Explaining the Absence of Sports Games at the PS4 Reveal Event

Posted February 21st, 2013 at 11:30 am


Despite features that will intrigue sports gamers there was no presence for the genre at the big PS4 press event. FIFA would have been by far the most likely candidate to appear but even it didn’t have a place there. In fact EA and Take Two weren’t in attendance to show any games. The absence of FIFA, as well as other big sellers sure to hit the launch window like Madden and NBA 2K, can be easily explained however.

EA Sports and 2K Sports have releases to promote prior to the arrival of the PS4 and next Xbox. Priority will lie on selling those first and then turning attention to the versions on the new consoles. Ideally they hope to sell as many consumers as possible on both…buying a 360/PS3 version in the period before they potentially will buy them on next-generation systems.

They do not want to unintentionally disparage the current generation of titles and have anyone thinking about passing on them with the plan instead of getting them later on the next Xbox or PS4. By far the bigger consumer base will remain on the current generation of systems for not just this year but well beyond.

The possibility of blowing anyone away with a presentation of a game like FIFA would have been minimal. Even the response to the new game reveals made there were lukewarm. The graphical jump from the current generation to the next is not near that of when the PS2/Xbox leapt to what we have now. There wasn’t anything EA or 2K could have done to create huge buzz this far in advance that also wouldn’t have hurt what they’ll be trying to sell in the months ahead.

Add to that doing so could have set themselves up for possible misery that wouldn’t have been worth the risk. EA Sports never was able to shake the disaster that was the Madden concept trailer – which they laughably even claimed would be exceeded by Madden 06 when it launched on the 360. Trust in the company degraded rapidly and many still compare the products unfavorably to that single video. It has haunted the company ever since.

With the exception of exposure, as the live stream of the presentation was viewed by over 500K on the PlayStation feed alone and there were several other outlets running their own, there was little to gain for EA or 2K having their games on display at this point in the year. The titles in question are more likely to show up around E3 but even then don’t expect them to take precedence over the promotion of the 360/PS3 versions.

  • Skihawks

    I disagree that the graphics leap from PS2/XBox to current gen was that big. Initially, it was no where near the leap from the PS1 to Dreamcast/PS2.

    I am hoping that the next gen brings another level of visual immersion. The PS4 is on my radar although I am no where near as ready for the next gen as I was last gen. A lot of that attributed to these excellent consoles we have today.

    Great time to be a gamer!!!

  • whats gucci my nizzle?

  • Dalibor

    EA already stated that they be showing their next-gen games in May, or after both companies revealed their consoles.


  • Maybe to an extent. But they’re going to market the 360/PS3 versions hard, then try and offer a reason why people might want to get the next Xbox/PS4 versions (without making the current gen ones seem obsolete at the same time). It’s a delicate process they’ll be undertaking. I don’t think it means quality of either gen will be lesser because of that. It’s just the way they have to present them.

    • GoMadden

      Well the quality of the new gen game will certainly be less relative to what we would expect a year later. I really wouldn’t be totally surprised though to not see Madden at all until next season (maybe not likely, but wouldn’t surprise me). Having a Madden ready for WiiU when expectations for EA on that console were so low doesn’t really seem comparable to me.

      I’d like to think they’re trying to re-qualify the Madden franchise, and it’d be nice to see them use the development time to make a really good impression for the first Madden game on the new gen. It would also give consumers time to catch up.

    • Tommy

      pasta any future on the 2k future into the next gen?

  • I’ll probably get the PS4 next to my PS3 & Wii U sometime next year. But I need to buy a new PC to record my music on first, and Pro Tools 10. I’ll probably buy a Gaming PC for my music, might as well game on the PC I record my music on. But I could go with a cheap laptop due to high price of Pro Tools 10. So, I won’t get PS4 at launch, music comes first for me.

    • Guest

      you’re music probably sucks so why waste your time.

    • curtis jackson

      Yeah man it annoys me that they don’t release madden on pc it would be much easier

  • MoneyMayweather

    No news on NFL 2k14 pasta? and has 2k told the NFL it will never make an NFL football game 20 dollars?

  • Great job of laying out the business rationale of 2K and EA

    One of the reasons I’m in no rush to buy a Next Gen system (besides the amazing fact I’m still content wit my X Box after 7 years) is that the first round of sports games on new systems usually always suck.

    You already mentioned the Madden 06 debacle and I’m still amazed at how horrible 2006 FIFA World Cup was.