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.