Still in their infancy within the competitive arena there were two major stories for sports video games and their place as eSports this week. EA Sports had to navigate controversy due to the conduct of the Madden Bowl winner on social media, while 2K Sports announced an unprecedented partnership with the NBA to create what will be known as the NBA 2K eLeague.
Also discussed are gameplay improvements that have been detailed for MLB The Show 17, the return of Mutant League Football and its successful Kickstarter campaign, and the decision made for E3 to start admitting the public instead of just industry professionals and press.
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Another update is now available to download in NBA 2K17 and becomes the ninth post-release patch of substance this year. For whatever reason on PS4 the updates have required a massive download of 7.6GB on each occasion. Considering four of them have been rolled out in the last 10 days, those who own the game on that system have been forced to download over 30GB of data over that short stretch of time which is problematic to say the least.
This latest patch deals with matchmaking issues inÂ Pro-Am which saw occurrences of failed searches for opponents rise afterÂ one of the patches released just over a week ago.
EarlierÂ updates addressed issues that include a lengthy delay loading to the main menu, gameplay in MyPark and PS4 Pro compatibility after adding support for the system, ability to release roster updates, fixing of theÂ shot meter and various bugs, reduction of shot percentages, and tweaking of general gameplay and presentation. Despite all of that major issues have remained most notably related to CPU defensive AI and the gameâ€™s online Pro-Am mode.
Once Mutant Football League was able to achieve its Kickstarter goal, something that took the spiritual successor to 1993’s Mutant League Football only three days to do, developers sought feedback on potential stretch goals. By reaching additional funding targets they can deliver more features to the game targeting October for PC release and early 2018 for PS4/Xbox One. The final stretch goals have now been announced and several have already been met.Â Read more
MLB The Show 17 developers held the first live stream for the game yesterday going through the improvements coming to gameplay that were shown off in a video earlier this week.Â While there wasn’t much in the way of new information out of the broadcast that ran for over an hour, it did offer the first opportunity to see the game in action (both regular and Retro Mode) and that’s always valuable. Changes touched on includeÂ new ball physics, more life-like AI, adjustmentsÂ to base-stealing systems and newÂ catcher throw meter, and the new catch and throw engine.
The roster update which followsÂ Super Bowl LI is now available to download in Madden NFL 17. Expected to be the final update of the season it delivers some ratings changes mostly affecting the New England Patriots and Atlanta Falcons while freeing up any remaining injured players.
Super Bowl MVP Tom Brady has moved up a point to 96 Overall for his peak rating of the season. He now stands alone as the second highest rated quarterback in the game trailing only Aaron Rodgers. The other big star was James White who had 3 touchdowns, caught 14 passes, and scored a two-point conversion. He has been bumped up a couple points to 80 Overall.
Other notable players on the move include Julian Edelman (+1 to 89), DeMarco Murray (+1 to 87), Melvin Gordon (+2 to 85), Matt Forte (-2 to 84), Alan Branch (+3 to 82), Trey Flowers (+1 to 81), Deion Jones (+2 to 80), and Robert Alford (+1 to 80).Â Check out all the changes and final ratings for players across the league through this form.
The NBA and 2K Sports today announced an unprecedented partnership with the hopes of creating the next big eSport. NBA 2K eLeague will launch in 2018 and eventually every NBA team will run one of the eSport franchises within a professional sports league structure.
It’ll be important for money not to be a factor in shaping the characters utilized in the NBA 2K eLeague. Competitive balance will be key as currently the competitions with the game involve characters that have been built up through both extreme amount of time playing the game and money spent to boost attributes and abilities. For several years now 2K has implemented aÂ number of avenues to try and drive the purchase of Virtual Currency aka VC. Tempting people into participating in qualification for a tournament using their created players is one of them.
The other big concern relates to online reliability. Even still with NBA 2K17 the online Pro-Am mode has serious issues, with participants all too frequently being booted which leaves the inferior CPU to take their place. Unless teams will be traveling to play locally the risk of that happening and unfortunately ruining games will remain. The majority of responses on social media to this news reference issues with the servers.
This is a big opportunity for both the NBA and 2K though should they figure out solutions to those challenges. Having a full league season rather than basic tournament structure could result in a real fan following, which will be further assisted by having the NBA teams involved creating another potential rooting interest for spectators.
Rather than being about the series of entertaining Madden NFL 17 games in an eSports setting where viewership numbers are slowly on the rise, the big story coming out of the Madden Bowl late last week related to the conduct of the winner on social media. The situation has been problematic for EA Sports which is still trying to find its way in the competitive scene and has now faced a number of growing pains along the way.
The circumstances necessitated a response from the company which was just published, and naturally that was done through social media. Read more
The 23rd and possibly final commentary update for Madden NFL 17 has gone out with the broadcast team of Brandon Gaudin and Charles Davis reflecting on the events that took place and storylines that emerged outÂ of a dramatic Super Bowl 51.
Madden received these real-world commentary updates regularly throughout the year which apply to Play Now and Online games. The duo alsoÂ recorded additional audio for Franchise and Ultimate Team. The updates wonÂ the 2016 Community Award for Best New Feature.
While it would be interesting if the commentary updates continued over the offseason, with references made toÂ the Combine, free agency, trades, and NFL Draft, it’s unclear whether EA desires – orÂ would even be allowed – to address any new league-year actions.