Madden Challenger Closes Up Shop For Good

Once cited as proof — by no less than the boss of EA Sports at the time — that Madden NFL in fact had competition, the free-to-play browser-based sports management game QuickHit NFL is done for good as of the middle of next month.

Bought out by Majesco a year ago, the QuickHit operation declined to renew its NFL licence in June. Now a posting on the game's Facebook page says the entire game will be shut down on Aug. 17.

"We have determined that it is in everyone's best interest to focus our efforts on future titles," the announcement says.

Developed by a startup company headed by the former CEO of the MMO-maker Turbine, QuickHit had a strong run from late 2009 into 2010, when it secured a league licence allowing players to outfit their created teams as any of the 32 in the NFL. QuickHit never got an NFLPA licence, though, which would have put the likenesses of real NFL players in the game.

QuickHit NFL focused on player management and development more than it did on in-game action (whose outcomes were often the visual representation of a dice-roll). but it did acquire a cult-ish user base in its time. Now it is moving on to other ventures.

"[We] hope to see you playing our next game, Mini Putt Park," the game's handlers said.

h/t PastaPadre


    'often the visual representation of a dice-roll?' I think that's understating it. In the generic sense, every QH play was pure diceroll. There was never any option to affect the play once it began. The various experiments with individual and team boosts were all pre-play inputs.

    QH at various times described the underly architecture differently. In early days, developers indicated that play outcomes were based not only on a diceroll of team-vs.-team stats, but also on individual matchups, and they even hinted that specific things seen onscreen -- broken tackles, a player's changes in direction -- were individually produced as part of the play set-up. This kind of explanation came most frequently when the devs offered excuses for weird things seen during play, like defensive players spinning in place -- an artifact, users were told, of the player's software representation being unable to settle on one of several potential targets among offensive players.

    However, later on, devs' comments -- and remarks from users in the QH forum that went unchallenged by the devs -- suggested that all on-screen visuals were irrelevant; what was essentially an electronic dice-roll determined the outcome, and then visuals were generated from a library to entertain the user. In other words, that all of QH was simply an animation of a text-based football game. This explanation came up most frequently as an excuse for other miscues seen by users -- a receiver changing directions to head toward a tackler, or the striking number of times a weak receiver could make a catch with three defenders apparently at less than arm's-length.

    One other point: It's true that in the beginning, QH focused on player development. However, that aspect faded away after the first year, as the devs added more and more special players who advanced in skills automatically. Already, by the time of the Majesco purchase, QH's user base consisted of a core of frequent players who had very little room left to develop players, and a large group of people who joined, grew disenchanted with the gap between their rookie teams and the 'veterans', and left.

    For a time, QH had been able to keep the veteran core users satisfied through play-calling improvements -- more plays, fewer exploits, more realistic outcomes -- that put a premium on in-game coaching ability. But the Majesco deal drained away coder time, and the play-calling engine has been essentially stalled for a year. That led to louder and louder complaints about already-existing problems, such as the inability of QH's hardware to handle the load of users with veteran teams, making the site slower and slower as more and more players maxed out their teams.

    Given the nature of the Majesco purchase -- just paying off QH's lenders to get QH's president to come aboard as Majesco VP -- the only question was how long the company would keep QH going before pulling the plug. My guess is that complaints from users, continuing financial drain and Majesco's impatience with even the little time they granted devs to keep working on QH code all combined to kill it off faster than the 18 months hinted at in SEC filings on the original deal.

    This is the stupidest and most irresponsible move ive seen a company make. This game needs financial help and has the ability to soar past Madden ( if done right ). The makers of this game took the easy way out with Majesco for stocks and health insurance when they could of went for it all and ran side by side with the Madden. I quit buying and playing madden ( along with others ) and solely played this game. It is more of a mind game than pick a play and press x,y,b or whatever to have the qb throw the ball. You were the coach and owner you controlled everything from the actual abiltiy of each individual player rather it be there level or player type. Many leagues formed using a total team rating max along wiht player maxes that served as a salary cap.

    If the owners of quickhit dont step up now someone else will swoop in and still all the thunder.

    Well, just another game that a big company has ruined. Not a suprise....................

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