Hit The Pass - Press Row Podcast

With the release nearing of this year's main crop of sports games there's a great deal of news to catch up on. That includes the first real game info on NBA 2K17 and expected Olympics-related announcements to come soon, observations from the first Madden NFL 17 player ratings and what they mean, the potential of cross-network play for Rocket League, and impressions out of an NHL 17 press event. The show wraps up with a segment between Rich Grisham and NHL producer Sean Ramjagsingh discussing this year's game! 

On the show this episode:

Bryan Wiedey (@pastapadre), Pastapadre/Hit The Pass/Sporting News
Rich Grisham (@richgrisham), Out of the Park Developments/Hit The Pass
Sean Ramjagsingh (@rammer34), EA Sports

Direct download: Press_Row_Podcast_Episode_183_.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:12pm EDT

It's the second annual Sports Game Power Rankings! Bryan Wiedey and Rich Grisham navigate the sports gaming landscape to determine which franchise stands atop the genre and how they compare to each other within. The assessment relies on criteria that includes sales, reviews, cultural impact and more, so can NBA 2K repeat or will a new series take the crown?

On the show this episode:

Bryan Wiedey (@pastapadre), Pastapadre/Hit The Pass/Sporting News
Rich Grisham (@richgrisham), Out of the Park Developments/Hit The Pass

Direct download: Press_Row_Podcast_Episode_182.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:13pm EDT

Two major controversies arose this week and they have raised questions regarding the rights of consumers who purchase video games and spend money on digital items within them.

With MLB The Show 16, developer Sony San Diego banned a relatively large number of player accounts but some users may have found themselves banished unjustly. In FIFA the integrity of Ultimate Team mode has been brought into question, with high-value player cards not having played up to the level at which they were advertised.

With those situations in mind it's fair to wonder just what is actually owned when a video game is bought, and how it's possible to determine whether you're actually getting what you're paying for with digital-based content when there's no oversight or regulation.

That's the focus this episode of the Press Row Podcast presented by Hit The Pass. What rights do consumers have or not have, given the terms of which that are required to be agreed upon in order to play the games, and what should change about the way publishers deal with consumers when they feel the need to take certain actions?

On the show this episode:

Bryan Wiedey (@pastapadre), Pastapadre/Hit The Pass/Sporting News
Rich Grisham (@richgrisham), Out of the Park Developments/Hit The Pass
TJ Lauerman (@ThatSportsGamer), ThatSportsGamer/Hit The Pass
Chris (@MillenniumOS), Operation Sports

Direct download: Press_Row_Podcast_Episode_181.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:18pm EDT

One of the busiest weeks for gaming news every year has come to a close for 2016. E3 and EA Play offered up a prime opportunity for publishers to reveal trailers and new features for their upcoming suite of games. In the case of EA Sports that meant info on a story mode for FIFA 17 and Franchise improvements for Madden NFL 17.

A new mountain sports game called Steep was revealed, a sequel to The Golf Club was announced, and Forza Horizon 3 debuted a trailer along with details on its feature set. Beyond just games Microsoft made the biggest news with the announcement of a new console that'll be out late 2017.

Bryan Wiedey and Rich Grisham get together in this episode of the Press Row Podcast presented by Hit The Pass to talk over reactions to everything that happened, the state of E3 and its accompanying press briefings, and whether sports video games can ever become successful in the world of eSports.

On the show this episode:

Bryan Wiedey (@pastapadre), Pastapadre/Hit The Pass/Sporting News
Rich Grisham (@richgrisham), Out of the Park Developments/Hit The Pass

Direct download: Press_Row_Podcast_Episode_180.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:39am EDT

Feature announcements for upcoming sports games are an annual tradition out of E3. This year EA Sports has revealed a major new mode for FIFA 17 and a bevy of improvements and additions for Franchise mode in Madden NFL 17. In this episode of the Press Row Podcast presented by Hit The Pass those announcements are covered with guests from the development teams of both games.

Up first from FIFA 17 are Matthew Prior and Aaron McHardy to discuss the just announced story mode "The Journey" and what the new Frostbite engine will mean for the game. Then Madden NFL 17 designer John White joins the show to go through what's new for Franchise mode this year, which includes a new way to play through games faster and a real-time score ticker.

On the show this episode:

Bryan Wiedey (@pastapadre), Pastapadre/Hit The Pass/Sporting News
Rich Grisham (@richgrisham), Out of the Park Developments/Hit The Pass
Matthew Prior, EA Sports
Aaron McHardy, EA Sports
John White (@EA_White), EA Sports

Send us your feedback! We love to hear from you. Do it one of these ways:
1) Follow the show on Twitter at @PressRowPodcast and @HitThePass and send us tweets
2) Email the show at PressRowPodcast@Gmail.com

Direct download: Press_Row_Podcast_Episode_179.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:24pm EDT

Take a look at wishlists for almost any annualized sports game and you'll see fans requesting changes to commentary. It's an area of the video games that is one of the most difficult to reproduce from actual televised broadcasts. Once a commentary team is in place developers hesitate to make major changes, as the audio libraries continue to build year-by-year and priorities inevitably are directed elsewhere. Scrapping and starting over is rare.

The Madden NFL series is one of the few that has done so however - and multiple times in the last decade. The latest is about to take place as Brandon Gaudin and Charles Davis will be replacing Jim Nantz and Phil Simms with Madden NFL 17.

