The latest Press Row Hangout broadcast live on Friday night and tackled early impressions of Madden NFL 15, FIFA 15, and NHL 15 coming out of an event held by EA Sports andÂ all the videos and information that have released to this point. They’ve been broken into segments dedicated to each game with the NHL portion somewhat short as the talk ended up spinning-off more towards how EA’s marketing strategy appears to have shiftedÂ this year across their portfolio of sports titles. Clips featuring that particular discussionÂ and responses to numerous viewer-submitted questions will go up on Monday. Read more
The decision has finally been made – LeBron James is going back to the Cleveland Cavaliers. James spent four years in Miami after crushing Cleveland’s spirit, getting to the NBA Finals every year and winning two championships. The details of the contract with the Cavs are still unknown.
This single signing will have a monumental affect on the balance of power not just in the NBA but in the video games as well. The Cavs will go from being one of the least used teams to likely the most used, while the ripple effects could see other talent move like Kevin Love possibly joining LeBron via trade, Chris Bosh moving to the Rockets, and Chandler Parsons to the Mavericks if Houston chooses not to match his restricted offer though they are expected to do so.
(Update) The first domino has fallen with Houston trading Jeremy Lin to the Lakers to open up cap space for signing Bosh and Parsons. And now, surprisingly, Chris Bosh is staying in Miami.
Meanwhile the heavily used Heat will no longer be a favorite among gamers. That roster right now looks as though it could end up being the worst in the whole league and potentially dismal in video game terms. The Cavs though will have the somewhat unstoppable force in LeBron, combined with talented young point guard Kyrie Irving, and other young high potential players (some may have to be moved for cap space). They’ll also look to surround LeBron with more players he likes with the talk being Ray Allen and Mike Miller as likely targets.
EA Sports today released a quick video offering glimpses at “The Gauntlet” – a new feature made up of various extreme arcade-style mini-games that end in “boss battles”. One example seen out of a clip from E3 (later pulled down by EA) included kicking a 110 yard FG in hurricane force winds. The video is complete with an annoying voiceover that you’d expect out of an arcade game although the footage makes it look more like a typical tutorial-type skill building mode.
Many have recently expressed frustration with a lack of information on NBA 2K15 whether that be on social media, various forums, or in direct correspondence. The fact is though 2K is right on track with their usual marketing schedule by only having put out official releases on the pre-order bonus and cover athlete by this point in the year. Read more
EA Sports today has gone further into the improvements to offensive and defensive line play in Madden NFL 15 with a new trailer. Features shown off include the optional defensive gameplay camera, enhancements made to how an offensive line plays as a unit, getting a jump off the snap as a d-lineman, and the various pass rush moves at a player’s disposal.
With two months to go until release EA Sports has talked quite a bit about NHL 15 but has yet to show much of substance. One brief gameplay video did leak out of E3 with reception to that somewhat mixed. The company is now starting up a series of polished videos to show off various aspects of NHL 15. The first takes a look at the rebuilt player models, jerseys, emotion, and celebrations – most of which debut specifically with the Xbox One and PS4 versions of the game.
Under normal circumstances today would have been all about the release of the latest edition of NCAA Football. Unfortunately the series was cancelled last September in the midst of player likeness lawsuits that scared the NCAA, several conferences, and even some schools into abandoning EA Sports. Were it not for the loss of actual schools (which would have gotten much worse as others wanted to drop out)Â the plan was for the franchise to continue with this year’s title named College Football 15. However with the game out of the way EA was able to settle their way out of the Ed O’Bannon lawsuit for a relatively paltry $40 million.
The series ended on a high note with NCAA 14 but fans will miss out on getting the College Football Playoff (or a replica of it) in a game which severely damages its long term appeal, while CF15 and beyondÂ could have takenÂ advantage of theÂ power and features of the new consolesÂ in a way that would have been especially beneficial.
As it stands now there is very little chance any college video games will be developed for the next 3+ years as the lawsuits are ruled on, appeals processes play out, new systems are put into place allowing for athletes to make money, and publishers determine if college-based video games can still be profitable. If the answer is yes even then it’ll take a significant investment of time and money to get back off the ground with a product.
So instead today presents an opportunity for reflection and the topic was discussed in the most recent Press Row Podcast. Leave comments regarding your favorite aspects and memories of the series over the years, what you’ll miss or maybe not miss about it, and your hopes for the cloudy future of college sports video games.
