A tweet sent out by Joe Montana has led to speculation that the return of the series named after him could be on the horizon. On Saturday he posted the image above and accompanied that with the hashtags “#youvewaitedlongenough” and “#joemontanafootball16”. Since then more has surfaced revealing what is likely to be a mobile game utilizing the Unreal Engine.
Joe Montana Football released in 1991 on the Sega Genesis. It was an unlicensed game meaning it didn’t have the real team names, logos, uniforms, stadiums, or players other than of course Montana. It was, ironically enough, developed by Electronic Arts alongside John Madden Football. Montana would also lend his name to a few other releases that followed including licensed ones.
The timing of the tweet initially made it unclear whether it was even related to video games, though the digital character and nondescript uniforms made one assume that to be the case. Montana sent it out the day before the “Legends of Candlestick” game was played featuring his return to the field. His jersey number is 16 so it was possible he was referencing that appearance rather than a future video game title. However a poster at Operation Sports discovered an old thread (now deleted) on the Unreal Engine forums where a programmer was being sought for a Joe Montana mobile football game.
Considering the potential Joe Montana Football 16 name it would be implying a release in fall 2015. Typically mobile games are not promoted that far in advance – often not at all prior to release – but a tease of this nature wouldn’t be out of the question particularly if some form of crowdfunding was planned.
Despite what some outlets have suggested, the exclusivity status of EA’s deal with the NFL on consoles is still murky. On mobile however any company can obtain the license if they want to pay for it. The tweet sent out by Montana doesn’t suggest any sort of ties to the league but other images found do. Recent sports franchise reboots have included NBA Jam, NFL Blitz, and RBI Baseball. Only the first of those could be considered even marginally successful. Some success in the mobile space has been achieved however.