How Sports Games Took Over the World

Sports gaming is becoming ever more popular


Remember the days when your video game collection always had one sports title in it? You know, something to do with basketball, soccer, or maybe even hackysack (just us?). People of a certain age will know what we mean. There was one obligatory sports video game just so you could prove that gaming wasn’t just about blowing things up.


But in the last decade, things changed. In fact, they changed a lot. Sports video games are now hugely popular and the FIFA and NBA franchises prove just how wrong we were to ever doubt the genre.


So what is it about these games that has seen them suddenly becoming almost as popular as traditional sports. Is it the fact that we don’t have to go outside anymore, or is it just a matter of simple convenience?



There’s something in that whole convenience aspect, but then perhaps it’s more about the sports themselves and how the whole fan experience is becoming more interactive.


In recent years, sports fans have been pretty much spoiled in every aspect of the game. You can now watch practically any game online, there are plenty of interactive team experiences, and you can even bet on sports in some states in the US such as New Jersey, where sports betting is now legalized.


The very fact that betting, the last obstacle for sports fans, was so easily integrated into sports, just shows how much the industry values its fans. Sports teams and the people that run the big leagues know that the fans rule. And so they give them what they want.


In the last decade or more, this meant creating titles that allowed fans to feel truly immersed in the game. They could live their heroes’ lives and take a seemingly active role in the game. The likes of NBA and FIFA’s career modes offered gamers an opportunity to live out their sporting fantasies and feel like they genuinely achieved something.


It’s something akin to an at-home (and safer) Comic Con for sports fans. With sports titles suddenly offering the ability to play online vs. friends and peers, this was a chance to show off their achievements and share their gaming skills with a wider community. The one-player option became a thing of the past and sporting titles reaped the rewards.


So will it continue? You better believe it. As long as there are sports fans, there will be hugely popular sports video games. And if anything, they’ll become even more popular than they are now.

Susana Romero

I love video games. Enough that I don't care about the lingo, the "in" thing, or the crowds and pastimes that typically appeal to gamers. Yes, I call myself a gamer. No, I don't really identify with gamers.