Friday, November 23, 2012

College basketball video games have disappeared

I haven't played a video game in a few years. But after watching a few games of the Maui Invitational, the EA Sports logo at midcourt did its job, and I was intrigued about this year's edition of the NCAA March Madness video game.

Put the emphasis on was intrigued. There is no EA Sports college hoops video game this year. Neither is there one from another manufacturer. The most recent game available was released in 2009.

After snooping around online, it doesn't appear a new game is in sight. The Baltimore Sun and Forbes explained the situation. Here are the main reasons:

-- Demand. College football video games sell millions of copies. College basketball games sold hundreds of thousands.

-- Timing: College basketball is most popular in March, when people are paying off their holiday shopping debts instead of hitting the stores.

-- Quality of the games: Basketball is a sport of constant, fluid motion. That's not easy to capture in a video game. Also, players are identified by their positions and numbers instead of their names because of NCAA rules. That's a drawback for many game players.

-- Popularity of the sport: Unlike football, which features a year-round cavalcade of hot air, college basketball season doesn't kick in for most fans until January. It doesn't hit the mainstream until late February. Then, five weeks later, the season over.

I would have thought March Madness is popular enough to make a video game from it every year, but apparently not anymore. Here's to hoping some company takes a shot making another one.

- Howard Primer


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