Hit The Pass - Press Row Podcast

With the Press Row Podcast's 2017 Sports Game of the Year and Racing Game of the Year having been decided we now turn to discussing the most important stories in the sports gaming world from the last year. These stories not only impacted the games in 2017 but could influence the direction of the various franchises and even the genre and the entire industry as a whole.

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_253.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:23am EDT

For the first time ever, the Press Row Podcast awards its Racing Game of the Year. 2017 was a banner year for racers, with a slew of new releases of high quality that featured every kind of racing imaginable. Simulation titles, arcade games, cars, bikes, and karts all made big noise this year.

To settle on a champion, we gathered noted friends of the show and avid racing game fans Greg Sewart, Dr. Ken Parker, Pete Dodd, and Dave Benrey to count down their top three favorites and determine which stands atop the podium at the end of the year.

On the show this week:
Richard Grisham, Hit the Pass/OOTP Developments (@richgrisham)
Greg Sewart, Player One Podcast/Generation 16 (@sewart)
Pete Dodd, Doddcast (@atpetedodd)
David Benrey, Telemundo (@senornascar)
Dr. Ken Parker, Hit The Pass (@Chairman7)

Direct download: Press_Row_Podcast_Episode_252.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:13pm EDT

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 EDT

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 EDT

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 EDT

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 EDT

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 EDT

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 EDT

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 EDT

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 EDT

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 EDT

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)

Sponsor's noteGamerSaloon lets you play any game, any time, for any amount of money to win cash prizes. Compete against your friends or anyone in the GamerSaloon community in dozens of individual or team-based competitions. It's safe, secure, and fun! Sign up today by downloading the app or go to GamerSaloon.com and use the code 'pressrow' to get a 50% bonus on your initial deposit. Help the Press Row Podcast and have a lot of fun while you do it!

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

With the recent avalanche of releases how does a sports gaming fan choose where to spend their money and time? Matthew Kato of Game Informer is welcomed for this episode of the Press Row Podcast to help sort through all the games that have recently arrived. Discussion includes which of the soccer games is the one to get, how microtransactions are affecting series like NBA 2K and Forza, the best sports game for the unfamiliar or inexperienced, the biggest surprises and disappointments as of late, and much more!

On the show this week:
Bryan Wiedey, Sporting News/Pastapadre/Hit The Pass (@pastapadre)
Richard Grisham, OOTP Developments/Hit The Pass (@richgrisham)
Matthew Kato, Game Informer (@MattKato)

GamerSaloon lets you play any game, any time, for any amount of money to win cash prizes. Compete against your friends or anyone in the GamerSaloon community in dozens of individual or team-based competitions. It's safe, secure, and fun! Sign up today by downloading the app or go to GamerSaloon.com and use the code 'pressrow' to get a 50% bonus on your initial deposit. Help the Press Row Podcast and have a lot of fun while you do it!

Direct download: Press_Row_Podcast_Episode_241.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:27pm EDT

2K Sports is facing criticism from all sides over the aggressive implementation of Virtual Currency within NBA 2K18. VC is nothing new to the popular basketball franchise however, so why has this become such a story now that mainstream gaming media, Youtube personalities, and consumers are all making their voices heard on the matter? We discuss the circumstances specific to the NBA 2K series that has allowed the situation to blow up, and the necessary pursuit of digital revenue for publishers, in this episode of the Press Row Podcast.

On the show this week:
Bryan Wiedey, Sporting News/Pastapadre/Hit The Pass (@pastapadre)
Richard Grisham, OOTP Developments/Hit The Pass (@richgrisham)
Daniel Baesel, UberYouTuber (@danielbaesel)

GamerSaloon lets you play any game, any time, for any amount of money to win cash prizes. Compete against your friends or anyone in the GamerSaloon community in dozens of individual or team-based competitions. It's safe, secure, and fun! Sign up today by downloading the app or go to GamerSaloon.com and use the code 'pressrow' to get a 50% bonus on your initial deposit. Help the Press Row Podcast and have a lot of fun while you do it!

