If You Combined Battlefield and Forza's Outrages, You'd Have NBA 2K14

Earlier this afternoon, 2K Sports' Ronnie Singh—Ronnie2K on Twitter—gave everyone playing NBA 2K14 a code for a special pre-game player animation as a make-good for the online troubles that paralyzed the game this weekend. Naturally, when I went to enter the code on my PlayStation 4, 2K's servers were down. » 12/31/13 6:01pm 12/31/13 6:01pm

Sports Video Games in 2013: A Year in Decline

To a video gamer, the pairing was so natural that I didn't recognize how unusual it really was. On Oct. 12, ESPN broke up its top two announcing teams to put Brad Nessler and Kirk Herbstreit in the booth for the network's Texas A&M-Ole Miss nightcap. The two have, virtually anyway, worked millions of games together in… » 12/29/13 6:47pm 12/29/13 6:47pm

A Retired NFL Pro Skips the Autograph Line for a Call of Duty Lobby

Seven years ago, Hunter Hillenmeyer was signing autographs in a Jewel-Osco supermarket up in Fox Lake, Ill., the kind of ham-and-egg gig that any Chicago Bear could expect at some point in his career if he was any good. It wasn't anyone's idea of stressful work. Smile, pretend to be famous, collect your couple-three… » 12/08/13 12:29pm 12/08/13 12:29pm

How EA Sports Made The Best Golfer In The World Irrelevant

The end of Tiger Woods as the face of video game golf was set in motion years ago, and it had nothing to do with Perkins waitresses or a nine-iron through the rear windshield. It had nothing to do with a two-year winless streak or a drought, now spanning five years, without a major championship. » 10/29/13 5:07pm 10/29/13 5:07pm

Remembering a Miracle in the Early Days of Sports Video Games

The score was 4 to 3, two outs in the ninth, when I woke up on the couch. No one was on base. "I don't need to see this," I said. "Nah, stick around," Dad said. I had two games that day, the World Series on TV, and Hardball! on my Commodore 64. If the Los Angeles Dodgers didn't win one, I'd make them win the other. » 10/15/13 8:12pm 10/15/13 8:12pm

Ten Years Later, Michael Vick Would Have a Harder Time Breaking Madden

Michael Vick may, for the rest of his life, remain a contemptible stereotype to much of the public: A brutal or stupid man. A laughingstock. A guy who did federal time. Still, there is one aspect of his football career that cleanly escapes the wreckage of his personal scandal, that lives on almost as a separate… » 8/04/13 5:57pm 8/04/13 5:57pm

Custom Difficulty Gives an Honest Challenge—and Leaves Time to Rally

I move through the stages of difficulty in a sports video game like the stages of grief. Expert, Pro, Hard, Medium and Easy might as well be named Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression and Acceptance. In the past, I've started somewhere between anger and depression before moving on to acceptance. » 7/15/13 5:12pm 7/15/13 5:12pm

NFL Pros Go Back to College to Fight for Their Video Game Rights

Two letters and a number. That's all you need to be a household name in college football—or its video game, at least. But this year, when NCAA Football 14 hits shelves on Tuesday, South Carolina's fearsome DE#7 and Texas A&M's do-it-all QB#2 will be joined, for the first time, by active players appearing under their… » 7/07/13 5:42pm 7/07/13 5:42pm

Baseball's Video Game Diehards Savor a Slow Dance on the Basepaths

Paul Goldschmidt fishes for the 1-1 slider way outside of the strike zone. He kicks dirt over the batter's box chalk, walks in a counterclockwise semicircle, fidgets with the brim of his helmet, and digs back in. Jon Garland rolls his shoulders and sweeps his foot twice over the pitching rubber. Now I may press X. » 5/26/13 5:30pm 5/26/13 5:30pm

The Wii U has Nothing to Offer a Sports Fan. Does It Even Matter Now?

If it wasn't obvious at its launch in November, then this past week should have made it clear: The Wii U is functionally irrelevant to sports video games, and there is no reason for any sports fan to buy the console. The only question now is how much that will really matter to the fate of the machine. » 5/19/13 8:08pm 5/19/13 8:08pm

It Seems Easy, But Tiger's Greatest Feat is Damn Hard in a Video Game

In no rec league could I ever throw a no-hitter. Alone on a basketball court I'd need half an hour to score 69 points—and a trampoline to dunk. But I can do all of those things in my living room. If video games give us the conceit of doing the impossible, only now has one demonstrated how hard that really is. » 5/12/13 6:21pm 5/12/13 6:21pm

Uniform Policy: Why Video Game Golfers All Look the Same at the Sport's…

There's no formal dress code for Augusta National Golf Club as it appears in Tiger Woods PGA Tour 14, but all created golfers must wear the same thing when they play it this year. This is unintentional, but admittedly a goof-up, two of the game's designers told me on Friday. » 4/07/13 12:27pm 4/07/13 12:27pm