Oxford-based NaturalMotion, the company behind the Endorphin, Morpheme and Euphoria character animation tools has made a bold move into full game development, starting with a new American football game being produced at its UK HQ and San Francisco offices.
Called Backbreaker, the title is powered by Develop Award-winner NaturalMotion’s own Euphoria engine – currently also being implemented in Grand Theft Auto IV, Star Wars: Force Unleased and the new next-gen Indiana Jones game – to deliver a game which features fully interactive sports play, self-described by the company as "more Burnout than Madden".
It’s a bold move for the small UK firm, which is stepping into an arena dominated by EA’s Madden franchise, one of the world’s best-selling games franchises, and also making the move from tools vendor to games studio as well.
But NaturalMotion says it can compete thanks to its technology, which the company promises will allow players constant a valuable replay factor.
“Backbreaker is the first football game with truly interactive tackles. By utilizing our motion synthesis engine euphoria, players will never make the same tackle twice, giving them an intensely unique experience every time they play the game,” said NaturalMotion CEO Torsten Reil.
“Backbreaker puts players in the middle of the gridiron by providing a pure, realistic football experience only possible on next-generation consoles.”
Reil also revealed to us that the game has plenty of other technical tricks up its sleeve – a number of which will be discussed in an exclusive interview in the next issue of Develop.
The game is currently billed as a next-gen release for 2008 – more info can be found at the official site.