When it comes to RPG Sport Games, and you will find two groups of people: those fanatically in favor, and those vehemently opposed.

The truth is, many don’t realize that all sport games already have RPG elements in them. If you have ever created a player for a Connected Franchise in Madden, or adjusted the velocity on a four-seam fastball stat on a starting pitcher in MLB The Show because you thought they weren’t properly rated, I’ve got some news for you, you just role played that game.

NBA2k_MyCareer_Player_Creation_Improvements
If you change your attributes, you are role-playing your character.

The real debate comes with the idea of having a story mode, or the ability to essentially play SIMS in player mode. While a full-on SIMS mode for Madden sounds very appealing to some, others shudder at the idea.

While some are foaming at the mouth for the ability to buy a home and car, a la NFL 2k5, there are just as many on the opposing side clamoring for the removal of player modes completely. The latter would prefer developers spend their money and effort on “fixing broken animations.”

The typical response to the anti-RPG group is, “If you don’t like it, don’t play it, but don’t ruin it for the rests of us.” While there is some sense to this, playing quick game in Madden will prove that there are many issues that need to be addressed. The introduction of the new Frostbite engine does just that.

Frostbite has the potential to put to bed the broken animations argument. Without this argument, it will be very interesting to hear the new excuse as to why developers should exclude a story mode from sport games.

[RELATED: More information on the Frostbite engine.]

With the introduction of this new, much more advanced engine, developers could potentially have more time to invest in more RPG features. Perhaps more interviews for players and coaches? Imagine having the option to either go out partying, or staying home and watching game film, and both having their stat boosts and drops.

Imagine having the ability to spend your salary on things like homes, cars, clothes, equipment, etc., and have each of those purchases somehow impact your character; each in more and more positive ways the more you spend on upgrading.

Taking a player from college to the pros via a senior game, having interviews, going through combines and pro days to develop your player’s skills and increase or decrease your draft stock would be an amazing addition to all sport games, not just a select few.

These are just a few of the example that could be added for a more immersive, and greater overall RPG experience.

Yet there are still some that don’t want them.

While these features would be amazing to see in sport games, there should definitely be the option to shut off the RPG features for those anti-RPG folks who just want to create a character, and play the games.

Keep in mind, however, there are many ways to enjoy games. The great thing about video games, especially sports titles, is that you can have 100 people play a game, and none play the same way.

Just because they each play it differently, doesn’t make it less enjoyable to others. So, I guess the best answer to the question is to simply let people enjoy games the way they want, but have the options there for everyone.


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Anthony Nappo
Anthony is an avid sports gamer who plays just about everything, but mostly big titles like Madden and MLB the Show. Born in Buffalo, NY and currently living in Dallas, TX, he can be found most weekends on his couch playing games, or watching a Buffalo sports team try its best. He is still very bitter about the 1999 Stanley Cup Finals, so feel free to tease him (believe me, it's fun).