Dear OOTP, I wanted to assist you in generating a higher market share (and therefore profit) by introducing a concept alarmingly foreign in today's business world - customer focus vs sales focus. By releasing a full price version of the game every year you may think you're driving more profit but in fact you are lowering your overall sales volumes as players like myself will simply skip versions that we don't feel bring enough value or innovation. This pattern has in-fact been proven on EA Sports games like their own NHL and Madden NFL franchises. If you instead moved to an approach where each new version is discounted 40-50% if you own the previous version then you will find your overall revenue would net about the same but you would have a consistently higher active installed base because players would be far less likely to skip versions. This would lead to a more engaged and committed fan base which I'm sure you understand the value of.
When you focus on the customer the sales take care of themselves. I'm pretty sure they used to teach that in business school...
I understand where you're coming from, but a small developer would quickly go out of business with this type of business model. I'm not aware of any sports management series that goes this route. Is there one (asking honestly, in case I've missed something)?
IMO, the pattern you describe has not been proven by EA Sports. EA charges full price each and every season for its games, and their company has a license to print money. Despite mediocre titles, they rake in the cash year after year.
Sure, for the consumer, it would be nice to get a discount for owning the previous year's game, but it just isn't practical for a small company to sell its games this way.