automated (there are also suggested and favorite plays), you can sim the draft, or choose to see potential draftees' abilities or not. On the other hand, you can also choose your own defensive line shifts, instruct your players to try and get out of bounds as the clock winds down, and obsess over the player ratings and team tendencies to come up with a master gameplay from play to play.


The routes of individual receivers can be altered via the expert play calling option. Players can switch between beginner and expert every play.

While Pro Strategy Football isn't as expansive as soccer's Football Manager series, for instance (this is the creation of one person, after all), I was impressed with some of the touches Batts includes. You can see replays of simmed games and edit player names. Player are improved via drills and training camp. The draft day trading system features the well-known point system for draft picks. There's even local competitive multiplayer.

The offseason does not include key features like free agency and contracts due to the real-life complexity of that aspect of football, but Batts says he's considering adding a light version of free agency featuring contracts and franchise tags. Similarly, he might add a potential attribute for players in order to create gems and busts. Both features may come out post-launch depending on what the community thinks, or perhaps they'll be shelved for next year. Batts is being flexible with these post-launch possibilities. Online multiplayer and other potential additions to the Steam version of the game are also up in the air.

There's no such thing as too much football, and Pro Strategy Football 2016 presents a slightly different take on this familiar game.

Pro Strategy Football 2016 comes out in September 6 on PC. The Mac version should follow later in September, with those for the iOS and Android coming out later. Pricing among the different platforms varies, and there will be some slight differences between the desktop and mobile versions.

Check out its Steam page or the game's official website for more.

Missed some of the previous Sports Desk entries? Take a look at the past installments via our Hub page by clicking on the banner below.

Have a suggestion or comment? Put it in the comments section below, send me an email, or reach me on twitter at @mattkato.

 

DO PES 2017'S ADVANCED INSTRUCTIONS WORK?

The demo for Konami's Pro Evolution Soccer 2017 is out now in advance of the full release on (September 13), and one of the key features of this year's game is Advanced Instructions. These are offensive and defensive tactics above and beyond the usual set of strategic options that shape how your team plays. I tried out some of them in the demo and wanted to give you a quick overview of the difference they can make.

The optional instructions are activated via the Game Plan menu, and you can choose four total: two offensive and two defensive. During the game you can select between the different instructions by holding down the left trigger and pressing the d-pad in the appropriate direction. An icon at the bottom of the screen near the player name shows you which ones are currently turned on.

Offensive Instructions:

  • Hug the Sidelines (Players spread out across the entire width of the field)
  • Attacking Fullbacks (Fullbacks come forward with wingers moving into the middle)
  • Wing Rotation (Forwards cycle along the wing to give the player with the ball options)
  • Tiki-Taka (Teammates take up positions to maximize possession of the ball)
  • False 9 (The striker drops back into the hole and other forwards fill the space)
  • Centering Targets (Designed for lobbing lots of crosses into the box)
  • False Fullbacks (The fullbacks tuck into the midfield ahead of the center backs)

Defensive Instructions:

  • Tight Marking
  • Deep Defensive Line
  • Swarm the Box (Defenders bunch near the goal)
  • Counter Target (Some forwards stay past the halfway line looking for a fast counter)
  • Gegenpress (Multiple players aggressively try to win back the ball when possession is lost)

Not all of the instructions were available in the demo (such as False Fullbacks and Gegenpress), but I got a good idea of how useful overall the feature will be.

This is a shot of Atlético building an attack with all of the Advanced Instructions off. Contrast this with the screen below:

Here is a similar attack with Barcelona that uses the Hug the Sideline Advanced Instruction. As you can see, this changes your attacking options. Also, notice the other forward way at the top of the screen at the opposite touchline. Using Hug the Sideline, he'll stay there, giving you an option to switch fields and create width. However, this also takes away a possible defensive option in the midfield if the other team starts a counter-attack.

