This turned out to be a somewhat curious year for sports games at E3 as a whole. While there were a bunch that had a presence they were held in more restricted fashion than in the past. Madden was of course very prominent but outside of that the majority were held for behind-closed-doors showings only. That has resulted in Madden NFL 12 picking up some big momentum and the rest of the games seeing much more limited success out of the event.
The EA press conference was a pretty big dud. The only piece of news to come out of that was the announcement of EA Sports Football Club for FIFA 12. That might best be described as a more compelling “Season Showdown” and could work out well for the worldwide phenomenon that is the FIFA series. Prior to the EA conference it was announced by president Peter Moore at the Microsoft press conference that upcoming titles including Madden, FIFA, and Tiger Woods will be implementing Kinect for Xbox 360 features.
The big surprise at E3 was in pulling NCAA Football 12 off the floor. All that did was create a perception that EA Sports had lost some confidence in it given that the NCAA series has traditionally always been available to the crowd. I did get a chance to play a full game (the final build) of NCAA 12 and was satisfied with what had been done but its improvements do come across in more of a subtle manner than Madden’s and overall it will feel familiar to those who played a decent amount of NCAA 11. The demo for NCAA 12 (due out on the 28th) now holds added significance in regaining buzz as it approaches release.
2K Sports can’t really be faulted in their handling of NBA 2K12 as typically they have not used the event as a springboard for the upcoming game. Response to the PlayStation Move demonstration was largely negative but the feature won’t even be utilized by most consumers so that can be overlooked. Some enhancements to the game were made public but nothing really significant as of yet. Just being there showed how prestigious the franchise has become.
An extended video displaying new features and gameplay from UFC Undisputed 3 was a welcome addition to the show and overall there is reason to be encouraged by the direction the title is being taken. Much of the discussion coming out though related to the poorly received new submission system that has been implemented. Given that UFC 3 doesn’t release until January there is plenty of time for THQ to tweak that system.
By all accounts Forza 4 had a strong showing and WWE 12 got a mildly positive response. Kinect Sports 2 was announced and includes six new sports and online play. Those titles deserve credit for at least being fully exposed on the show floor. SSX has gotten positive coverage for its showing behind-closed-doors, and the usual suspects there with NHL 12 and FIFA 12 also provided compelling showings though in a controlled environment.
Browsing through the awards for E3 it is SSX and FIFA 12 getting the most love. Surprisingly Madden 12 wasn’t even nominated by some outlets which I have trouble comprehending. Games not on the floor should really get less consideration for awards. Think about how ridiculous it was that 1UP and GameSpot nominated NBA Elite 11 for Best Sports Game at E3 last year!
News and Content
EA Sports Titles Adding Kinect Support
EA Sports Announces FIFA Football Club Feature
Majesco Announces New NBA Game and Purchase of QUICKHIT NFL Football
E3 Day One Recap and Brief Impressions
Light News on NBA 2K12
NCAA Football 12 Team and Prestige Ratings
NCAA Football 12 Demo Dated
UFC Undisputed 3 Impressions
Madden NFL 12 Impressions
Madden NFL 12 Player Traits Image Collection
Trailers and Gameplay Videos
Madden NFL 12 E3 Trailer
Forza Motorsport 4 E3 Trailer
NBA 2K12 PlayStation Move Demonstration Video
Madden 12: Jamal Charles TD Run
Madden 12: Tim Tebow Run
Madden 12: Bucs @ Vikings (Part One)
Madden 12: Chargers @ Chiefs
Madden 12: 49ers @ Seahawks
Madden 12: Bucs @ Vikings (Part Two)
Madden 12: Panthers @ Broncos