Why make new sports games each year if they are all the same?

Many people wonder why games like NHL, NBA, or Madden continue to make games because they are all the same. The mechanics are the same each year and many times there is no difference. Gamers feel like they are paying money for the same game and many don’t like it. But as an avid sports game player I can say that no two games are the same. What I mean by that is that NBA 2k15 is not nearly the same as 2k16. While they have similar core mechanics like boundaries in the game, same buttons which do the same thing, etc.  they are not similar at all. A major change from year to year is the rosters from team to team. Players get traded, rookies join the league and people retire which already makes each game different. A good example of this is the major difference in NBA 2k16 to the newest version 2k17. A lot of things have happened since the release of 2k16 which makes 2k17 a completely new game just because of the available players on each team. From the time 2k16 was released there has been chaos in the NBA, one of the greatest players Kobe Bryant retired and a lot of big name players got traded. This has a huge impact on the game mechanics because trades like this make teams ratings and stats go up and also down for the worse teams.  Someone who doesn’t know or follow the NBA might not even know or care about this and I think this is why people think each NBA game is the same.

NBA 2K16 features a lot of mechanics during the in game play. When you are playing an exhibition match game players have a lot of actions they can perform. Run, shoot, dribble moves, pass, select a play, dunk. There are also boundaries just like in real life, which is the lines on the court. The in game mechanics are not as easy as they seem though. Dribble moves are activated by using the right analog stick both on Xbox and Play Station. I played this game on Xbox so I will use their buttons as reference. The right analog stick activates multiple different dribble moves. It all depends on the motion you rotate or flick the stick. Spinning the analog stick in a full circle for example does a spin move while you have the ball. You have to remember all the combinations to be able to perform them during the game. There are a lot of sub mechanics to the core mechanics in the game. Doing a basic pass in NBA 2K is easy because you just press the A button on Xbox. But there are also different forms of passes that require you to know button combinations. Bounce pass is B and a flashy pass is to double tap B. If you press Y it is a lob pass which is the opposite of a bounce pass and double tapping that is alley-oop. There are probably hundreds of more control mechanics and combinations not just with passing but shooting, dunks etc. But there are also other mechanics in the game that I think are worthy of talking about.

One of my favorite game modes of NBA 2K16 is the online play. They have different game modes for online play and a very popular one is the My Player mode. In this game mode you create your own player and he goes to the NBA. The player starts out in high school and you basically control his journey to the NBA. I made my guy look like me and gave him the same name. In this game mode the core mechanics are basically the same as normal versus mode except you only play as one person during the whole time (your MyPlayer). The control mechanics in-game are the same just you cannot switch players. Online also features a game mode where you can play as your MyPlayer on “MyCourt” with other people around the world’s created players. It is played on a virtual court which features multiple courts and you can run around and basically pick which court and team you want to play. There are 3 different “MyCourt” teams and you can choose one to join and even travel to rival courts to battle other teams.

The video below shows some gameplay from online MyCourt, the guy playing gets really into the game and yells so be ready if you are wearing headphones because his mic sounds like it was $2. I try not to get that intense but can’t say I never have.

NBA 2K, NHL and Madden all come out with new improvements each year that are usually small game mechanic adjustments. NHL recently changed a major game mechanic in their games. When they came out with NHL 16 they changed the skating drastically, from the 2015 game. They made it slower, turning was harder and the top speeds were a lot slower. A lot of people were outraged, as was I but it just took some getting used to. In my opinion when game developers come out with new mechanics or improvements people usually get angry right away because they are not use to it and it takes time to get used to. Most updates usually come with glitches and minor bugs, users just have no patience and get really angry. But as an avid basketball player and watcher I believe that every NBA 2K game is different. Even if they all were the same game mechanics and the only thing that changed was the players who were traded/retire in real life I would still buy it. There have been a lot of game mode and roster updates from 2K 16 to 2K 17. The article embedded below shows some of the changes between games.

2K17 new updates


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