Electronic Arts may have an exclusive agreement with the National Football League until the end of the 2012 season, but that hasn't stopped other publishers from attempting to carve out their own piece of turf in the pro football gaming genre. Unlicensed challengers like All-Pro Football 2K8 and Blitz: The League have come and gone, but a new rookie is set to take the field next month.
NaturalMotion today confirmed a June 1 release date and $50 price point for its new unlicensed gridiron sim Backbreaker on the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. The studio is emphasizing the game's physics-based animation, which makes sense considering NaturalMotion is best known as the purveyor of the Euphoria, Endorphin, and Morpheme tools for in-game animation. The company's middleware has been used in a number of high-profile games like Grand Theft Auto IV and Star Wars: The Force Unleashed.
Backbreaker re-creates full 11-on-11 football with simulation or arcade-style game modes, training minigames, and adjustable seasons up to 32 games long. The game will also feature customizable teams, allowing users to create players, uniforms, logos, and even end zones. The game saves up to 32 customized squads, which players will be able to take online for multiplayer matches.
The game's rookie season has been a long time coming. Backbreaker has been in development for years, originally being announced in 2007 with a 2008 release date. For more, check out GameSpot's previous coverage.