If you’re a Canadian football fan and a gamer, there’s reason to rejoice.
Football Canada, the sport’s national governing body, has reached a licensing agreement with Canuck Play Inc. to have “Team Canada” featured in future editions of Doug Flutie’s Maximum Football. The game will also feature a Canada Cup Tournament Mode where players can play as any one of ten provincial teams to gain national supremacy.
The game was originally launched in 2018 by the Canadian company and has been updated each subsequent year. It remains the only sports video game to feature Canadian rules as a playable mode.
“We are elated that Football Canada could become the first Canadian organization to be an official part of a video game,” Football Canada president Jim Mullin said.
“It’s key for the growth of our sport that we engage athletes at all levels and gaming is a level of participating in our sport.”
Fans of the CFL have long called for a video game for the league and Maximum Football is the closest thing to it. Without a licensing agreement with the CFL and CFL Players’ Association, the game allows players to play as fictional Canadian teams with CFL rules.
“Part of Maximum Football’s mandate is to help grow the sport in Canada. Partnering with Football Canada allows us to further that goal,” David Winter, founder and lead developer at Canuck Play, said.
Its enhanced customization has allowed fans to create CFL teams and players themselves, something that has become increasingly popular thanks to the success of CFL simulations by The Rod Pedersen Show. The game also has a full United States college dynasty mode, a style of game long yearned for by football fans since the demise of the NCAA franchise.
“Two things were key for us to work with Maximum Football,” Mullin said. “The first is that Team Canada plays Canadian football and American football and both those rule options are available to the user. The second reason is that as a national organization we are committed to supporting Canadian innovation around the game of football in Canada.”
Canada’s amateur football organization has now leap-frogged its professional one into the gaming world, exposing its brand to a younger generation. There remains an appetite for a CFL game, but it would take action from both the league and PA to make it happen.
Maximum Football 2020 will be digitally released on Friday, September 25 on both PS4 and Xbox One.