Inception of Blitz GameEdit
Midway Games originally held a license to distribute football games based on real-life players and teams of the National Football League (NFL). Midway released a series of NFL games under the title NFL Blitz. These games featured a distorted view of American football, as it allowed for late hits, no penalties, and moves that are blatantly illegal in real-life versions of football, not to mention outright dangerous. Some versions of the NFL Blitz series featured special effects, such as the ball leaving a trail of fire as it is thrown through the air.
Creation of The LeagueEdit
In the early 2000's, the NFL granted EA Games the exclusive license to publish NFL games under its Madden Football title. This meant that Midway, along with all other developers, could no longer use the NFL names, logos, or players. In order to keep publishing football titles, Midway took its Blitz title and transported it to a fictitious league, known simply as The League. All team names, logos, and players were entirely fictional, although some are references to actual teams or players. Blitz: The League was released in October 2005, and was met with a mixed reaction, though reviews were generally positive.
Blitz: The League retained certain aspects of its NFL Blitz predecessor, such as penalty-free play and depictions of dangerous hits. It also toned down or eliminated the cartoonish aspects of these earlier games and added certain new features, many of which emphasize a seedy, almost cynical view of professional sports. Players have the ability to wager money on their teams, as well as to "juice" players with drugs, both as a means of performance enhancement, and to reduce time players will sit out injured. During one home game in each division, the player has the option to send escorts (prostitutes) to the visiting team's hotel room (the teams receiving the escorts are the Chicago Marauders, Kansas City Crossfire, and Dallas Aztecs) to tire the opposition out and weaken them in the game. Blitz is also unique as it is one of the few sports games driven by a storyline. The storyline focuses on winning a championship to boost the owner's chances of having a new stadium built. Side storylines focus on a rookie offensive player's personal feelings for a cheerleader, a veteran defensive player's attempts to escape financial problems, and the alteration of the team's chemistry with the addition of the egotistical linebacker Bruno Battaglia.