An Atlanta-based company announced plans Monday to bring a new college football video game to market in 2020. iMackulate Vision Gaming (aka IMV) has been drumming up public support for Gridiron Champions since 2016 and once again is reaching out to a particularly starved subset of potential customers.
According to the news release, gamers left in the dark following the demise of EA Sports’ popular NCAA Football series will be able to download Gridiron Champions for $59.99 from the Xbox, PlayStation and Steam stores, among others.
IMV’s elevator pitch is as follows: “Gridiron Champions will offer a unique experience to gamers by allowing them the opportunity to customize player uniforms, stadiums, fan atmosphere and recreate pageantry through this unique college football experience.”
SEC Country covered the company’s introduction to the public in 2016, and IMV has since sold 1,300 pre-order copies of the game. Their news release Monday indicated that they have taken several serious steps on the business side to make this a reality, including partnership with a “top-tier investment core group” and plans for an initial public offering.
When we spoke with CEO Alex Lewis two years ago, he stressed that substantial capital was the only way to move the project forward.
“Without money,” he said, “you don’t have a voice.”
Basketball video game on the way, too?
In the world of sports video games, licensing is a major roadblock. EA Sports struck a deal for a blanket license with the NCAA when it dominated the college football market from 1993 to 2013. But fear of another class-action lawsuit from former athletes has kept that franchise shelved for a half-decade.
Visual Concepts, which produces the NBA 2K series, has struck individual licensing deals with a small batch of schools (including Texas, Michigan and Kansas) in recent years, while Electronic Arts recently did the same with its Madden NFL series. But neither of those companies has announced a return to standalone college video games.
In 2016, IMV said it potentially would start small by pursuing licensing agreements with junior colleges or Division II schools. Its press release Monday did not include any specifics on which teams might be included in the 2020 product, though it mentioned potential for notable licensing deals — and a college basketball game — by 2021.
As of now, whatever they’re able to put out will be a substantial improvement on the current (empty) market.
“There is no college football game on the market that offers a creative experience like Gridiron Champions,” Lewis said in the release, “and we’re excited to be the first to hit the marketplace in 2020.”