Football History: The Next Madden Challenger?

Every year football fans have been waiting and hoping for a true alternative to Madden to come out. There have been games like Axis Football and Maximum Football, yet fans still are hoping for something different than what they’ve seen over the last decade-plus.

Football History is looking to be that true alternative by providing what they claim is the “sandbox” of football video games.

First announced back in 2016, Football History has undergone a number of direction changes, causing a delay to a game that was originally expected to be out by early 2018. Now, two years later, fans are getting a lot of new information about the game.

In a livestream on his YouTube channel, game creator Cal Anderson gave a pretty expansive update on the status of Football History. From a release window to the gameplay features, Anderson appeared to leave no stone unturned when answering questions and offering insight.

Of the noteworthy announcements, none was bigger than the revelation that the game had been completely rewritten in a new engine. When development first began, it was being built in the Unreal Engine. Anderson said that finding developers for the engine — which utilizes the C++ language — was difficult, leading to the decision to move to the Unity engine which is powered by C#.

“Not a lot of people knew Unreal,” Anderson said, adding that the transition gave the team access to more developers.

Another major piece of news is that players won’t be able to actually control the players on the field. Instead, Football History will go the way of games like Football Manager and Out of the Park Baseball. Strategy sports games that allows players to watch the action unfold on the field.

“We wanted to offer that same kind of realism but from a management perspective like football manager,” he said. “There’s people that play Football Manager just for the management aspect of it, and they don’t even care about the 3D. There are a lot of people that are addicted to that, and we want to create that same type of vibe for American, Canadian and Indoor Football as well.”

The ability to control players is built into the game, Anderson said, but the team is choosing not to enable. It may be activated down the road, but Anderson wants to find a better way than what’s already in place before considering turning the feature on.

“It’s a great game as it is,” he said.

With the rebuild, Anderson stated that the game features brand new player models, overhauled tackle and blocking animations, and feature games on both 2D and 3D planes. It was also announced that the five-man development team is working on a feature to allow users to build custom stadiums with a modular stadium builder.

As far as the game’s release, Football History is slated to launch in Fall 2020, however there’s a good possibility that the game comes to Early Access ahead of time.

“The game is 80% finished,” he said. “We have it at a stage right now where it plays fluidly. We just have to clean a few things: animations and player models. We’ve got the game running in all three styles.”

Regarding price, he said that the game won’t be close to the $60 price tag of AAA titles.

“It’ll be affordable.”