Direct download: Press_Row_Podcast_Episode_240.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:25am EDT

NBA 2K18 and NBA Live 18 came upon their respective releases having traveled dramatically different paths to get there. NBA 2K has grown into the second biggest sports game in the world and is guaranteed to be a smash hit now annually. NBA Live is simply trying to recapture some credibility after eight years defined more by its cancellations than even its sub-par editions.

In this episode of the Press Row Podcast both games are examined closely, with areas such as accessibility, gameplay, franchise and story/career modes discussed. The Nintendo Switch version of NBA 2K18 is evaluated and compared to the experience on other platforms. The big post-release subjects related to NBA 2K18 - uproar over the aggressive implementation of VC and vanishing MyPlayer characters - are of course also major subjects. Each basketball game offers advantages over their competitor to consider, but which game is the right one for you?

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

GamerSaloon lets you play any game, any time, for any amount of money to win cash prizes. Compete against your friends or anyone in the GamerSaloon community in dozens of individual or team-based competitions. It's safe, secure, and fun! Sign up today by downloading the app or go to GamerSaloon.com and use the code 'pressrow' to get a 50% bonus on your initial deposit. Help the Press Row Podcast and have a lot of fun while you do it!

Direct download: Press_Row_Podcast_Episode_239.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:12pm EDT

Kat Bailey, Editor in Chief of USgamer and longtime friend of the show, drops by for a one-on-one conversation about all the new sports games of the fall. Kat dives deep into NHL 18Pro Evolution 2018Madden NFL 18, and NBA 2K18. If you’re wondering what big console sports titles to check out this year, Kat lays out the pros and cons.

On the show this week:
Richard Grisham, OOTP Developments/Hit The Pass (@richgrisham)
Kat Bailey, USgamer, (@the_katbot)

Direct download: Press_Row_Podcast_Episode_238.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:02pm EDT

With limited-time trials available to play for NBA Live 18, NHL 18, and NBA 2K18, this episode of the Press Row Podcast covers first impressions of the three games which all have drastically different circumstances surrounding their release. Live desperately needs to recapture some credibility, NHL is stable but looking to generate new sales to casual consumers, and 2K18 is guaranteed to be a smash hit but is getting fans started early on their careers.

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

Direct download: Press_Row_Podcast_Episode_237.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:10am EDT

With Longshot in Madden NFL 18 garnering high praise this episode of the Press Row Podcast features an interview with the architects behind the franchise's first-ever story mode. Mike Young (director, co-writer) and Adrian Todd Zuniga (co-writer) join the show to discuss the process behind crafting the story first as a movie and evolution into a compelling interactive experience for the game that followed.

On the show this week:
Bryan Wiedey, Pastapadre/Sporting News/Hit The Pass (@pastapadre)
Richard Grisham, OOTP Developments/Hit The Pass (@richgrisham)
Michael Young, EA Sports (@MichaelYoungCD)
Adrian Todd Zuniga, EA Sports (@atzuniga)

Direct download: Press_Row_Podcast_Episode_236.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:35pm EDT

The sports-gaming season is now underway with the release of Madden NFL 18, and following the initial impressions show last week we're back with a panel to break down many aspects of the game in a supersized two hour episode!

Longshot story mode, Franchise mode, gameplay, MUT Squads, and more are covered in-depth, with the discussion later ending on some thoughts regarding the way the Madden and sports titles in general are poorly covered by gaming media and the way marketing strategies are being shifted towards "influencers" over websites.

On the show this week:
Bryan Wiedey, Pastapadre/Sporting News/Hit The Pass (@pastapadre)
Richard Grisham, OOTP Developments/Hit The Pass (@richgrisham)
Kat Bailey, USgamer, (@the_katbot)
Chris “MillsGamingTV,” Operation Sports (@MillsGamingTV)

Direct download: Press_Row_Podcast_Episode_235.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:45pm EDT

Last year Madden was able to establish itself back within the upper-echelon of sports titles, finishing second in the Press Row Podcast Sports Game of the Year voting. Madden NFL 18 hopes to build on that success with the introduction of the series' first ever story mode, the return of online co-op, three new play styles, visual enhancements made possible due to the Frostbite Engine, and number of gameplay improvements.

