On those rare occasions when we mention EA’s FIFA series, usually relating to court cases over online gambling, I’m always struck again by how few sports MMORPGs we have. We have fishing games and golfing games. We have racing games. But major team sports have never bridged the gap, in spite of their immense popularity — though maybe that’s because they’re popular with self-identified non-gamers.
Indeed, even few MMORPGs include sports as something our characters would do — it’s a weird omission, right? Wouldn’t it make much more sense for PvP to play out as sporting simulators, a la Star Wars: The Old Republic’s Huttball, one of only a handful of examples I can think of from our 20-year history?
So where are all the sports-themed MMORPGs? Why aren’t we seeing more of them, and how would you make them work?