Quentin Batalillon

General News 2024

Why a real lacrosse video game will never exist

For generations, lacrosse fans have wanted a high-quality video game that recreates the action and complexity of their favorite sport. In reality, that may never happen. There are several major kinks in the video game development process that make creating a legitimate lacrosse video game almost impossible. I am aware of the Casey Powell video games released years ago. However, I don’t consider that game a “quality product” compared to other major sports titles, even though I really appreciate the Casey Powell titles.

First and foremost, the costs required to finance a high-quality video game are astronomical. To successfully develop a good sports game with the presence of Madden and FIFA, you would have to spend a lot on its development. This involves experienced developers, licensees, detailed graphics and gameplay – very capital intensive. The return on investment remains highly uncertain for lacrosse compared to football. So who would even invest these types of funds in a risky project like this?

Believe it or not, developing a video game is not easy. Complicated coding, realistic physics engines and lifelike animations require a lot of resources. Just capturing the fast-paced and ever-changing aspects of lacrosse could add an extra layer of difficulty. This burden would be placed on the shoulders of the developers to ensure that the game truly reflects the crucial parts of the sport. The game would have the movement of FIFA while also having similar animations to NBA2k, a challenging duo of mechanics to develop.

The small target audience is another major challenge when creating a lacrosse video game. Sports with large followings around the world have a huge consumer base compared to lacrosse. That significantly limits the potential market, making it a difficult endeavor for developers and publishers. Even if there is a very dedicated fan base, the numbers don’t justify the high development costs. In order to make a high-quality lacrosse video game, there has to be a return on investment, which in 2024 simply isn’t there.

It is also a matter of whether the game should depict field lacrosse, box lacrosse, or both. Each version has different rules, play style and fan favorite features. It would be difficult to satisfy both sets and achieve overall quality at the same time when developing a game. Don’t even get me started on the many different levels of play between college and the pros.

Marketing and distribution would present another challenge. Breaking into the market, let alone standing out from the crowd, is difficult when Madden, FIFA, and NBA2K have already established themselves as dominant sports games in the market. More established titles already have huge followings and substantial marketing budgets, increasing the competition for a new lacrosse game. For the game to succeed, it would have to branch out beyond the lacrosse community, which I don’t see happening.

But despite all this, lacrosse fans continue to clamor for a video game. To its credit, the sport has a rich history and modern popularity, especially in North America. But with development costs so high and the market size relatively small, combined with the technical challenges that must be overcome to faithfully translate the sport into video game form, we’ll probably never get a legitimate video game.

While a video game based on lacrosse may be an exciting thought, we won’t see a real one anytime soon, as the financial benefits versus potential economic risks presented development challenges coupled with a limited market. That’s why lacrosse fans will continue to enjoy the sporting action on the field, not on the screen.