In this episode first impressions of Madden NFL 18 are discussed, going over the changes to gameplay, Franchise, Ultimate Team, and of course the highly-anticipated Longshot. There's some agreement on where Madden stands with this edition but also places where opinions diverge. For more on Madden NFL 18 the full panel review roundtable show will go out next week!

On the show this week:

Bryan Wiedey, Pastapadre/Sporting News/Hit The Pass (@pastapadre)
Chris “MillsGamingTV,” Operation Sports (@MillsGamingTV)

Direct download: Press_Row_Podcast_Episode_234.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:45pm EDT

From cancellations to poorly received releases, the once proud NBA Live franchise has seen its reputation dissipate entirely at the same time its competition rose to prominence. The upcoming NBA Live 18 however appears ready to reestablish some credibility and strategies ranging from a free demo to a pre-order discount are making it a safer purchase for those open to giving it another chance.

In this episode of the Press Row Podcast impressions from the just released demo are discussed as well as the impact that could come from the price discount. Additional topics include news on additions and improvements for Franchise mode in Madden NFL 18 and a delay to Super Mega Baseball 2.

On the show this week:
Bryan Wiedey, Pastapadre/Sporting News/Hit The Pass (@pastapadre)
Rich Grisham, Out of the Park Developments/Hit The Pass (@richgrisham)
Chris “MillsGamingTV,” Operation Sports (@MillsGamingTV)

Direct download: Press_Row_Podcast_Episode_233.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:05pm EDT

In recent years video game publishers have made dramatic shifts in how they promote their upcoming products. Whether it's holding back information longer or who it is that gets early access to spread information and media, the marketing landscape has changed as fewer games are released and they become more reliant on generating year-round digital revenue.

In this episode of the Press Row Podcast we discuss why marketing tactics are evolving and whether any consumer concerns are justified. Madden NFL 18 is currently in the hot seat with some fans for still not having shown off any gameplay despite it being under two weeks now until it goes out through the EA Access trial. Other topics include NBA Playgrounds offering $10 DLC to unlock the entire roster, NBA 2K18 on Switch releasing digital only at first, and NBA Live 18 announcing a demo but still lacking an actual release date or the ability to pre-order.

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

Direct download: Press_Row_Podcast_Episode_232.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:05pm EDT

If it didn't already feel like sports the gaming season is just about upon us it certainly does now. Online betas for two of the upcoming games are currently active and two other highly-anticipated games have revealed details on a number of significant features and improvements.

In this episode of the Press Row Podcast the panel discusses impressions of the NHL 18 and PES 2018 betas, detailed info on improvements for the two franchise modes in NBA 2K18, and various community requests that have been tackled for Madden NFL 18.

On the show this week:
Bryan Wiedey, Pastapadre/Sporting News/Hit The Pass (@pastapadre)
Rich Grisham, Out of the Park Developments/Hit The Pass (@richgrisham)
Kris Jardine, SnaggleJ (@SnaggleJ)
Chris "MillsGamingTV," Operation Sports (@MillsGamingTV)

Direct download: Press_Row_Podcast_Episode_231.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:40am EDT

The start of the sports gaming season is nearly upon us and in this episode of the Press Row Podcast the panel looks ahead by playing a game called "Pick One." Each person picks the one sports game they would choose this fall - and only one - then choose the one sports game franchise as their 'gotta have it.' Also discussed: impressions of Fire Pro Wrestling World and the latest with MLB The Show 17.

On the show this week:
Rich Grisham, Out of the Park Developments/Hit The Pass (@richgrisham)
Owen Good, Polygon (@owengood)
T.J. Lauerman, ThatSportsGamer (@ThatSportsGamer)
Chris "MillsGamingTV," Operation Sports (@MillsGamingTV)

Direct download: Press_Row_Podcast_Episode_230.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:20pm EDT

This last Tuesday marked what would have been the release of NCAA Football 18 had the series not been cancelled in 2013. There also hasn't been a college basketball game since 2009. How did we get to where we are now that college sports is barely represented in gaming? What is the potential for college sports to make any sort of comeback in the future?

