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Did Backbreaker Just Get an NFL License?

Illustration for article titled Did emBackbreaker/em Just Get an NFL License?

Torsten Reil, the co-founder and CEO of NaturalMotion, on Sunday tweeted this picture which he says is from an iPhone version of Backbreaker: Vengeance, a spinoff of last year's football game Backbreaker which challenged Madden NFL without any NFL branding. Reil's picture shows someone for the Seattle Seahawks leaping over an Arizona Cardinals defender, in a stadium carrying NFL branding on its signs.

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What's going on? Madden NFL and EA Sports, quite notoriously, have the exclusive license to develop NFL video games. But the license only goes so far. It doesn't cover browser-based games (which is how QuickHit became QuickHit NFL last year) and it doesn't cover mobile games, which is how we saw NFL 2010 and NFL 2011 (but not NFL 2012).

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Kotaku emailed Reil for further clarification, whether this means we'll be seeing an NFL-branded Backbreaker and if so, when. Reil had not responded as of publication time although, around 1 p.m., he said "It's something else, yes. Announcement very soon."

Backbreaker to Get NFL License?[Operation Sports]


You can contact Owen Good, the author of this post, at owen@kotaku.com. You can also find him on Twitter, Facebook, and lurking around our #tips page.

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DISCUSSION

Rastervision

Maybe the NFL had an out, but I can't imagine NaturalMotion could match the money EA would pay. My other guess would be with the risk of the season being cancelled, maybe EA opted out for the year or something.