Yet more proof that the sports video game market isn’t so predictable. Midway’s Blitz: The League, made without an NFL license, and featuring exaggerated aggression, sex appeal, and a story penned by a former screenwriter for ESPN’s “Playmakers”, has sold about 350K units, and Midway predicts that sales will hit 1M.
This represents just a fraction of the over three million Madden 2006 units sold as of October alone. Nevertheless, it has been accomplished without a license and without EA’s marketing budget, in a year defined by disappointing industry sales (in general).
What I find interesting about Blitz is the number of reviewers who have extolled it for “bringing creativity back into the genre.” An article in Slate goes so far as to argue that “EA Sports has been taking choices away from Madden players for years.” This is presumably due (in large part) to strict content controls dictated by the NFL itself. Personally, I’m just thrilled to see an unlicensed property succeeding in a competitive market. It can be done!