Here's the tiki-taka instruction, and appropriately ball carrier Alba has more teammates to pass to. They may not be bearing down on the defense as much, but they're making themselves available for more passing options.

On defense, the instructions aren't as complex, but they are undoubtably useful.

Above is the normal defensive back line without any special instructions. Below is that line playing with the Deep Defensive Line instructions.

It's not a massive difference, but it can be important. The trade off here is that the deeper the line you play the more space you open up between your defenders and your midfield. And when you give some opposing forwards time and space they can make you pay.

Below you can see the difference between the Swarm the Box instructions (the first screen) and without any defensive instructions (second screen). Playing more compact in the box naturally leaves you more exposed to passes out to the wing.

Since you can assign and select multiple instructions and change them on the fly, they will be very useful for unlocking your opponent and stymying their own plans (the CPU also uses instructions). I'm very interested to match instructions not only against what my opponent is trying to do, but to maximize my own players' skills and how I like to play the game. It should also help differentiate teams from each other and make them play more like they do in real life.

 

89 THINGS WE KNOW ABOUT NBA 2K17

Fellow editor Matt Bertz has put together a whopping preview covering just about everything you want and need to know about the latest installment of Visual Concepts' venerable hoops franchise.

From gameplay to MyCareer, MyGM, and beyond, Bertz thouroughly breaks down the September 20 title. Check it out here.

 

RELEASE LIST

NASCAR Heat Evolution (PS4, Xbox One, PC) September 13
NHL 17 (PS4, Xbox One) September 13
Pro Evolution Soccer 2017 (PS4, Xbox One, PS3, 360, PC) September 13
NBA 2K 17 (PS4, Xbox One, PS3, 360, PC) September 20
FIFA 17 (PS4, Xbox One, PS3, 360, PC) September 27
Forza Horizon 3 (Xbox One, PC) September 27

 

THE TICKER
A quick rundown of some of the sports news from the week.

Infinite Air Gets a Release Date, New Riders & Release Date

Gran Turismo Sport Delayed Into 2017
You had to figure the game was due for its customary delay when Sony canceled the beta that they'd been advertising since the game was announced. If they did it becase it needs it, I've no problem with that. If they did it just to accomodate the Neo, I'm not going to be happy.

FIFA 17 Adds 23 Brazilian Clubs & PES 2017 Adds Chilean Teams
In FIFA, 18 of the teams are from the first division and the rest are from the second division. There were no Brazilian clubs in FIFA 16. Meanwhile, competitor PES 2017 is getting 16 Chilean teams. Neither of these deals are exclusive. As we near release, both franchises are still wheeling and dealing, trying to carve out what they can. It can get confusing – for instance, FIFA has added these Brazilian teams, but PES has an exclusive with Brazilian side Corinthians. Check both games' official websites (here for FIFA and here for PES) to see more.

NASCAR Heat Evolution Announces Its DLC Plans 

www.GameInformer.com – The Feed

Replay – The Football Episode

We don't often look at sports games on Replay, and considering how integral they are to the success of gaming, we view that as a mistake. The reason why we haven't? They don't slot neatly into the Replay formula, and we know, because we've tried to bring them to you numerous times before, but have always ended up deleting the footage. In celebration of the release of another Madden title this week, we thought we'd give this test another shot. We think we found a formula that keeps with the spirit of the show, and is equally as informative.

Rather than just looking at a few games like we normally do, we decided to look at how far football games have come with quick looks at nearly a dozen titles, spanning the NES era to Dreamcast. As you'll soon see, some game developers didn't quite know how to bring this sport to gaming early on. Their attempts were hilariously bad, and it took numerous attempts before one developer eventually got it right.

Even if sports aren't your thing, we think you'll enjoy seeing just how fast this medium evolves and how quickly innovation hits. Thanks again for watching. We'll see you in seven days!

(Please visit the site to view this media)

For more episodes of Replay, check out our Replay hub, or click on the banner below to watch episodes on YouTube.

www.GameInformer.com – The Feed