The Sports Desk – What Is The Offseason For?

by Matthew Kato on May 30, 2016 at 10:00 AM

Welcome to Game Informer's Sports Desk – our weekly column covering the world of video game sports.

Of course, all our normal reviews, previews, and news stories will still be front and center on the website, but this is a chance to dive deeper, ask more questions, and explore a multitude of topics of all the sports video games out there. That includes some games we don't normally cover.

Sometimes the column will be an opinion or a hands-on of a recent DLC. Other times I'll put up a developer interview, tutorial, or a feature on a game that's already been out but deserves another look.

Whatever happens let me know what you think. Add your take in the comments section below or send me an email with an idea of your own.

And be sure to come back next Monday for more!

What Is The Offseason For?

Athletes use the offseason to recharge and rededicate themselves for the grind of the upcoming season. For us gamers, it's almost like it's the opposite. The period between when a new sports title is announced and when it comes out is at times less about excitement and more about dread.

I'm absolutely guilty of it myself. I recently did a Madden 17 Franchise mode wishlist, and while writing down all the ideas I had, I was both energized by the possibilities and dismayed that many of them wouldn't happen. Of course, it's absolutely unrealistic to expect a developer to put in all that stuff even over the course of several years. There's just too much.

More and more we're spending the offseason holding our breath whether an oft-desired feature or features will make it when the game's first details hit the public. And when one of them doesn't, it's too easy to make your mind up about a game, believe that it won't be any good, the developer doesn't care, and you start believing the fallacy of the slippery slope, that if the developer doesn't do X, then they can't be trusted with Y.

I've done it in the past. But the spirit of our game wishlists isn't as an ultimatum, but as a reason to voice our imaginations and offer constructive criticism. The offseason is certainly a time to think critically on what a game needs to do to get better and how to get there, but let's save the final judgement for when the title actually comes out and everything can be weighed appropriately. At that time, if a game has bad design, underperforms, breaks promises, has crazy bugs, and whatever else, then let's by all means pillory it. Until then, however, let's get ready for the upcoming season.

Release List

Dangerous Golf (PS4, Xbox One, PC) June 3
The creators of the Burnout franchise are back with a game that ditches the sports' clubs and rules and goes after destruction instead. 

The Ticker

Here's your rundown of some of the recent happenings in the world of video game sports.

The Madden NFL 17 Connected Franchise Mode Wishlist

27 Ways Madden 17 Wants To Fix Money Plays, Make Ratings Matter & More

More Madden Details Direct From EA Tiburon's Blogs

The First Details on Pro Evolution Soccer 2017

NASCAR Heat Returns W/ Developer Monster Games

Forza 6 Adds NASCAR Expansion

Gran Turismo Sport Details & Gameplay Trailer

Assetto Corsa Delayed Again Into August

NBA 2K16 Adds Spectator Mode For Road To The Finals Tourney

NBA Live 17 Not Out Until March 2017

The NHL 17 Wishlist

Rocket League Adds Cross-Platform Play

Snow Adds Snowmobiles & Snowboards In Open Beta