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Thread: Behind the Design: Joe Montana Football

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    Blast processor Melf's Avatar
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    Default Behind the Design: Joe Montana Football

    When you think video game football, the first name to come to mind is Madden, and while it's definitely the biggest name, its domination wasn't always so clean cut. Almost a half a year before the console debut of EA's never-ending franchise, another football series was born - by the hands of the same creators! Joe Montana Football was Sega's first foray into the big leagues of digital football, and it almost died on the drawing board. In fact, there were at one time as many as three different teams working on it at one time, and it was Trip Hawkins' company that finally saved the day. The entire tale is one that's as wild as it is intriguing, and you can read all about it in the latest installment of Behind the Design. Be sure to tune in this Friday, as we'll have a comprehensive interview with Michael Knox, the founder of Park Place Production, which developed both John Madden and Joe Montana Football!
    Last edited by Melf; 09-11-2011 at 01:04 AM.

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    Shining Hero Joe Redifer's Avatar
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    Good article, but it would have been nice to see actual game screens of both the final product and the Mediagenic product instead of a bunch of random pictures of Joe Montana. The article isn't about Joe Montana. A shot of the first (and best to this day) John Madden Football would have helped round out the story as well.

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    Raging in the Streets Aarzak's Avatar
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    Great article, but I honestly don't think that Joe Montana Football came out in January 1990. It's packaging and Sega Genesis logo indicates that it came out in mid-to-late 1990, and the first "Genesis Does" commercial promoting the fall 1990 "Genesis w/free game" deal shows footage of the Mediagenic JMF, meaning it definitely came out at the tail end of 1990......perhaps after the first Madden as well?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k7nsBoqJ6s8

    I think Sega's first-gen packaging scheme ended with the release of "Phantasy Star II". The second-gen packaging and software looks to have begun during the summer of 1990.

    Anyways, interesting to hear the development hell this game went through. JMF was the only game of Sega's first-gen Genesis sports library not developed in Japan (for obvious reasons). I am surprised that those sports titles were somewhat well-received and SOLD COPIES. Speaking of first-gen Genny sports titles: was "Pat Riley Basketball" really $19.99 MSRP upon release?:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pat_Riley_Basketball

    The game and it's Master System-esque sucks hardcore, but the music is catchy.
    Last edited by Aarzak; 11-20-2007 at 02:02 PM.

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    Still not afraid of Y2K Shining Hero Rusty Venture's Avatar
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    I thought Pat Riley was based on a Japanese BB game.


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    Shining Hero Joe Redifer's Avatar
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    It is. And Joe Montana came out within a month or so after the first John Madden Football.

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    Road Rasher CRV's Avatar
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    I'm wondering how Technopop fits into this. David R. Foley said Randel Reiss (founder of Technopop) and Burt Sloane got a contract to work on Joe Montana and Spider-Man (Reiss' Technopop site takes credit for Spider-Man).

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    Blast processor Melf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Joe Redifer
    Good article, but it would have been nice to see actual game screens of both the final product and the Mediagenic product instead of a bunch of random pictures of Joe Montana. The article isn't about Joe Montana. A shot of the first (and best to this day) John Madden Football would have helped round out the story as well.
    There are no pictures of the Mediagenic product, as far as I know, with the exception of that one in the early Genesis poster. I would have loved to have found one, but since it never made it past the pre-alpha stage, there aren't any to be had.

    I guess I should replace on of those pics, so the last one will go. Let me get one from Madden to make a side by side comparison.

    Quote Originally Posted by Aarzak
    Great article, but I honestly don't think that Joe Montana Football came out in January 1990. It's packaging and Sega Genesis logo indicates that it came out in mid-to-late 1990, and the first "Genesis Does" commercial promoting the fall 1990 "Genesis w/free game" deal shows footage of the Mediagenic JMF, meaning it definitely came out at the tail end of 1990......perhaps after the first Madden as well?

    Shit, I put 1990? It was definitely '91, as it's on the cover of the Winter 1990/1991 issue of Sega Visions, and there's an ad for the speakers in there that says Montana would be available in January '91. I'll fix that.

    Quote Originally Posted by CRV
    I'm wondering how Technopop fits into this. David R. Foley said Randel Reiss (founder of Technopop) and Burt Sloane got a contract to work on Joe Montana and Spider-Man (Reiss' Technopop site takes credit for Spider-Man).
    Perhaps he was referring to Joe Montana II: Sports Talk Football? That one was developed in-house by Sega and released in '91.

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    I wonder if the ROM to the original finished version of Joe Montana Football that was superior to the Madden game exists...I would like to see that version and compare it to the final product.

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    Raging in the Streets Aarzak's Avatar
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    As Melf said, the "Mediagenic" version of Joe was far from finished. It even shows in the brief clip of it in the "Genesis Does" commercial I linked to. It looks choppy and NES-ish. Development hell indeed. I bet whatever was left of that version is LONG gone.

    Sega sure had some growing pains with the MD/Genesis, moreso in the U.S.........then again also in Japan, as we had more third-parties on board with American companies like EA and such. Only the "indie", B/C-Team Japanese developers were on board for the Mega Drive back in those pre-Sonic days. You know where all the big wigs were at. Feeding off the hand that fed them.........

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    ICE HOCKEY BY ACTIVISION! The Sports Guy's Avatar
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    one of my most favorite football games ever. I really liked this game and think it is a little underappriciated, however it does have its faults. It gets awfully one dimentional, and you can run up the score awfully easy against about half of the teams. I didnt know this was the backstory though. Youve done it again, Ken.

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    Road Rasher CRV's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Melf
    Perhaps he was referring to Joe Montana II: Sports Talk Football? That one was developed in-house by Sega and released in '91.
    Maybe that's it. Too bad there don't seem to be any credits.

    BTW, the master list and review say JMII was by BlueSky. The old BlueSky Memorial site doesn't mention it.

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    Still not afraid of Y2K Shining Hero Rusty Venture's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by trekbone87
    It gets awfully one dimentional, and you can run up the score awfully easy against about half of the teams.
    Of the few times I played it I remember always playing against Denver and whooping their ass big time.


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    Shining Hero Joe Redifer's Avatar
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    You remember that because it's so odd. Beating Denver? Never happens. Except when it does.

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    Still not afraid of Y2K Shining Hero Rusty Venture's Avatar
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    It happened every time I played.


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  15. #15
    Shining Hero Joe Redifer's Avatar
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    I mean it was odd because Denver never ever loses in real life.

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