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PlayStation (Games) Entertainment Games

Sony Cans Most 989 Sports Titles For 2004 35

blueZhift writes "GameSpy reports that Sony's 989 Sports division announced today that NFL GameDay, NCAA GameBreaker, NBA ShootOut, and NCAA Final Four for PlayStation 2 will not be updated for the 2004-2005 season. Hmmm, with Microsoft recently shelving their sports lineup for 2004 and EA Sports games allegedly coming over to Xbox Live, one can only wonder if 989's announcement is EA-related as well."
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Sony Cans Most 989 Sports Titles For 2004

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  • by the_riaa ( 669835 ) on Thursday May 06, 2004 @03:54AM (#9071411) Homepage
    I firmly believe that competition is a good thing, but let's face it folks, the only two companies putting out good sports games these days are Sega and Electronic Arts. 989 had good games early in the PS1 life-cycle, when they were taking advantage of the Sony machine's graphics better than the other guys. Guess what? EA caught up with them. And vastly surpassed them. If it weren't for Sega resurrecting their Sports department with the 2K games on the Dreamcast, EA would be the only name out there, other than Midway and those dopey NFL Blitz/MLB Slugfest games. Sports games are big business, but if you're 989, only selling games for ONE of the consoles (unlike EA and Sega), and you're fighting for that marginal percentage of the market share called third or forth place on that ONE console, then the well runs dry pretty quick. I applaud 989 for still making PS1 games, I always like to see old systems get love, but the creativity, the enhancements, and the feel and play of their games has taken a nose-dive over the past few years. 989 Sports, hate to see you go, but honestly, you won't be missed.
    • by pommaq ( 527441 ) <straffaren AT spray DOT se> on Thursday May 06, 2004 @05:19AM (#9071641) Homepage
      You're right, competition IS a good thing, and this move will make a bad situation even worse. EA already has a stranglehold on the sports market and we all know what EA Sports means: rubber-stamp sequels with updated graphics and rosters, licensed pop music, and no creative additions to gameplay since somewhere around 1999. I play mostly footie games, and having played FIFA since 94 or 95 somewhere (before they even went quasi-3d and had real rosters) I used to think that FIFA was as good as it got. That is, until I hit upon Sega's Winning Eleven [] series while looking for a decent footballer to import for my 'cube. I could understate things by saying that it was an eye-opener, but to be honest it made me realize that EA has been making gobs of money selling absolute shit for quite a while now. It certainly works if you haven't tried anything else, but I can't even play the FIFA series anymore - it's like trying to eat rocks for dinner after getting used to exquisite three-course meals.

      Simply put, sports games can be vastly improved with some creativity and innovation, and EA is the one company you can trust to never ever EVER innovate. They've proved time and time again that the only thing they care about is the bottom line: they'll chew through developers and brands like snacks, release what should rightly be patches as add-ons, and sacrifice everything new and creative on the altar of "hey, it sold well enough last time" and glitzy graphics. It's painful to see. And even if this particular competitor made crap games too (haven't played any of their games, so I wouldn't know) it WAS competition. Maybe this makes sense for Sony, but every move that strengthens EA's sports dominance will shaft you - the consumer - in the end.
      • And since I'm drunk or high something, I wrote Sega when of course I meant Konami. Konami Tokyo are the people behind Winning Eleven/PES, not Sega. Sorry.
      • Have you ever played the NCAA Football series? Really played it? I've been in on it since 1998. In-depth recruiting. Hot route audibles. Real fight songs for the majority of universities. Brad Nessler, Lee Corso, and Kirk Herbstreit with enough dialogue that I'm still hearing some things for the first time after a year. I can honestly say that NCAA Football 2004 is the best sports game that I've ever played.

        I'll admit, EA has a history of making worthless sequels (read: The Sims ______) and not bei

        • Yeah, I worded that a bit harshly. They do update some things. But look at what I wrote: no creative additions to gameplay . That's the thing; they most certainly add to the sound, the ambience and the atmosphere and the presentation, everything looks cooler and more realistic with every new version. Drafting, trading players, etc. But you never get more than subtle tweaks to the gameplay itself, and the gameplay in a sports game is more important than anything else... it IS the game. It's hard to explain j
          • Winning Eleven 7 is a work of soccer video game genius for sure. There are definitely some areas where FIFA represents. Some of the penalty shooting stuff is a little better. But man, I can't get enough of WE7.
    • The multi platform thing is not exactly critically important. If you compare the number of PS2's that have been sold vs X-Box and GameCube, you will find that Sony has an ungodly amount of PS2 units out there.

      I hate to say it, but supporting X-Box or GCN right now is only marginally more important then a PC game supporting Mac. Being a single platform game is not a problem when that platform is 70% or so of the market.

  • Maybe... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by BigZaphod ( 12942 )
    Perhaps it will free up some funds for some original game concepts instead of the same old crap over and over and over...

    Well, one can hope, anyway.
    • Re:Maybe... (Score:3, Insightful)

      by SamSim ( 630795 )

      It's not Sega and EA's fault that people keep buying the updates of the same game over and over and over. It's irritating, but it's profitable.

    • Re:Maybe... (Score:3, Insightful)

      by illuminata ( 668963 )
      Being a jock as well as a geek, maybe I can shed some light as to why some people buy sports games every year.

      To a geek, it would appear as if it was the same junk with just some minor tweaks. But, to a sports gamer, they are anything but.

