The final two segments from the most recent Press Row Hangout relate to the apparent shift in marketing strategy from EA Sports and various topics sent in by viewers.
The first video givesÂ consideration to why EA is promoting their upcoming titles differently this year compared to how they have traditionally. Less is being talked about early, recording was not permitted at E3, and the information that is actually being distributed has been fairly low key and based in fundamentals. Is it a philosophical change, related to the shorter development cycle, or due to the desire to continue generating revenue in last year’s titles for as long as possible?
The second video involves discussion around viewer submitted questions that include the lack of a patch for the PS4 version of MLB 14: The Show, when to expect Connected Franchise news for Madden NFL 15, whether Madden’s release date should be moved up now that there is no college football game, promised NBA 2K15 news that was never delivered despite people being baited into watching a live stream, and more! Read more
A tweet sent out by Joe Montana has led to speculation that the return of the series named after him could be on the horizon. On Saturday he posted the image above and accompanied that with the hashtags “#youvewaitedlongenough” and “#joemontanafootball16″. Since then more has surfaced revealing what is likely to be a mobile game utilizing the Unreal Engine.Â Read more
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 is back down to $40 on Amazon.
â™¦Out for over two months PS4 MLB 14: The Show still hasn’t received a patch.
â™¦OOTP 15 is available for $20 which is 50% off until Wed plus a patch was released.
â™¦New small screenshots ofÂ four rookies in Madden NFL 15Â added to the FB album.
â™¦Check out the latest screenshots for NHL 15Â added to the FB album.
â™¦New video takes a look at the turn-based online multiplayer in The Golf Club.
â™¦New video takes a look at how to play in a tournament in The Golf Club.
â™¦GoodGameBro lists out ten ways EA Sports UFC could be greatly improved.
â™¦Special Press Row Podcast features impressions and interviews from an EA event.
â™¦USGamer profiled how concerning microtransactions are to sports game future.
â™¦The newÂ Chase for the SprintÂ Cup format will be patched into Nascar 14.
â™¦UFC is nearing the signing of Gina Carano to take on Ronda Rousey.
â™¦The NBA unveiled the logo for the 2015 NBA All-Star Game hosted in New York.
â™¦Renovation of Wrigley Field has been approved to be completed by next season.
â™¦Rio 2 and Orpahn Black S2Â head the Blu-ray/DVD releasesÂ for this week.
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.