From the lawsuits that began eight years ago to why no developer would take on such a project right now given the circumstances, alternative development ideas, favorite memories of the games, and why there is still so much passion and emotion over the subject is discussed on this episode of the Press Row Podcast.

On the show this week:

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

Direct download: Press_Row_Podcast_Episode_229.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:41pm EDT

This episode of the Press Row Podcast looks back at the games that released and biggest stories to have developed through the mid-point of the year. MLB The Show 17, NBA Playgrounds, The Golf Club 2, ARMS, Rocket League and more are reassessed and news on eSports, digital subscription services, story modes, and new consoles are revisited.

On the show this week:

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

Direct download: Press_Row_Podcast_Episode_228.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:16pm EDT

Nearly three years have passed since HB Studios debuted The Golf Club and now its sequel has just released. This episode of the Press Row Podcast examines The Golf Club 2 with discussion on its ultra-realistic gameplay, improvements to accessibility, new features, and unfortunate server problems.

Other topics covered during the show include patch restrictions on the Nintendo Switch discovered through NBA Playgrounds' struggles to get an update out that could threaten post-release support on the system, and whether selling special editions of games that release several days before the standard editions is an incentive to buy the former or a punishment for spending less on the latter.

On the show this week:

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

Direct download: Press_Row_Podcast_Episode_227.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:59pm EDT

Having extensively discussed all the big news that came out of EA Play and E3 in the last two podcast episodes, Kat Bailey is now welcomed to the show to go over some hands-on impressions from the show floor for Madden NFL 18, FIFA 18, and Pro Evolution Soccer 18 before turning to a breakdown of all the news on NHL 18 which includes several confirmed features and an upcoming online beta.

On the show this week:

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

Direct download: Press_Row_Podcast_Episode_226.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:45am EDT

After covering the reveals from the EA Play press briefing in the last show, this episode of the Press Row Podcast features discussion on the rest of the news to come out of E3 week. That includes the Sony and Microsoft presentations (with the finalized details on the Xbox One X), more details on the Nintendo Switch version of FIFA 18 and what it means for its prospects for success, the announcement of an online beta for Pro Evolution Soccer 2018, and the disaster that E3 created by welcoming in thousands more people to the show floor.

On the show this week:

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

Direct download: Press_Row_Podcast_Episode_225.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:22pm EDT

Sports games always take center stage at Electronic Arts' annual mid-June press briefing. Those previously linked with E3 instead now represent the kickoff to their own event EA Play. Given that the leading soccer, football, and basketball titles are always among the top selling games in both North America and worldwide every year their high-profile presence should come as no surprise.

Madden NFL 18, FIFA 18, and NBA Live 18 all were prominently featured in this weekend's EA Play press briefing. Madden had the full reveal of its new story mode to be known as "Long Shot" which has some colleges and big actors involved, FIFA had a look at its sequel to "The Journey" story mode along with some gameplay improvements, and NBA Live introduced a Career Mode called "The One" through its dual trailers.

In this episode of the Press Row Podcast host Bryan Wiedey is joined by Rich Grisham and T.J. Lauerman to go through the news and discuss what it all means for the respective franchises.

On the show this week:

Bryan Wiedey, Pastapadre/Hit the Pass/Sporting News (@pastapadre)
Rich Grisham, Out of the Park Developments/Hit The Pass (@richgrisham)
T.J. Lauerman, ThatSportsGamer (@thatsportsgamer)

Direct download: Press_Row_Podcast_Episode_224.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:35am EDT

The video games industry continues to go through a transformation that few saw coming and many continue to struggle with. From the games media to developers and publishers, the traditional rules have changed so many degrees that it's more difficult than ever to determine your true audience and their priorities.
 
In this week's episode, Rich Grisham sits down with US Gamer Editor in Chief Kat Bailey and Polygon Weekend Editor Owen Good to chat about the impact of all these changes. How do sports games get covered in 2017? What is their relationship to publishers and developers? What does the audience want to hear and see? It's a fascinating, honest look at how all of us that love sports games are impacted by these changes - for good and otherwise.
 
