Mutant Football League: Top 10 Facts You Need to Know (Interview with Michael Mendheim)

Mutant Football League

As a retro gamer who’s played the best and brightest games from the 90’s, I know how badly you gamers want to play another Mutant League Football. Electronic Arts published this uber violent and carnage filled football game back in 1993 for the Sega Genesis. Instead of taking real NFL greats to the 2D gridiron, players got to run the explosive field with aliens, robots, trolls, skeletons etc.

It’s 2013. We all want to experience the super fun carnage this game gave us once again. I’m happy to say that we just might get that feeling back once again. The original creator behind the game, Michael Mendheim, has started a Kickstarter for a new reboot/rebirth of his original project.

I spoke with Michael and got some juicy bit of info on what he’s working on. Make sure you throw some cash at this project because we all want to play MUTANT FOOTBALL LEAGUE!

Elton Jones: 1. Describe your involvement with the original Mutant League Football video game.

Mutant Football League

Michael Mendhiem: I was the creator and lead designer of the project. I originally pitched the concept to Trip Hawkins at Electronic Arts and he greenlit the project.

EJ: 2. How did the idea of using the Football Heroes Engine to develop Mutant Football League come about?

MM: I saw the game several months ago and found it intriguing. I called up Michael A. Marzola, the Creative Director at Run Games and introduced myself and asked if I could play an early version of the game and I’ve been playing it ever since. It’s a very fun game.

Using existing and proven technology helps us deliver the game to market FASTER and will substantially reduce our development risk. Instead of building everything from scratch we can build on top of an existing game, which is already a fun game and has all the core elements already in place. Mutant Football league will look completely different from Football Heroes – it will be much grittier art style but regardless, it’s a hell of a stepping stone for us.

EJ: 3. How have the fans responded to the Kickstarter campaign so far?

Mutant Football League

MM: We have amazing fans that love the classic game and they want us to build it so bad they are helping me with my kickstarter campaign. Unfortunately, right now they are only about 800 strong, I know Mutant League has tens of thousands of fans and we need them to come and support us or this game won’t get made. A few people in the world of PR have suggested that the press coverage has been too good and is hurting us. Kickstarter Backers may be thinking these guys have press and big industry talent; they don’t need us because either way they are going to get this game made. The truth is there is no publisher in the back wings waiting to sign this project. No one has called me.

The other thing people have been upset about is our pledge goal which they think is too high. Our goal is $750,000 – and yes, this is a lot of money but when you break it down for each platform (IOS, Android, PC, XBox Live & PSN) it comes out to about 110k per sku (minus Kickstarter costs). That’s not unreasonable. We want to deliver what we promise and can’t possibly do that for any less. The worst thing we can imagine is having a successful Kickstarter campaign and then coming back 9-10 months later and telling our backers we are sorry because we don’t have enough money to deliver them the final product. We’ve been completely transparent and even provided internal budgets for the backers to review but right now we’re in trouble.

EJ: 4. Is the entire cast of characters from the original game coming back for this reboot?

MM: This is a brand new game with new all new characters, new story played in a distant galaxy instead of Earth. All the characters from the original Mutant League Football game like Bones Jackson and K.T.Slayer are owned by Electronic Arts; needless to say we can’t use them.

EJ: 5. Will there be any new characters added to this installment?

Mutant Football League

MM: The thing that’s cool about Mutant Football is that we parody today’s NFL stars. So there are always new and fun characters to play with. For instance RG3 = BFD3, Ed Reed = Ed Bleed, Peyton Manning = Satan Manning, etc. We can have a lot of fun and right now we’re running a naming contest on our Mutant Football League Facebook page. The names people are coming up with are awesome!