In one of the more unusual interviews I’ve seen for a new, licensed sports game, the producer of Mike Vick: GameTime, on iOS, asked that his real name not be used. Might being associated with Vick, the NFL quarterback who did federal time for running a dogfighting operation, have something to do with that?
“Not at all,” said “Josh,” of KBJGames, to me, in an email. “I love Vick.” The problem is GameTime is a side gig; he is a consultant in his daytime job and “Josh” says he doesn’t want his main client to “even slightly question if I am spending time on personal projects while at work.”
Though “Josh” said his employer knows of his work, their client is large enough that I suspect it may have a problem with even a tangential association to Vick. “Josh,” in his interview today with VentureBeat, describes being hounded by anti-Vick forces on Facebook and in iTunes reviews of the game. Vick himself cancelled a book tour this year because of death threats.
Vick did 23 months in Leavenworth after pleading guilty in 2007 to his role in a dogfighting operation and admitting to the brutal executions of losing animals he trained for it. Even if he was a finalist in the Madden NFL 12 cover contest, there still is a lot of bad will out there, and probably always will be.
If there’s anyone who is willing to put his real name on this work, it’s Damian Griffin, an iOS developer who made Pocket Passer, which I reviewed a couple years ago. Some of Pocket Passer‘s gameplay is incorporated into Mike Vick: GameTime, though it also features running plays and controls. The game currently is free on iOS, with pay-to-upgrade in-app purchases.
Mike Vick: GameTime has the endorsement of its namesake, and other celebrity Tweeters were brought in to hype it. But the man who made it all happen is, for now, unwilling to go public.