NFL Blitz Interview with Producer Dave Ross and Designer Yuri Bialoskursky
NFL Blitz is back and it’s better than ever! We all know that when Midway went bankrupt, all of their properties were pretty much up for grabs. Warner Bros bought most of what Midway had which includes Mortal Kombat, but EA managed to get their sports library which includes NBA JAM and NFL Blitz. I recently got a chance to interview both the Producer, Dave Ross, and Designer, Yuri Bialoskursky of NFL Blitz about what it took for them to bring the game back and how the updated version compares to the original.
Steve – To start things off, NFL Blitz was previously owned by Midway which we all know has been closed for quite some time, how did you guys manage to bring it back?
Dave – Many of the Midway properties became available and EA was able to attain the sports IPs so that helped us bring back NBA JAM. Part of that same package was NFL Blitz and it was something we wanted to do, have an alternate NFL simulation game in our lineup.
Steve – What did you guys do with gameplay mechanics? Are they up to today’s standards?
Dave – We wanted to respect the old versions of the game and we wanted to make sure that the people that have experience NFL Blitz in the past can come back to this new version and re-live all those memories they’ve had in the previous one. By the same token, we wanted to improve it, bring it into this generation of consoles and making it HD. We’re also taking advantage of the online capabilities of the consoles of today to bring that competitiveness of the game to people around the world.
Steve – What are your favorite things to do when you jump in the game? What team do you pick and what are you favorite plays?
Dave – I’m a 49er fan so straight off the bat I choose them and as far as plays are concerned, our playbooks are simplified by team so they’re pretty much the same plays for every team but we do have unique plays per individual team. My personal favorite “The Bomb,” a classic play that’s from the original version of NFL Blitz and It’s an opportunity where there’s 3 receivers that are available at various depths on the field so I know what guy is going to be open at any given time. It’s a play where I can change things up over the course of the game like if I were to keep going to my short guy a couple of time, I can surprise my opponent with a deep bomb from time to time. It’s a great play for me but if guys start catching on to that, I got other plays in my arsenal.
Yuri – Yeah for me, on offense I tend to use donza a lot and I like to confuse my opponent with double passes in the backfield. On defense, my favorite play is the one man blitz. I’m able to bring pressure from either side of the line by flipping the play and confusing my opponent. Another thing I like doing is controlling the safety and using pass interference to knock down the receivers before they have an opportunity to catch the ball.
Steve – Yeah I was using that play yesterday. It seemed to be the most effective to put pressure on someone who might end up shooting the ball short.
Yuri – Right! Exactly.
Steve – Can you explain the whole catching on fire thing that was first introduced in NBA JAM?
Yuri – Over the course of the game, while you’re on offense as a quarter back if you pass the ball 3 consecutive times to the same receiver for positive yardage, that receiver will catch on fire. When he’s on fire, he now has a 100% chance to catch that ball and have infinite turbo. On the defensive side of the ball, when you sack the quarterback 2 times in a row, your entire defensive team will be on fire. What that’ll do is give you is infinite turbo and give you a much better chance to at the quarterback and sack him again.
Steve – How are things going so far? How many people are playing the game?
Dave – We don’t have any specific numbers but we’ve been able to see that people are downloading the game and playing it online.
Yuri – If you look at the leaderboards you can get a good taste on how many people are actually out there competing and you’ll never have any problems matching up with anybody when you go look for a game.
Steve – Do you guys have all the licensed players?
Yuri – Yeah all of our rosters and stadiums are licensed. The players in NFL Blitz are meant to be hyper realistic, have exaggerated features to look big, beefy, and muscular despite whatever position that they’re playing. In previous versions of NFL Blitz that’s the way it was and we made sure to retain that same characteristic in our version.
Steve – Is there anything else you’d like to say about NFL Blitz to our readers?
Dave – It’s a huge, Huge, HUGE value at $15 either on Xbox Live Arcade or PSN that gets you a tremendous amount of depth to the game. It’s a quick experience which you can get through a game in 15 minutes. It’s a perfect type of game to play during the play-offs whether it’d be during a commercial break or at half-time or after a game. It’s just a lot of fun playing with people on a couch against the cpu or another person or you can play up to 4 players in the same game. It’s just a tremendous amount of fun and we just want people to play it.
Steve – Thank you for bringing back NFL Blitz, we really love it.
Dave\Yuri – Thank you very much.
If you still want to learn more about NFL Blitz, check out some of these behind the scene videos that discuss Blitz battle, commentary, music and more.