There Will Be No Backbreaker 2 As Its Studio Is Moving Away From Console Gaming

There Will Be No Backbreaker 2 As Its Studio Is Moving Away From Console Gaming

Backbreaker‘s small but extremely passionate following got some bad, but not really unexpected news. “Unfortunately, and unofficially, it is very unlikely that we will revisit [Backbreaker] /full-on football again,” the game’s lead developer told a forum member.

What’s more, Todd Gibbs told the forum user that “the company has changed direction and is currently not looking at console game.”

It’s not unexpected, as NaturalMotion Games has found solid success with its line of games on mobile devices. Titles like Backbreaker: Vengeance and Icebreaker are not full sports simulations, but rather minigame-like contests that involve dodging and juking defenders in football and skating away from checks in hockey. All have been well received, and recently NaturalMotion released NFL Rivals, which is essentially Vengeance with NFL symbols, uniforms and this year’s schedule.

A version of Backbreaker: Vengeance was released for the Xbox 360 (and the PS3, but only in Europe) this summer.

Though it debuted to poor reviews, Backbreaker fixed things about three months after release with a large patch named for and dedicated to one of its community members. While it may not have won many new fans, the community service certainly kept existing ones engaged, and hopeful for a Backbreaker sequel. They had been corresponding with Gibbs, showing support for a sequel and making suggestions for it when he dropped the news.

The news spread on the game’s forums on Tuesday. The forums are now down for maintenance, but a cache of the post can be read here.

Backbreaker Developer: “Very Unlikely That We Will Revisit Full-On Football Again” [Operation Sports]


  • Sad news indeed. I was a forum member since August 2007 and have followed and supported this franchise from the start. Im not surprised by this news at all, but it is such a shame.

    I still believe that this technology or something similar is the future of sporting games, but perhaps they were ahead of their time.

    I hope they continue to review this position or even consider partnering with another console dev as a middleware supplier as they have been with GTA and RDR etc.

    If 2K or someone got hold of this tech there would be no stopping them.

    But wish them all the best. The tackles in this game were still the best ive seen and i hope it comes back one day.

    • I don’t think it was a case of them being ahead of their time so much as releasing an unfinished product and paying the price for it. The big patch may well have converted Backbreaker into the best US football game on the market, but by then it was too late. The reviews at launch were ordinary – if you fix that up with a patch 3 months later then not many people will notice and even fewer will care. They’d have been better off delaying the game for 3 months and having it in a finished, polished state on day 1.

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