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Midway plans unlicensed American Football title

Blitz: Playmakers set to run EA's blockade, and undoubtedly annoy the NFL.

Publisher Midway has announced that it is making a new American Football title which will be based on the ESPN's Playmakers TV show, rather than on the now-exclusive official NFL license.

The game will follow the fortunes of a fictional professional football league, and will feature behind the scenes features such as office politics at the teams as well as on-field violence - topics which the squeaky-clean NFL image would forbid from inclusion in an officially licensed game.

"Midway's Chicago studio has laid the foundation over the past year for what is the ultimate alternative to watered down NFL sanctioned football games," according to Midway's chief marketing officer Steve Allison.

"No longer bound to the NFL license, there will be no league restrictions on content and gamers will finally experience what makes playing a football videogame really fun: off-field controversies, dirty hits, excessive celebrations and much more," he continued. "Blitz: Playmakers buyers will be assured of one thing - our game will include all the gameplay and fun the NFL won't allow."

Although Midway has been working on Playmakers for around a year, today's announcement reads like a direct response to EA's acquisition of the exclusive license to the NFL and its players earlier this week.

EA's five year license will prevent any other game publisher from releasing a game featuring official NFL brands or teams, or player names and likenesses from NFL players.

Midway plans to ship Blitz: Playmakers on multiple console platforms in Q4 2005.

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