Want to help the Press Row Podcast and eat well at the same time? For $30 off your first week of deliveries of fantastic food, visit hellofresh.com and enter PRESSROW30 when you subscribe. Thank you!
Direct download: Press_Row_Podcast_Episode_222_-_6-2-17_2.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:43pm EDT

Before the news storm that is E3 and EA Play arrive there's plenty to cover happening in the world of sports gaming. Impressions of the ARMS beta leads off the topics in this week's Press Row Podcast, along with the questionable decision made to release Super Mega Baseball 2 in September, a major patch for NBA Playgrounds, and the launch of another game subscription service on Xbox One.

On the show this week:

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

Direct download: Press_Row_Podcast_Episode_222.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:56pm EDT

It's only May, but for games due out in late summer it's the time that their promotional cycles typically begin. E3 and EA Play are only a few weeks away and in advance of that EA Sports announced the first feature information for Madden NFL 18 and Konami has done the same for Pro Evolution Soccer 2018.

In this episode of the Press Row Podcast all of the news on Madden NFL 18 is discussed, including the introduction of the Frostbite Engine and Story Mode, three different 'Play Styles' (with a debate over whether removing randomness from sports is really the right way to go for competitive gaming), the various gameplay improvements cited so far and more. Additionally the new features for PES 2018 are covered, plus a look ahead at the announcement of the first tennis game for consoles since 2012.

On the show this week:

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

Direct download: Press_Row_Podcast_Episode_221.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:06pm EDT

Arcade-style sports games have been making a resurgence as of late thanks to independent developers, but now for the first time one of them even has the backing of a professional league. NBA Playgrounds released this last week for just $20 with full league licensing and a deep roster of current players and legends, and it comes from Saber Interactive, a studio that has never before worked on a sports game.

The panel for this episode of the Press Row Podcast discuss the the aspects of NBA Playgrounds that have been executed well, the flaws that have been identified in gameplay and design, and improvements that could be made in post-release support and for a potential sequel.

On the show this week:

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

Direct download: Press_Row_Podcast_Episode_220.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:22pm EDT

Diamond Dynasty in MLB The Show 17 is loaded with more content than ever, and while that’s great for those who are familiar with all the features and avenues to success it makes the mode more difficult to navigate for everyone else. With so many different ways to play, to earn cards, and spend Stubs, where does one even begin?

In this episode of the Press Row Podcast, host Bryan Wiedey is joined by T.J. Lauerman, Paul Sporer, and Kris Jardine to discuss Diamond Dynasty in depth, analyzing what’s been done best this year, where some trouble is being had, and providing insight on how to build teams in the most effective and efficient ways possible.

On the show this week:

Bryan Wiedey, Pastapadre/Hit the Pass/Sporting News (@pastapadre)
T.J. Lauerman, ThatSportsGamer (@ThatSportsGamer)
Paul Sporer, FanGraphs (@sporer)
Kris Jardine, SnaggleJ (@SnaggleJ)

Direct download: Press_Row_Podcast_Episode_219.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:05pm EDT

Spring is typically a fairly barren season as far as sports game releases go but it's seeing a resurgence this year. Several new games and expansions are slated for the weeks ahead. Host Bryan Wiedey and Rich Grisham discuss the latest news on them in this episode of the Press Row Podcast, including Forza Horizon 3's Hot Wheels expansion, the upcoming slate for Nintendo Switch, announcement of a new "Crash Mode" game from the Burnout creators and The Golf Club 2's release date being made official. Additionally feature details have been leaked for NHL 18 in advance of the expected usual reveal at EA Play in June.

On the show this week:

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

Direct download: Press_Row_Podcast_Episode_218.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:08pm EDT

In this week's episode of the Press Row Podcast, host Bryan Wiedey and Rich Grisham have a follow-up discussion on last week's topic regarding consumer unrest before moving on to address other subjects. Those include it's a good or bad idea to continually tinker with fundamental elements of games such as the constant changes being made to shooting in NBA 2K17, the potential of the upcoming arcade-style game NBA Playgrounds, what the WNBA could mean for NBA Live 18, and a handful of listener questions.

