Lately, there have been a lot of rumblings in the gaming and sports communities about a potential rival attempting to take the crown from Electronic Arts's annual Madden NFL series. Well, the rumblings have some weight behind them, because Joe Montana confirmed that a football game is on the way. And it's running on the Unreal Engine 4.
The tweet went out from Joe Montana's official Twitter account, giving gamers their first glimpse at the new title with a single screenshot from the Unreal Engine 4-powered sports title. You can check out the tweet below.
The message was met with a lot of positivity and an equal amount of questions. Would the game be multiplatform? What sort of customization can we expect? Will there be any officially licensed NFL teams?
The last question was a constant talking point within the 140-character, Twitter-space conversations. Most of the comments from football fans were skeptical about the potential success of the game, given the dubitable nature of the tweet and the lack of accompanying information.
Of course, the talk about the NFL license spawns from the fact that Electronic Arts and the NFL have a deal for the Madden NFL series that stomps out any competitors.
As noted by Pro Football Talk in an article from the middle of last year...
The good news is that, per the league office, the exclusive EA license lasts only a “couple more years.” The bad news is that, thanks to all the money earned over the last decade by selling basically the same game with different players in the software and a different picture on the cover (which has been hyped into something far more significant than it is), EA will surely be able to extend the exclusive license, if it wants.
So, “a couple of more years” could end up turning into an eternity if the exclusivity is extended by the corporate head honchos over at Electronic Arts.
The deal definitely benefits EA, because the company doesn't have to worry about newcomers like Joe Montana Football16 coming in with an NFL license, a moderate budget, and some awesome technology to kick the crap out of Madden NFL.
Instead, EA can rest slightly easier knowing that third-party games – even with amazing physics technology under the hood, such as NaturalMotion's Backbreaker – don't stand a chance as long as they're not officially licensed.
However, there are ways around the NFL license. If Joe Montana Football 16 is a really solid game with modern gameplay, it could make up for the lack of the NFL license. A strong marketing push and some positive word of mouth could help Joe Montana's game strip away some of the market value from EA's Madden NFL series. This year would definitely just have to be about testing the waters, but next year could be the year where things get serious. The developer and publisher will have a solid player base to work from and can move toward improving the game.
Of course, we'll still need more details on Joe Montana's new title before we start predicting who'll win. But we'll likely learn more about the Unreal Engine 4-powered sports title at E3 this summer.