When you think football games, you think Madden. When you think football games, you think FIFA. When you think basketball, you think NBA Live, NBA 2K, and the fact neither of them is really that huge. Why is that, EA?
"I'm not a programmer by any means, but I know enough to say there's this physics and fluidity thing that we're still working through with basketball", says EA Sports boss Peter Moore. "The guys who make basketball games will tell you that basketball creates a unique challenge that's different from what they face with, say, creating an American football game or hockey game."
"From a programming and engineering standpoint, following the bouncing basketball adds an element that you don't have in football or other sports. The fluidity of motion that's required in basketball makes it the most exposed sport in terms of the restraints of what you can do with the hardware that we have now. That's my opinion, anyway."
Bam. Score one for Peter Moore. I've tried a few basketball games this generation, mainly the 2K series, and find that even as the sweat looks wetter and the court looks shinier, basketball games still feel stunted and artificial in comparison to something like FIFA, which excels as an expression of a fluid sport.
Interesting he says it's hardware holding basketball games back, what with both the 360 and PS3 looking set to be sticking around for a few more years at least.