CFL wants a videogame***

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Westhead: CFL's quest full of virtual pitfalls
Cyber league costs real money to make
Dec. 15, 2005. 08:39 AM
RICK WESTHEAD

Forget for a moment about an expansion team in Halifax or a U.S. television contract. The best idea floating through the halls of the Canadian Football League's headquarters these days would help the league elbow its way into even more coveted territory: the hearts and minds of teenagers across the country.

In recent months, the CFL has been in exploratory talks with several video-game makers in a bid to create a CFL-sanctioned game that would feature the league's 110-yard field, three downs and nine teams.

League officials rightly believe there would be no better way to bolster Canadian pro football's popularity amongst 12- and 13-year-olds than by letting them use a joystick to draw up signature plays for the likes of Damon Allen on a computer screen.

There's no doubt a league-branded game could help the league on several levels. The NFL, for instance, generates millions of dollars a year in video game-related licensing revenue.

Electronic Arts Inc., the California company that makes the popular Madden NFL game, named for former Oakland Raiders coach and TV commentator John Madden, in December 2004 agreed to pay the NFL roughly $400 million (U.S.) over five years for the right to be the league's exclusive video-game title. That means no other football game can feature NFL uniforms or player names.

The CFL is betting that with the chance to play a cool three-down football video game, Canadian teens who have been weaned on Madden NFL, which has sold more than 40 million copies a year and generated more than $1.5 billion (U.S.) worth of retail sales since its 1989 debut, might become more familiar with Allen and other CFL stars.

And by increasing the exposure of the league's marquee players among teenagers, the young fans might forgo Michael Vick, Ben Roethlisberger and other NFL jerseys for those of local stars.

You'd think it'd be a snap for Electronic Arts � which has also signed a deal to make a game for the minor-league Arena Football League � to tinker with the guts of its game engine to come up with a CFL version. Lop off one "down," add 10 yards to the field, make it wider and add nuances like no-yards penalties.

Not so. Games makers and CFL official Jim Neish say developing a CFL game costs at least $5 million (U.S.). What's more, even if the league's sponsors like Rona, Sony and WestJet Airlines helped to cover the cost of a CFL game, the league still wouldn't be home free.

It simply hasn't been able to find a producer willing to take the time to invest in a CFL title. Trouble is, with Microsoft and Sony both unveiling new games systems that feature high-definition graphics, most game producers are going full out to create titles for their new machines.

Game makers are skeptical that the CFL game would garner enough sales, especially in the U.S. market where Electronic Arts also makes a college football title, to make its development worth their while.

Even if the CFL finds a company to make a game, it's still possible that the exercise could wind up as a headache. In its NFL arcade-style game called Blitz, for instance, Midway Games Inc. allowed players to commit after-the-whistle hits. When the NFL demanded Midway tone down the game, the company subsequently severed ties to the league.

Still, the CFL continues its pursuit of a video-game licence. And while its plan is a novel way to try to bolster the league's revenue, it will likely remain a victim of unfortunate timing.

well, they know what we want, they gotta go do it.

http://www.petitionspot.com/petitions/cfl

This petition was in another post. Thought I'd put it here so more people might see it.

Well I've heard about CFL Football '99, but never seen it does anybody know about that one?

Also the same company that made CFL 99 is also coming out with another football game that includes Canadian Footbal rules called Maximum Football.

When is it coming out? I don't know.

http://www.maximum-football.com/

Yes I have it. It is run on the same engine as Madden but all Canadian with CFL rosters from 1999. Only PC based. Ted Hellard of the president of the Calgary Stampeders ( owns Critical Mass) has stated tha his company may produce a game for the CFL. He chats with the fans on Go Stamps Go and I believe he mentioned this on that site.

I just read on the forum that it might come out around Super Bowl week, but you know how those software companies work.

Anyways since it's not licensed by any professional football league the teams are fictional, including the 10 Canadian teams. Take a guess what city the 10th team will be.

Halifax. Thats cool, it looks like a Halifax team is already programmed into it.

Based on the Star article from Rick Westead and who has previously written(unlike his employer The Star) good articles about the resurgence of the CFL, it looks cost prohibitive to do a video game. Unless the league puts up the heafty start up fee, the old "return on investment" makes it unlikely that a US based company will be involved. Sad.

some suggestions for a CFL game...

-crowd noise...have hamilton games do the OSKIE WE WE chants, toronto crowds do AAARRRGGGGOOOOSSSS, and montreal crowds do O-LAY O-LAY OLAY OOOO-LAAAYYY OOO-LAYYYY.etc.

  • get midways 'blitz' games to do the CFL games. call it 'CFL BLITZ'.

-as mentioned in the article i posted here, midwayblitz games have hitting after the whistles....make it so u can do that only in labour day games and LD -rematches.

-team select screen should have a map of canada with the team logos put in the proper place. so u get a bit of a geography lesson. and there should have some CFL history in the game....like when u get to a labour day match in season mode, the announcers talk about the history of the big game. same with playoffs...like the grey cup match, the announcers say,' the grey cup is the oldest pro football trophy in history'...bla bla

-Madden style game

  • Create a player

-have defunct CFL teams

-have a created a team mode where you can create a team anywhere in Canada (and the US :roll: ) by typing the name of that city and province/state. if the computer recognizes that city, it will say it during the game, same goes for the team's name. (like NCAA Football 2003)

-Play you custom teams in a season in a CFL league that can support about 32 teams or less. You can move them around to fit in the Divisions you want.

-Have a rules option where you can turn off and on rules proposed on the CFL.ca forum like they did with NHL 2004 with the OT loss point, two line offside pass, no thoch icing, etc. That way if you wanna play with the Action Point and/or have singles count for balls hit the post, YOU CAN! :smiley:

Wouldn't that be a little overkill?

why?..have u ever played street fighter 2?...when u highlight the fighter u wish to use, it shows thier home country on the map in the backround.....i think that would work great for a CFL team....

remember...were tryin to un-do the brainwashing that the NFL and its videogames have done to canadians....we gotta convince them that were better and the CFL is the real-deal...not the NFL.

oh i see.

We Americans were never good with geography or world history anyways. It just that usually when you add more stuff it takes a longer time to release the product. Plus it may force the developers to hurry the product. When you try to hurry a product, lot of bugs appear in the program, like Civilization 4. The geography and history should be included, but I think we can do ok without the commentators.

Basically if a CFL game comes out, it really has only one shot at making a good impression.

and if it has no commentary, every videogame player would think its garbage compared to madden.....

this is gonna be a representation of the league, and it should be the best it can be. basiclly a little advertisment in every home....a CFL fan who has the game will play with friends who dont watch the CFL....cant have thier first impression of the CFL being a bad one.

u cant cut corners with this..it has to be done right. if the game sucks, madden playing teens will think the league sucks.

In a soccer game (Fifa 2004) you can chose between about 10 leagues. What if a video game was made with both CFL and NFL?

I would say if you packaged them together, most people would end up just playing the NFL one. Like in NHL '06, and previous releases, they've had some European leagues, but except for one time that I thought I'd try it cause it was there, I've never played anything but the NHL dudes.

A stand-alone CFL game would be better for me, I would think they could devote more time to making sure it was accurate to CFL rules etc instead of throwing everything in to get the two leagues on the same game.

I agree, I love geography! and Street Fighter rules!

nah, keep them separate, since they are different styles of Football.

Yeah, it was just an idea.

Just though I'd bring this up again so more people can sign it.

P.S. Its at 413!
Heres a link to the petition again:

http://www.petitionspot.com/petitions/cfl