22/06/2017

☆ Boxing Video Games - The Forgotten Genre ☆

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There was a time when the Boxing video game was a mainstay sub-genre of the video game industry.

There always seemed to be a tie in with a famous boxer on any console worth its salt.
There were also some really cool arcade games that tried to replicate the noble art of pugilism.
I grew up in an era of great boxers and great boxing matches. The 80’s & 90’s were a golden era for boxing throughout the weight divisions.

Therefore there was always a famous name to associate with a boxing game.

Maybe in today’s world of boxing bores, there are fewer personalities to attach a video game to which makes it less of an easy sell to video gamers in today's AAA video games world.

The thing is, there is plenty of potential to bring out an awesome video game on today's generation of consoles and PC. There’s also an immediate opportunity to tap into the VR world with a VR Boxing game that would literally put you right into the centre of the ring. Or maybe a boxing management game in VR where you spend time with your fighter in the gym virtually coaching him or her and then coaching him from the apron of the ring during the fight.

When done right a boxing game can be fun but when done wrong it becomes a chore of a game with a lack of variety.

So with this gap in the market being so evident, I thought I’d take a look at 5 of the best Retro Boxing Games, 5 Present Day Boxing Games and hopefully I can find 5 Future Boxing titles that might reignite your love for this awesome sub-genre.

Seconds out….ROUND 1

Retro

1. Mike Tyson’s Punch Out - NES - 1987





2. The Final Round - Arcade - 1988





3. SEGA Title Fight - Arcade - 1991




4. Best Bout Boxing - Arcade - 1994





5. Prime Time Fighter - Arcade - 1993






Present Day

1. Arms - Nintendo Switch - 2017



2. Real Boxing - Various - 2014



3. Beast Boxing Turbo - Steam - 2013


4. The Thrill Of The Fight - Steam VR - 2016


5. World Boxing Manager - Steam - 2016


Future???

1. Fight Night -?
2. Punch Out -?
3. Ready To Rumble-?
4. Wade Hixton's Counter Punch 2-?
5. ???????????????


There you have 3 phases of the Boxing Video Game genre.

As you can see, the future of boxing games is dismal. There are currently no planned releases for any type of boxing game on any of the main platforms.

It's sad to see this demise of a genre. The official line from developers such as EA is that there isn't a market for the boxing game anymore. Players want UFC games apparently. This may be a half truth as there is evidence that shows that the last Fight Night game sold in the millions and sold more than the last UFC video game.

There happens to be a school of thought that says the rights to the real boxing names etc are the sticking point.

The thing is, a fun boxing video game is fun with or without the real names. In fact, Punch Out is arguably the best boxing game ever and it only contains one licensed name (in some versions).

My plea is for an indie dev to take up the mantle and create a boxing game full of memorable characters and great gameplay so as we can enjoy this genre once again on today's machines.

Maybe that’s helped to reignite a passion for boxing games that you forgot you had?

What’s YOUR favourite Boxing Video Game Of All Time?



Let Me Know In The Comments Box Below...