Dec 11, 2013
How is it that sports games on mobile are better when they don’t have a sports association license behind them (FIFA 14 being the expection to this)? Most licensed games with the blessing of either a sports news network or league, such as MLB or NFL, just seem to fall short and appear as nothing more than a way to take your cash. As if charging $9 on a beer and $7 on a hot dog at the live games wasn’t enough.
Even with the consumer base genuinely agreeing with this stance, leagues still continue to pump out cash grabs. The NFL, who despite making truck loads of money, still gets to claim a tax exemption, is at it yet again, teaming up with Mobage to create NFL Matchups LIVE, a game in which utilizes the Madden Ultimate Team idea of collecting players and power ups, without actually giving you any sort of interaction or effect on the random outcome of the game.
The whole idea in this game is to collect cards, either by shelling out a lot of money, or grinding until your fingers bleed, in order to get the ultimate team, which then competes against CPU controlled real teams. So it’s not awkward at all when Jamaal Charles ends up playing for two different teams, right? But the real kicker is that the players only involvement is putting together the lineup and determining which of the unlocked teams they can pit their motley crew against. Oh, and deciding which uncoordinated jerseys to wear that day, because a team would totally have to choose the 49ers away jersey or the Packers home jerseys.
It doesn’t even feel like much of a game, and certainly makes one question where this “live” idea comes from. It isn’t like you watch the cards do things in real life matchups. Nor do the Chiefs magically become a competent team in this mobile game either. It seems as though the NFL gave Mobage the license to create a mobile version of the Madden Ultimate Team, but with the goal of making this title be worse than Madden 25 on Android. If that were the case, they succeeded with flying colors.
With all this, it begs the question as to how this title enjoys the popularity that it does on the Google Play store. This “game” has next to zero interactivity, and serves as nothing more than a money collector for the already wealthy NFL. In order to compete in this game, players are almost forced to shell out money. It’s really a major let down for an entertainment experience. NFL Matchups LIVE is clearly the Ryan Leaf of football apps.