Iron Man Football
Strap on your helmet and get ready for a football throwback gaming experience. Iron Man Football is the first football game to feature amazing state-of-the-art 3D graphics and animations on the Sony PlayStation. Relive the glory days of classic football where anything goes.
The major drawback to Iron Man Football is the lack of NFL licensed teams. However, the game fills a niche as it features classic football uniforms and play calling. In addition, Iron Man would have been the first true 3D football game on the PlayStation and ensured enhanced gameplay. Although the game was cancelled within 2 months of development, it is clear that the development team had the skills and confidence to produce an exceptional football game.
“There was going to be a lot of story involved in the game; one of the main ideas as I recall was to build up your team by barnstorming around the country. It took me a while to realize that this had nothing to do with airplanes and more to do with going on tour.
We had a good team technically. But to be honest, the game was very ambitious. I had previously worked on both Unnecessary Roughness and Madden (SEGA and SNES) but I didn’t borrow very much in the way of code. Of course the experience did help in trying how to come up with the underpinnings of a football game. Being ambitious isn’t necessarily bad since you can always pare back and you tend to put out a better end product.
It was a big challenge since the industry was transitioning to 3D and the PSX was new. Had the project not been cancelled early, I’m confident we would have come out with a potentially ground breaking product.”
-former programmer, Capcom Digital Studios
“We had to do Iron Man football because Capcom was unable to obtain an NFL license. Iron Man was going to be old time football with all the real old plays, one of our guys went to the football hall of fame and copied all the plays, like razzle dazzle and statue of liberty…
Why it was cancelled? One contributing reason was Bernie Stolar, the VP of 3rd Party Relations at SCEA, did not approve the title because there were too many football games already in the queue.
Please also note, what you see is two months of work, we could have finished the game by September for Christmas of 96 for sure.”
-former producer, Capcom Digital Studios
“There were a number of factors, somewhat external to the project, why this particular title was killed. From a larger context, there were certain business plans and support expected for all of the US titles which were scaled back by Corporate. One of the factors was the expectation that a large marketing budget and effort would be required for Iron Man Football; more so than the other titles (Major Damage and Werewolf The Apocalypse); another project, as you know, had a license tie in which would be leveraged for the video game title (Streetfighter The Movie).
It was an innovative concept and with a unique approach, had the possibility to break out of the pack of the standard NFL approach to football game concepts. The technical and art team were very good, project management was weak on the project and impacted execution. Could it have been completed on time and before Football season? Difficult to say, but most likely would have required a change of the PM to accomplish this.
Several members of the team were former EA employees and had some experience and exposure to Madden, so there were ‘blood lines’ that contributed to the focus and quality of the team.
There were a number of research activities carried out as part of the concept development and design phase. Hall of Fame visits, yes; audio recording at football games as well; and research into other historical materials about football pre-“modern era.” The recent George Clooney Leatherheads movie had echos of the game concept.”
-former VP Development, Capcom Digital Studios