Rich Grisham interviews Gaudin and Davis, along with Madden producer Christian McLeod, in this episode of the Press Row Podcast presented by Hit The Pass. The group discusses everything from how the antiquated commentary system has been "blown up" for Madden 17, why Gaudin and Davis were selected for their respective positions in the booth, how commentary may differ from mode-to-mode, examples of some bizarre lines they've had to record, and the work that will be done regularly during the season to update commentary.

On the show this episode:

Rich Grisham (@richgrisham), Out of the Park Developments/Hit The Pass
Charles Davis (@CFD22), Fox Sports/NFL Network
Brandon Gaudin (@BrandonGaudin), Georgia Tech/Westwood One/Turner
Christian McLeod (@CMcLeod_EA), EA Sports

Send us your feedback! We love to hear from you. Do it one of these ways:
1) Follow the show on Twitter at @PressRowPodcast and @HitThePass and send us tweets
2) Email the show at PressRowPodcast@Gmail.com

Direct download: Press_Row_Podcast_Episode_178.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:49am EDT

While basketball fans may be excited that NBA 2K17 will be out earlier than ever before with its move up to mid-September, it only further compresses the window where the majority of the sports games for the year are released. Within a four week span, six major sports games will go out, and there may be even others still yet to be announced.

In this episode of the Press Row Podcast presented by Hit the Pass, the discussion centers on what has led to this situation coming about, how it affects publishers and consumers, whether it's unhealthy for the sports gaming genre going forward, and how it could possibly be fixed.

On the show this episode:

Bryan Wiedey (@pastapadre), Pastapadre/Sporting News/Hit The Pass
Rich Grisham (@richgrisham), Out of the Park Developments/Hit The Pass
Owen Good (@owengood), Polygon

Send us your feedback! We love to hear from you. Do it one of these ways:
1) Follow the show on Twitter at @PressRowPodcast and @HitThePass and send us tweets
2) Email the show at PressRowPodcast@Gmail.com

Direct download: Press_Row_Podcast_Episode_177.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:32am EDT

With EA Play and E3 nearing the promotional cycle for the next Madden has gotten underway. There's a lot to be excited about already for Madden NFL 17 including long-overdue work to Special Teams, a new defensive AI system, special moves for ball-carriers, and a "renewed focus on Franchise mode."

In this episode of the Press Row Podcast, Bryan Wiedey, Rich Grisham, and Kat Bailey discuss all the news, the concern over "Tackle Battles", and what is being hoped for with Franchise mode.

On the show this episode:

Bryan Wiedey (@pastapadre), Pastapadre/Sporting News/Hit The Pass
Rich Grisham (@richgrisham), Out of the Park Developments/Hit The Pass
Kat Bailey (@the_katbot), USgamer

Send us your feedback! We love to hear from you. Do it one of these ways:
1) Follow the show on Twitter at @PressRowPodcast and @HitThePass and send us tweets
2) Email the show at PressRowPodcast@Gmail.com

Direct download: Press_Row_Podcast_Episode_176_.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:37am EDT

The current state of sports games - on console, PC, and mobile devices - is ever-changing and evolving at a rapid pace. Former creative director of the Madden NFL series Ian Cummings returns to the Press Row Podcast to join host Bryan Wiedey and friend of the show Rich Grisham to discuss his own mobile game as well as the "bigger picture."
 
For starters, Ian describes his mobile game Photo Finish Horse Racing that is gaining steam on iOS and Android, the evolution of it from a one-man side project to a full-blown experience, and the challenges he has faced since launching last year. As the conversation continues, the group then pivots to a breakdown of the first features announced for Madden NFL 17. Ian weighs in on his reaction to them, what he sees happening with the franchise, and then moves to evaluating the state of the sports gaming genre as a whole. It's a fascinating look into our current sports game landscape from someone who's been in it from multiple perspectives and has emerged successfully in 2016 as an industry leader and voice of the consumer at the same time.

On the show this episode:

Bryan Wiedey (@pastapadre), Pastapadre/Sporting News/Hit The Pass
Rich Grisham (@richgrisham), Out of the Park Developments/Hit The Pass
Ian Cummings (@iantcummings), Third Time

Ian's game Photo Finish Horse Racing can be downloaded for iOS devices through iTunes and for Android devices through Google Play.

Send us your feedback! We love to hear from you. Do it one of these ways:
1) Follow the show on Twitter at @PressRowPodcast and @HitThePass and send us tweets
2) Email the show at PressRowPodcast@Gmail.com

Direct download: Press_Row_Podcast_Episode_175.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:25pm EDT

EA Sports has been unable to recover from the attempted reboot of NBA Live as NBA Elite while at the same time seeing their competition flourish to become a juggernaut. It's been six years but the company has yet to produce a quality and compelling product since that fiasco and in the process consumers have lost all confidence in the Live brand. The series simply can't escape its past.

Knowing that a shake-up was necessary EA yesterday confirmed the first report of Live being pushed back to 2017. Despite that acknowledgement uncertainty will continue to surround the series as there's no guarantee it will again see the light of day on consoles. If it makes it back as currently scheduled the form in which it does could be very different than what consumers have become accustomed to with traditional annualized sports games.

On the show this episode:

Bryan Wiedey (@pastapadre), Pastapadre/Sporting News/Hit The Pass
Rich Grisham (@richgrisham), Out of the Park Developments/Hit The Pass
Owen Good (@owengood), Polygon

Direct download: Press_Row_Podcast_Episode_174.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:06am EDT