      With all of the roster moves made during the season and in the off-season, a player wants to have their game's roster be as current as possible. A current roster keeps that sense of realism for a player. That's the largest reason why one would pick up the latest title of
    • "Perhaps it will free up some funds for some original game concepts instead of the same old crap over and over and over..."

      This is interesting. I find this statement (which is partially true) to be in direct contrast to a recent Slashdot article [] about another re-release of the original Star Trek series.

      Also, in the future, possibly more of the game developers will follow the lead on the Xbox, which is roster updates [] throughout the season. I used NHL Rivals as my link, and I know it wasn't a great game,
    • Perhaps it will free up some funds for some original game concepts instead of the same old crap over and over and over...

      Right. Instead of having another choice for gamers in a smaller but hardcore audience, that time and effort will be spent either on another crappy FPS or another stupid and pointless MMORPG.

      Remind me why this is good again?...

      -- Primis.
  • by Txiasaeia ( 581598 ) on Thursday May 06, 2004 @04:05AM (#9071439)
    Does this mean that the PS3 and/or XboX2 is around the corner? Microsoft cancels 2004 games, EA does likewise, and now Sony? This means to me that, either people aren't interested in sports games any more (HA!) or that they're starting work on next-gen systems/games - after all, if Sony/MS want to have some kick ass games for startup (MS perhaps in a year, Sony by Q4/05), they need to get cracking, right?
  • Not EA Related (Score:5, Insightful)

    by illuminata ( 668963 ) on Thursday May 06, 2004 @04:50AM (#9071557) Journal
    It's poor quality related. The sports titles produced by 989 Sports always came up inferior, not just in the graphics department, but in all of the other departments as well. That includes gameplay, where it always fell short every year in every sport.

    When you create a bad game, word spreads very fast and nobody bites at it. When you create a bad game in a series year after year, people don't trust the series anymore. And when you do that with multiple series, people lose trust in the developer. Had 989 been able to create quality sports titles, or at least learn from their mistakes like Sega did with World Series 2K, 989 wouldn't be in the situation that they're in now. But, 989 didn't even try. EA and Sega just gave them competition. They did not force them to create mediocre games.
  • by kisrael ( 134664 ) * on Thursday May 06, 2004 @08:34AM (#9072218) Homepage
    Game Before The Game [] (a gamer from each Superbowl team going at it using their team's virtual representation in NFL Gameday) succesfully predicted the Superbowl winner for eight straight years. This year, it predicted "Panthers 29 Patriots 21". Whoops. Maybe that's why Sony canned 'em. (Probably because it's so hard to have enough AI to make a virtual Bill Belichick...)
  • I dont have a PS2... Do 989 games suck or something?

    I know the MS XSN sports games sucked, which is what I thought was the reason for them canning them...
    • Man...the whole 'XSN Games Suck' thing is a tired, dead horse, whose beatings have now reached a horrific level.

      XSN Games do NOT suck. There are 7 XSN Games:

      Top Spin (Tennis)
      Links (Golf)
      Amped 2 (Snowboarding)
      Rallisport Challenge 2 (Racing)
      NHL Rivals (Hockey)
      NBA Inside Drive (Basketball)
      NFL Fever (Football)

      Of those 7 games, 3 of them are legitimately great games. Links, Top Spin, and Rallisport Challenge 2 are fantastic. Each one of them is at the top of their category, and when you add in the Live and
      • i was mostly referring to football/basketball and hocky... hose games suck...

        amped is fun as hell...

        rallisport challenge looks sweet...

        heard good thins about top spin/links (never played them)

        i guess my comment is only half right...
        • I'll give you the half-right. The football, basketball and hockey games are not up to the same quality standards as a lot of others out there. I've played them, but didn't spend my money on them. Okay...they do suck.

          Links is surprisingly good. I think the only two videogames that I have spent as much time on, were Diablo II, and Age of Empires II. I've played Links just about every day for about 5 months now.

          Top Spin was completely awesome. But it doesn't have enough depth to make it a game that I s
  • I hate to see 989 and Microsoft stop competing in the NFL games, but both products were inferior. I would have preferred to see them step up to the challenge instead of rolling over and dying, but that's their decision to make. I guess Sega is my only source for NFL nowadays.

    I refuse to play Madden because it does some very un-football things like letting you pick a play by receiver. If you're too focused on one receiver getting the ball, you're going to throw a lot of incompletes and
  • MS cancelled their XSN Sports games for this year too. Maybe they've finally realized that people don't want a new sports game every year which is almost exactly the same as last years only with an updated roster database which in this day and age, should be downloadable. Considering EB doesn't accept trade ins on sports games, I'm sure the retailers are happy too.
  • I don't know if anyone goes on a rental spree before buying like me. But without a shadow of a doubt, Sega sports games are superior compared to EA.

    Don't get me wrong EA would eat 989 studios alive. But with the exception of really really deep franchise statistics, sega espn basketball, football and hockey was so much more advanced than EA sports games IMHO.

  • The whole sports thing is really between market dominator EA and and the 2Kx guys at Sega. In the last two football seasons, I thought the Sega product was better, though many found EAs product better (maybe cause it was more familiar?).

    But 989 and the MS Sports products were just hangers on and both were single platform. The two guys still standing are mutliplatform and Sega is online with both systems. EA may be too.

"Call immediately. Time is running out. We both need to do something monstrous before we die." -- Message from Ralph Steadman to Hunter Thompson