5 tips for providing feedback to sports video game developers
Do you think sharing your concerns with the developers of your favorite sports video games is a waste of time? It's not. Developers listen to the community —some more than others, but they listen.
Everyone has an idea or two to share, but there is an etiquette to follow if you want to see the best results.
1. Find the Right Person
Many of the top sports games share the names and social media information of their development teams. This is valuable data when trying to deliver feedback or suggestions. If you have an idea for Madden Ultimate Team, your message may not be delivered if you're coming to the public relations person.
If possible, cut out the middle man and get your feedback to the member of the development team who works on your mode of interest.
2. Be Timely
Most sports video games come out annually. This dynamic only provides the development teams eight or nine months to work on the next game.
According to members of multiple development teams that I've spoken to, the best time for suggestions is about eight months before the new game is released.
This means Madden suggestions should be delivered from the end of December to the middle of July. NBA 2K suggestions should hit a month or so later, and so on.
3. Be Nice
Ever heard the expression you get more with sugar than you do with ... well something else?
Imagine you were working on a project and someone walked up to you and said: "Your project sucks and I hate everything about it."
You're probably not going to take that rude person too seriously.
It's not much different with developers. If your idea of constructive feedback or criticism is "fix your $#*&%$# game," or you respond to the company's promotional social media posts with trolling comments like, "Who cares about a Pink Diamond card when your servers suck," then just accept the fact that your voice will never be heard or taken seriously.
There is a time, a place and a way to deliver your message.
4. Be Specific
Comments like "fix your game" aren't just rude, there also too broad. OK, so you just don't like the game, or is there a specific part of the game you don't like?
The developers need to know what you're unhappy with, specifically. If you don't specify, you're just complaining to hear your own voice or to read your own tweets.
5. Be Realistic
Delivering proper feedback requires some understanding about the legal and technological limitations of the developers.
Asking EA Sports to input concussion protocol and other controversial issues plaguing the NFL is, unfortunately, a waste of time. So long as EA Sports is utilizing the NFL license, the latter will never sign off on such references in a game they endorse.
From a tech standpoint, it's just as useless to ask for features and qualities that have never before been seen, or realistically fathomed.
There's no perfect sports video game, so there's room for each series to improve. However, you're wasting your opportunity to have your voice heard when you present ideas that are too far out for reasonable consideration.
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