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How Sports Shaped the Way We Enjoy Games

With modern advancements in technology, video games have become incredibly realistic with astonishing graphics. One natural outcome of the ever-evolving industry is the evolution of sports video games. As an outcome, new sports betting sites have been popping up. Not only that, but sports video games have and continue to set the bar for video games in general.

Shaping the way we enjoy games

Tennis For Two

When William Higinbotham created Tennis For Two in 1952, he not only pioneered video game technology, but also influenced future generations of programmers. While it took him a few hours to design the game, he and technician, Robert V. Dvorak, built it over a period of three weeks. To many, this has been dubbed “the first video game”, revealing to many the possibilities of electronic entertainment.

Taito and Sega alter the industry through racing games

The evolution of sports video games required the implementation of the real-life rules and nuances to drive what players experience. The first of these was Crown Soccer Special in 1967.Two years later, Sega released an arcade game known as Grand Prix. Its implementation of a wheel controller and foot pedals provided the template for future arcade racing games. It also acts as a very early example of blurring the line between real life and immersive gameplay. 

Pong serves a new trend in 1972

Pong was not the first video game, but it was certainly one of the first. It was also the first commercially successful video game. It helped to establish the video game industry along with the Magnavox Odyssey. Following its release, several companies began producing games that closely mimicked its gameplay. A trend we still see today with competing IPs of similar genres. Following its success, Taito sought to capitalize, releasing Davis Cup, a doubles tennis game, in 1973. They also released Soccer, which allowed two players to control all outfield positions laying the seeds for co-op couch play.

The enlarged usage of AI and the elevation of Electronic Arts in 1987

Electronic Arts, known now mostly for their sports games, released Earl Weaver Baseball in 1987. Up to that point, no baseball game was as graphically beautiful, nor as realistic for its time. While not always successful, EA Sports titles continue to push graphical fidelity in sports aiming to create true to life presentation.

The impact of improved graphics in sports video games

The evolution of sports video games has led to an increase in technology, such that the game resembles live broadcast shows. Initially developed for the Apple II series, it made its debut with Madden Football in 1988 – on rudimentary games. The 1990 edition of the game had more features over post-presence stat tracking and was more refined compared to early versions. It contained animations and AI which was significantly faster than previous versions.

Golden Age of Sports Video Games

Hordes of sports video games released in the 1990s and 2000s. The PlayStation, PlayStation 2, Xbox, Sega Dreamcast, and Nintendo 64 all released alongside a plethora of sports games. Sports present established set of rules and require little innovation in terms of design. Essentially, it comes down to putting the rules in a game and doing it better than the competition.

EA and Take-Two represent this idea perfectly. Both companies feature a diverse and deep library of sports games. Other sports IPs do exist. Licensing can make or a break a game, but some see success despite not having official licensing. Sports games may not get the nomination for top game of the year, but the innovation curve of this genre has set the bar for how to keep things fresh in a genre defined by realism and true to life representation. 


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