On the show this week:

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

Direct download: Press_Row_Podcast_Episode_217.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:59pm EDT

In many ways, these are great days to be a sports video game fan. However, certain segments of popular games have experienced significant problems, causing enormous issues within each of those games' communities. The way titles are marketed at fans, persistent problems with certain modes, and perceived lack of communication between game makers and game players have embroiled fans and developers alike. 

Host Rich Grisham talks with Operation Sports Community Manager Millennium - a man in the middle of a number of these conversations - about the overall situation, how fans should be approaching these issues, and what people on all sides can and should do. 

On the show this week:

Rich Grisham, Hit The Pass/OOTP Developments (@richgrisham)
Chris/MillenniumOS, Operation Sports (@MillenniumOS)

Direct download: Press_Row_Podcast_Episode_215.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:58pm EDT

Coming off a win by MLB The Show 16 of the Press Row Podcast Sports Game of the Year Award, MLB The Show 17 reaches the marketplace with naturally high expectations.

The series went big with Ken Griffey Jr. on the cover and found within various modes of play in the game, story-like elements for Road to the Show, new simulation features for Franchise Mode, and more content in Diamond Dynasty which looks to remain the consumer-favorite team-building mode. Server issues however have plagued the game since release marring what otherwise would have been widely-favorable impressions.

This super-sized episode of the Press Row Podcast features a full panel of the best evaluators of sports video games in the business examining all major aspects of MLB The Show 17.

On the show this week:

Bryan Wiedey, Pastapadre/Hit The Pass/Sporting News (@pastapadre)
Rich Grisham, Hit The Pass/OOTP Developments (@richgrisham)
T.J. Lauerman, ThatSportsGamer (@ThatSportsGamer)
Chris/MillenniumOS, Operation Sports (@MillenniumOS)
Kat Bailey, USgamer (@the_katbot)
Owen Good, Polygon (@owengood)

Direct download: Press_Row_Podcast_Episode_214.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:02pm EDT

MLB The Show 17 has arrived and it’s the focus of this episode of the Press Row Podcast! First impressions and experiences are discussed covering gameplay, presentation, Franchise, Road to the Show, Diamond Dynasty, the problematic servers and more. How has the series advanced this year and where do any concerns remain?

On the show this week:

Bryan Wiedey, Pastapadre/Hit The Pass/Sporting News (@pastapadre)
Rich Grisham, Hit The Pass/OOTP Developments (@richgrisham)
T.J. Lauerman, ThatSportsGamer (@ThatSportsGamer)

 

Direct download: Press_Row_Podcast_Episode_213.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:38am EDT

Spring is here and with it are a number of new sports games that range from the traditional like MLB The Show 17 to the uniquely creative such as Disc Jam. In this episode of the Press Row Podcast Bryan Wiedey and Rich Grisham briefly discuss what’s most anticipated out of the former, contemplate the potential of the new BIG3 basketball league to make its way to video games, and then welcome in the two creators of Disc Jam for an interview about the game, their backgrounds, and the journey it has taken up to and now through its release.

On the show this week:

Bryan Wiedey, Pastapadre/Hit The Pass/Sporting News (@pastapadre)
Rich Grisham, Hit The Pass/OOTP Developments (@richgrisham)
Timothy Rapp, High Horse Entertainment (@HighHorseGames)
Jay Mattis, High Horse Entertainment (@HighHorseGames)

Direct download: Press_Row_Podcast_Episode_212.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:21pm EDT

Racing games have had a fantastic resurgence in the past year, and looking forward into 2017 that great trend looks to continue. The newest episode of the Press Row Podcast gathers our Hit The Pass racing experts together for a really fun discussion on all the titles that we have to look forward to - which games have the most potential, which ones we're concerned about, and a whole host of questions and answers from the people that know this space best.

