Writing about a game where there is almost no information on it and just pure speculation is not easy.
And then there’s writing about Joe Montana Football 16, a game which is as mysterious in the sense that we don’t even know if it truly exists much less what company is working on it.
Last July, Joe Montana himself posted about a game called Joe Montana Football 16 — which set off a firestorm of speculation on OS and around the internet. Posters discovered that a company was working on a mobile football game utilizing the Unreal Engine 4 — from there we really have to start digging to get any information.
At the head of any effort to bring a football game called Joe Montana Football 16 to market is Damon Grow, Former CEO of several companies including Shattered Reality Interactive, Rocket Ninja, Inc. and CrowdMob Inc. — all based in San Francisco, CA. Grow has worked extensively in the social gaming space, and is someone who has worked on mobile platforms for quite some time.
Currently Grow lists himself as being employed by a ‘Super Secret Sports’ Company, with Joe Montana listed in parenthesis on his Twitter Account.
Thus far, Grow has released a few nuggets of information about the game. First, the crowds in the football game he is working on have 3500 fan permutations (Feb 4). That doesn’t mean there are 3500 fan models though, just that fans can be ordered or varied in 3500 different ways — that’s a key difference which many overlooked when that information was initially released.
Another release of information from Grow was met with a hashtag of “#TheGrind”, which can be assumed to be talking about the development of the game. On the wall in the picture are player models — which one could assume are from the football game in development. (Jan 28)
Grow has posted a couple of times the player models they are working on as assets, one an impressive GIF showing sweat and blood vessel dilation (Jan 21) and another showing a face, presumably a development asset. (Dec 31)
We know motion capture has taken place (Nov 21), there will be touchdown dances (Nov 18), and that Joe Montana has at least some input into the game (Nov 19).
Later tweets by Grow indicate Montana may be heavily involved in the development. (Jan 10)
Joe Montana himself showed off a brief bit of in-game animation, claiming the game was more than a roster update (Oct 22).
Grow confirmed player cards and ratings — with AI being a main focus. (Nov 14)
Tracking down more, Grow refuses to decline if he is working with 2K Sports on Joe Montana Football, but has outright denied involvement with EA. Obviously, this could be a ploy to throw people off his track/Grow just having fun with the internet — but it must be noted Visual Concepts is a San Francisco-area based company.
At the end of the day, there’s a lot of hints about what could be when it comes to Joe Montana Football 16 — but very little about what is. With Grow leading the charge, it would seem strange if his experience in social and mobile gaming wasn’t the reason he was brought on to be a part of this project. Despite the impressive facial scans, it still remains somewhat doubtful a major console football effort is afoot — but you can’t rule out that possibility completely.
With Montana so heavily involved in the development and PR, it’s doubtful this is an effort by a major studio like 2K Sports, but not impossible. While it wouldn’t be unheard of, the odds of Montana needing to clear and/or holding up PR efforts as Grow indicates in a larger company would be pretty slim. However, Grow not listing the actual company he is working for is an interesting point worthy of consideration.
Most likely, Joe Montana Football 16 will be a multi-platform free to play game that leans more towards an Ultimate Team type of experience versus a traditional console and modes based game given the current market and the man leading the charge. We will be keeping our eyes on what is going on in San Francisco, and hopefully we all learn more about what’s coming soon!