Hit The Pass - Press Row Podcast

A wide open field in 2017 has resulted in the most unpredictable and fascinating Sports Game of the Year voting yet! While many of the games were fantastic in general they all had some serious flaws that detracted from their full potential, and because of that expect there to be no consensus "best" game that will sweep its way to a victory.

Will MLB The Show 17 repeat off last year's win with MLB 16? Will NBA 2K18 bounce back or fall even further after the award-winning 2K16 preceded 2K17 slipping to third? Will Madden NFL 18 continue the upward trajectory that saw Madden 17 finish the highest ever for the series as the runner-up last year? Or will it be another game coming from farther back in the pack in a surprise result?

On the show this week:
Bryan Wiedey, Pastapadre/Sporting News/Hit the Pass (@pastapadre)
Rich Grisham, OOTP Developments/Hit the Pass (@richgrisham)
Owen Good, Polygon (@owengood)
T.J. Lauerman, ThatSportsGamer (@thatsportsgamer)
Kris Jardine, SnaggleJ (@snagglej)
MillsGamingTV (@millsgamingtv)

Direct download: Press_Row_Podcast_Episode_251.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:46pm EST

Two of the biggest annual gaming events have just taken place between the PlayStation Experience and The Game Awards. Both were sure disappointments for anyone hoping to see sports games represented. This episode of the Press Row Podcast features discussion on the events and why, despite their place dominating sales charts and high cultural relevance, sports games continue to go without recognition.

Also in this episode a look ahead at possible features for NHL 19, the announcement of a second tennis game for early 2018, the addition of player editing to NBA Live 18, and reaction to the beating that video game publisher stocks have been taking from investors recently.

On the show this week:
Bryan Wiedey, Pastapadre/Sporting News/Hit the Pass (@pastapadre)
Rich Grisham, OOTP Developments/Hit the Pass (@richgrisham)

Direct download: Press_Row_Podcast_Episode_250.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:32pm EST

This episode of the Press Row Podcast features impressions of the beta currently being held for EA Sports UFC 3. With the series coming off an improved effort the potential for the third entry is very high, and the beta has provided the first opportunity to assess gameplay advancements as well as a revamped Ultimate Team mode.   

Additionally the latest developments involving game monetization are discussed, and specifically the building concern that legislators will put into place roadblocks related to loot boxes/card packs and how that uncertainty is already severely harming EA.

On the show this week:
Bryan Wiedey, Pastapadre/Sporting News/Hit the Pass (@pastapadre)
Rich Grisham, OOTP Developments/Hit the Pass (@richgrisham)
MillsGamingTV, Operation Sports (@MillsGamingTV)

Direct download: Press_Row_Podcast_Episode_249.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:49am EST

We welcome Scott O'Gallagher from the NBA 2K development team back to the show this week! Along with host Rich Grisham, Scott explores NBA 2K18's gameplay, including 'chalkboard' sessions to help players understand what's happening on the court - and why. They also discuss the game's push into eSports, how different segments of fans look for widely varying experiences​, and what the transition from support from 'yearly' to 'always' has meant to the NBA 2K crew.

On the show this week:
Rich Grisham, OOTP Developments/Hit the Pass (@richgrisham)
Scott O'Gallagher, 2K Sports (@ScottOGallagher)

Direct download: Press_Row_Podcast_Episode_248.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:50am EST

It's an especially tumultuous time for the gaming industry as aggressive monetization tactics face intense pushback from media and consumers. Even as sports games consistently reside near the top of the sales charts and generate extraordinary digital revenue publishers are looking ahead for how to not only sustain that success but grow even further.

In this episode of the Press Row Podcast the subject of microtransactions/loot boxes and their influence on game design is revisited with discussion on how publishers are now responding to the backlash, the adjustments they are making and will have to consider going forward, and the prospects of a subscription-based future which sports games may be best suited and most prepared for of any genre.