 

On the show this week:

Rich Grisham, Hit The Pass/OOTP Developments (@richgrisham)
Greg Sewart, Player One Podcast/Generation 16 (@sewart)
Dr. Ken Parker, Hit The Pass (@Chairman7)
David Benrey, Telemundo (@SenorNascar)

Direct download: Press_Row_Podcast_Episode_211.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:52pm EDT

The video game industry is following in the path of other forms of entertainment by normalizing subscription services. What at one time was only Xbox Live or PlayStation Network for the purposes of online play has now expanded to those offering free games and various discounts every month, the fantastic value of EA Access, and the recently announced Xbox Game Pass.

That Xbox-related news, the release of Disc Jam which will be free to PlayStation Plus members, and what it all means for gaming now and in the future is discussed in this episode of the Press Row Podcast. Other segments cover the new MLB Network presentation in MLB The Show 17 and day one impressions of the Nintendo Switch.

On the show this week:

Bryan Wiedey, Pastapadre/Hit The Pass/Sporting News (@pastapadre)
Rich Grisham, Out of the Park Developments/Hit The Pass (@richgrisham)
T.J. Lauerman, ThatSportsGamer (@thatsportsgamer)

 

Direct download: Press_Row_Podcast_Episode_210.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:54pm EDT

There has been a resurgence of creative sports game concepts thanks to independent developers over the last few years and the latest to break onto the scene is Disc Jam. Reminiscent of the 90's game Windjammers, and evoking natural comparisons to recent smash hit Rocket League, Disc Jam appears to have a great deal of potential based on reaction to the beta that just came to a close.

This episode of the Press Row Podcast also includes discussion on everything Diamond Dynasty mode for MLB The Show 17 and a big gameplay patch that just released for Madden NFL 17. 

On the show this week:

Bryan Wiedey, Pastapadre/Hit The Pass/Sporting News (@pastapadre)
T.J. Lauerman, ThatSportsGamer (@thatsportsgamer)
Chris aka MillenuiumOS, Operation Sports (@millenniumOS)

Direct download: Press_Row_Podcast_Episode_209.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:33am EDT

After more than 20 years a spiritual successor to the cult classic Mutant League Football has finally reached the red zone. Mutant Football League will release later this year on PC and early 2018 on Xbox One and PlayStation 4. The game is described as an “NFL Blitz arcade-style football game, with nasty mutants, ferocious monsters, deadly chainsaws, and lots of gory player deaths, along with some edgy, satirical humor that parodies America’s favorite sport.”

The creator and lead designer of the original game is back to lead development on the new one. We welcome on Michael Mendheim to the Press Row Podcast to talk about the history of mutant football, the ongoing successful Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign and lessons learned from one that came up short in 2013, the challenges of designing a game now vs then, and how fans are being engaged in its development and awareness created in an intensely competitive environment.

Check out the Mutant Football League Kickstarter campaign and follow the latest news at the game's website and with Twitter and Facebook.

On the show this week:

Bryan Wiedey, Pastapadre/Hit The Pass/Sporting News (@pastapadre)
Rich Grisham, Out of the Park Developments/Hit The Pass (@richgrisham)
Michael Mendheim, Mutant Football League (@mmendheim)

Direct download: Press_Row_Podcast_Episode_208.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:49am EDT

Still in their infancy within the competitive arena there were two major stories for sports video games and their place as eSports this week. EA Sports had to navigate controversy due to the conduct of the Madden Bowl winner on social media, while 2K Sports announced an unprecedented partnership with the NBA to create what will be known as the NBA 2K eLeague.

Also discussed this week are the gameplay improvements that have been detailed for MLB The Show 17, the return of Mutant League Football and its successful Kickstarter campaign, and the decision made for E3 to start admitting the public instead of just industry professionals and press.

On the show this week:

Bryan Wiedey, Pastapadre/Hit The Pass/Sporting News (@pastapadre)
Rich Grisham, Out of the Park Developments/Hit The Pass (@richgrisham)
T.J. Lauerman, ThatSportsGamer (@thatsportsgamer)

Direct download: Press_Row_Podcast_Episode_207.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:10pm EDT

Electronic Arts' stock is trading at all-time high levels and in looking forward to fiscal year 2018 (April 2017-March 2018) the company revealed a number of interesting facts and plans related to their various sports franchises.

