Robin Antonick, the original creator of the John Madden Football series, recently took to Kickstarter to fund his latest project, Grudge Match: Street Basketball. Grudge Match is an arcade-style basketball game in development for PC, Mac, Linux and Ouya by Antonick and co-founder Robert Lindsey's new startup, the Indie Sports Network (ISN).
According to its website, the ISN's goal, to "be a disruptive force in the sports gaming industry," has a lot to do with its Indie Sports League, Market and Gym/Lab systems, which Grudge Match will use. The League is an online multiplayer modeled after Major League Baseball's farm system, indicating tiered "pro" levels and a leaderboard-style ranking system. ISN describes the Market as a place where players can buy and sell in-game creations "like eBay and iTunes for gamers."
The Indie Sports Gym and Lab are the part of the ISN's operation that could cause the "disruption" that Antonick talks about in the project's Kickstarter pitch. The Lab features a coding and scripting system that allows players to create basketball stars, moves, and other in-game items to sell in the marketplace. Antonick envisions the creation system as a means of turning the players into developers as well, as Grudge Match seems to lean heavily on community-created content.
The Kickstarter project is aiming to raise $500,000 by December 8, and the Indie Sports Network is currently planning to launch the game in late 2014 or early 2015. Antonick has been involved in an ongoing lawsuit with Electronic Arts over alleged unpaid royalties related to his work on the original John Madden Football game. A US District Court jury ruled in favor of Antonick in July, awarding him $11 million.