On the show this week:
Bryan Wiedey, Pastapadre/Sporting News/Hit the Pass (@pastapadre)
Rich Grisham, OOTP Developments/Hit the Pass (@richgrisham)

Direct download: Press_Row_Podcast_Episode_247.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:40am EST

What can more powerful hardware do to improve some already very good sports video games? We got the answer this week with the release of the Xbox One X and in this episode of the Press Row Podcast the benefits of the pricey new console are examined.

The likes of Madden NFL 18, FIFA 18, NBA 2K18, and Forza can now be played in native 4K with HDR (true also of the PS4 Pro) but the improvements go beyond the visuals on Xbox One X. Framerates can be better and loading times are significantly shortened - and Madden is the game that seems to have benefited the most.

Other topics discussed include the first news on EA Sports UFC 3 and the release strategy for MLB The Show 18.

On the show this week:
Bryan Wiedey, Pastapadre/Sporting News/Hit the Pass (@pastapadre)
Rich Grisham, OOTP Developments/Hit the Pass (@richgrisham)

Direct download: Press_Row_Podcast_Episode_246.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:50am EST

2017 has proven to be, in many ways, a banner year for racing games. From Forza 7 to Gran Turismo SportF1 2017 to NASCAR Heat 2Dirt 4 to Project Cars 2, there are plenty of interesting choices for the casual and hardcore racing game fan alike.

However, even the most ardent fans of these titles have concerns. How do lootboxes and in-game economies truly impact Forza 7? How does the non-traditional approach in Gran Turismo translate to fans? Can F1 2017 appeal to people who may not be big fans of the specific series? These questions – and much more – are debated by an excellent crew of racing game experts.

On the show this week:
Rich Grisham, OOTP Developments/Hit the Pass (@richgrisham)
Pete Dodd, The Doddcast (@atpetedodd)
Dr. Ken Parker, Hit The Pass (@Chairman7)
Greg Sewart, Player One Podcast (@sewart)

Direct download: Press_Row_Podcast_Episode_245.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:45am EST

The Ultimate Team style modes in sports games are more popular with consumers than ever before, and they're also leaned on more than ever by publishers for the revenues they provide. What is it about these team building, card collecting modes that have proven to be so compelling and successful? What challenges do they face right now and into the future? A panel of experts on the various modes throughout the genre discuss the phenomenon on this episode.

On the show this week:
Bryan Wiedey, Pastapadre/Sporting News/Hit the Pass (@pastapadre)
T.J. Lauerman, ThatSportsGamer (@ThatSportsGamer)
MillsGamingTV, Operation Sports (@MillsGamingTV)
Kris Jardine, SnaggleJ (@SnaggleJ)
Daniel Baesal, UberYoutuber (@danielbaesal)

Direct download: Press_Row_Podcast_Episode_244.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:58pm EST

Whether it’s the VC in NBA 2K18 or the increased presence of “loot boxes” in games like Star Wars: Battlefront II and Forza Motorsport 7, the influence on development directly related to monetization efforts is at the forefront of discussion right now amongst gaming press and consumers.

In this episode of the Press Row Podcast the panel covers why it has taken until now for such immense backlash to formulate, the necessity of publishers/developers to find ways to generate digital revenue post-release, whether games focusing on single-player experiences are going extinct, and also debate the concept of loot boxes being tantamount to gambling.

On the show this week:
Bryan Wiedey, Pastapadre/Sporting News/Hit the Pass (@pastapadre)
Richard Grisham, OOTP Developments/Hit The Pass (@richgrisham)
Owen Good, Polygon (@owengood)

Direct download: Press_Row_Podcast_Episode_243.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:11pm EST

Sports video games are enjoying - in many cases - their most profitable releases ever. In other areas, however, there are reasons for concern. We're joined by Mat Piscatella from the NPD to explore all the angles around the big business - and big money - of sports video games. What does all of this mean to consumers? What about developers? Who are the big winners, and who stands to be left out of the party? It's a fun and fascinating look at the business behind the games that we love.

On the show this week:
Richard Grisham, OOTP Developments/Hit The Pass (@richgrisham)
Mat Piscatella, NPD (@MatPiscatella)

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Direct download: Press_Row_Podcast_Episode_242.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:19pm EST