Though it has yet to be announced by EA Sports, the cover of NHL 15 has revealed that the game will include a code for $25 off a subscription to NHL GameCenter Live.
Similar to services offered by other sports most prominently MLB.TV, NHL GameCenter Live is subscription-based and offers live streamed out-of-market games and other features made available on a variety of devices. That includes apps for the PS4, PS3, 360, Vita, iOS, Android, and Roku. Xbox One is expected to receive the app as well this fall. GameCenter is fairly well regarded with the exception of home market blackouts causing frustration.
GameCenter isn’t available to purchase yet for the 2014-15 season so the official price has not been announced. Last year the full season subscription cost $150. Because of that the $25 may only end up impacting those who planned to pay for the service already rather than be enough to sway consumersÂ who wouldn’t have signed up otherwise to do so.
This isn’t like the Madden NFL 25 special edition which offered access to Sunday Ticket for $40 more, and to many who couldn’t subscribe to it no matter how much they might have wanted to since they didn’t have DirecTV, for a savings of about $200. Still it’s certainly a nice bonus being offered for no additional cost to those interested or expecting to subscribe to the service and picking up NHL 15 as well.
The credit towards GameCenter is of course in addition to the main pre-order incentive of $15 in Ultimate Team content retailer wide ($24 exclusively at GameStop) and the $40 in UT content that goes with the Ultimate Edition and its $70 price.
The Line Drive is a weekly collection of news, links, deal alerts, and updates that didnâ€™t necessarily warrant their own postings.
â™¦MLB 14: The Show on PlayStation 4 deal is still available just now for $42.79.
â™¦The reveal of Madden NFL 15 player ratings is expected to start in the next few weeks.
â™¦Some new screenshots for Madden NFL 15 have been added to the FB album.
â™¦Gamestop added an exclusive stadium for Ultimate Team to Madden 15′s pre-order bonus.
â™¦Another EA approved gameplay video for Madden NFL 15 went out this week.
â™¦Blog post on new duos in Madden 15 includes some minor player ratings notes.
â™¦Two new stadium screenshots have been added to the FB album for NHL 15.
â™¦EA is holding a play-test session for FIFA 15 at the Burnaby studio later this month.
â™¦There will be offside goals called back in FIFA 15.
â™¦PES 2015 is locked at 1080p/60fps on PS4 but Konami won’t commit to that on Xbox One.
â™¦Here’s an extended off-screen gameplay video of PES 2015 that has leaked out.
â™¦Bantamweight Champ T.J. Dillashaw will finally be added to EA Sports UFC this month.
â™¦One player will go to the MLS All-Star Game based on goals scored in FIFA 14.
â™¦A new update is expected to release for OOTP 15 later this month.
â™¦2K Sports announced John Cena as the cover star for WWE 2K15.
â™¦New video demonstrates how to set up a tournament in The Golf Club.
â™¦The “Hot Wheels Car Pack” has been released for Forza 5.
â™¦New video looks at the weather effectsÂ in Forza Horizon 2.
â™¦Players will be wearing special caps for the first time at the MLB All-Star Game.
News and content that may have been missed from the last week around the site.
â™¦Blu-ray/DVD Releases This Week. Headlined by The Raid 2 and Bad Words.
â™¦Sequel Confirmed for Pacific Rim. Guillermo del Toro announces 2017 release.
â™¦Trailer for Dumb and Dumber To. 20 years since the original released.
â™¦Teaser Trailer for Horrible Bosses 2. Sequel to the 2011 comedy.
â™¦Community Saved by Yahoo. Comedy series getting a sixth seasonÂ streamed online.
HB Studios has provided an update on the status of The Golf Club and its upcoming console release on Xbox One and PlayStation 4. The game is just about ready to be submitted to Microsoft and Sony for certification. That process generally takes 2-3 weeks and once complete the game would then receive a firm release date. Should all go smoothly, and it clear the testing process with both first parties, a release at the end of the month or early August is a fair expectation. Rejection for any reason which would require fixes to be madeÂ and then subsequent resubmittal would obviously delay that optimistic outlook.
The Golf ClubÂ has been available through Steam Early Access since mid-April and has received a number of updates since. The console release had been pegged for fall but was pushed back to summer when it became obvious it would miss that window. Without licensing or an event to coincide with the company has the freedom to release it whenever they desire and has chosen to continue to put work into the productÂ rather than rush it out and follow that up with patches to address initial issues discovered by consumers.