There's the good: FIFA 17 was the world's biggest selling sports game in 2016 and the company continues to see its digital revenue driven largely by Ultimate Team and free-to-play mobile show no signs of slowing down.

There's the bad: NBA Live has now been delayed/cancelled for a fourth time in a seven year span and the original plan of releasing a golf game every other year appears to have been abandoned.

Host Bryan Wiedey and Rich Grisham discuss this news and more, including the confirmation of both Madden NFL 18 transitioning to the Frostbite Engine and FIFA 18 getting a second season of "The Journey" in this episode of the Press Row Podcast!

On the show this week:

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

Direct download: Press_Row_Podcast_Episode_206_.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:42am EDT

With spring training right around the corner baseball is about to be back on the minds of many. It's also the time of year when the changes that the upcoming MLB The Show game will be sold on start to be revealed. The first wave of information just hit with hints at some big new features and improvements for MLB The Show 17. News on everything from gameplay, presentation, and graphics to the big three modes are discussed in this episode of the Press Row Podcast.

On the show this week:

Bryan Wiedey, Pastapadre/Hit The Pass/Sporting News (@pastapadre)
T.J. Lauerman, ThatSportsGamer (@thatsportsgamer)
Chris, MillenniumOS (@millenniumOS)

Direct download: Press_Row_Podcast_Episode_205.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:05am EDT

Now into its 8th year, the Pastapadre Community Awards have set out to recognize all the efforts made in sports gaming which go well beyond just that of naming the "Sports Game of the Year." For 2016 the awards expanded to 12 categories and collected over 33,000 votes in the process. Sports video games are complex and rich in content, and no one game excels in every area that make them up. The Community Awards are an opportunity to help identify the standouts from specific aspects of the games and over time the annual process has been shown to identify trends for the individual franchises as well as the industry.

Bryan Wiedey and Rich Grisham reveal the results of the 2016 Pastapadre Community Awards and provide analysis of what the numbers say about the games in the latest episode of the Press Row Podcast. Find out the winners of the 2016 Sports Game of the Year, Best New/Non-Yearly Sports Game, Best Racing Game, Best Mobile Game, Best Gameplay, Best New Feature, Best Post-Release Support, Best Franchise Mode, Best Career/Story Mode, Best Team-Building Mode, Best Presentation, and Best Online Play!

On the show this week:

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

Direct download: Press_Row_Podcast_Episode_204.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:27pm EDT

The highly anticipated home/handheld hybrid Nintendo Switch will release on March 3rd for $300, eventually require a paid subscription for online play, and expanding storage will a be a practical necessity by adding on a separately purchased SDXC memory card. Switch has a dismal launch lineup outside of the new Zelda, while sports games look to be a ways off with FIFA and NBA 2K18 both officially in development but not releasing until later in the year.

Rich Grisham and T.J. Lauerman join host Bryan Wiedey on a new Press Row Podcast in reacting to Nintendo's reveal event. In terms of pricing where does the Switch stand compared to Xbox One and PS4? Should sports games on Switch be unique experiences or offer what are essentially ports from those other systems? Can sports games survive on a Nintendo platform when they rely so heavily on post-release digital revenue?

There's a lot to be intrigued by out of the Nintendo Switch but still many more questions to be answered about its viability particularly as it relates the sports gaming genre.

On the show this week:

Bryan Wiedey, Pastapadre/Hit The Pass/Sporting News (@pastapadre)
Rich Grisham, Out of the Park Developments/Hit The Pass (@richgrisham)
T.J. Lauerman, ThatSportsGamer (@thatsportsgamer)

Direct download: Press_Row_Podcast_Episode_203.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:23pm EDT

Every year it’s important to look back on developments within the sports gaming genre, not just as a reminder of what has happened, but as insight into the direction individual franchises are going and the trends within the industry that will impact them all. Bryan Wiedey and Rich Grisham discuss some of the most important stories of 2016 in the new year's first episode.

Reference Link: The biggest sports video games stories of 2016 (Sporting News)

On the show this week:

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

Direct download: Press_Row_Podcast_Episode_202.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:19am EDT

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