Massachusetts based social football coaching game Quickhit has recently been granted the coveted “seal of approval” from the National Football League via a licensing agreement. The license now allows Quickhit to use the league’s 32 professional teams, uniforms, logos, and stadiums in their free-to-play game.
Notably, this license is the first and only one of it’s kind outside of the EA deal, which was inked in 2004. It’s a bit of a loophole, but the EA agreement with the NFL is limited to PC and Console platforms, including multiplayer online play, as well as hand-held games, but does not have any clauses directed at purely internet based games.
While former Turbine CEO and EA employee, Quickhit chief Jeff Anderson could not comment on the negotiations, he did say that he was very excited about getting NFL teams into Quickhit.
“I was at EA and saw the value and the power of the franchise. It is the most popular sport out there. Having the NFL and getting that validation is an incredible opportunity to bring in new users and expand our content.”
And although the licensing might be seen as a direct shot across the bow at EA’s Madden franchise, Quickhit design director Brandon Justice stresses that Quickhit is focused on attracting a different type of player, one that may not be attracted to console games or put off by the complex interface. As Justice puts it, “Quickhit aims to be more of a sports RPG than a sports action game.”
With fantasy football leagues starting to grind to life, the Quickhit/NFL deal couldn’t have come at a better time. Instead of directly targeting Madden fans, Quickhit has an entirely separate demographic to go after, as Quickhit could very easily become a coaching tool/simulator for fantasy football fans. And now that they’ve signed the NFL, how long do you think it will take ESPN to sign on the dotted line, making Quickhit the fantasy football, free-to-play of choice?
Formerly known as Play Hard, Quickhit launched their debut title, Quickhit Football during the 2009 NFL season, and now has over 1 million players. In late January 2009, they added the voice of former Pittsburgh Steelers coach Bill Cowher to the game. The new, NFL licensed content is expected to be released in time for the 2010 football season.