Hi Res 564 C294941 F9 Eaf4 A4 C79 D17 Ef9 Ba16 C Crop North

Take this strictly as a rumour until any official confirmation comes through, but it appears that Microsoft may be working on an officially-licensed NFL football title that will be exclusive to Xbox One and Windows 10. Should the rumour prove to be true, we're hearing that the title will debut at E3 and launch shortly after in mid-July. The name? Joe Montana NFL Football 16.

We've done some digging, and it appears that (as everyone knows) EA had an exclusive license to use NFL likenesses, jerseys, insignias, and the like .What everyone seems to have missed though, is that the deal was renewed up to the end of 2013. There's no doubt that EA still has a license and that more Madden is on the cards of course, but there are serious questions being asked about whether or not that license is an exclusive one. When asked on Twitter at the start of last year, EA Sports COO Peter Moore dodged questions over exclusivity, and the word "exclusive" hasn't appeared in any related documents that we could find from 2014 onwards.

Plus, with Microsoft cutting a five-year, $400 million deal with the NFL to make the Microsoft Surface tablet the "official tablet of the NFL" there's already a working relationship between the two parties.

A forum poster by the name of MisterFootballSF over at OperationSports who claims to be familiar with the project, is stating that in some quantity, 2K Sports is involved, and the game is a realistic, Madden-like title, as opposed to an arcade game. A "franchise" mode will apparently play a part, which will be manageable from mobile devices. A story mode along the lines of the NBA 2k series' "My Player" mode is being touted. The poster goes on to say that the game was built specifically for this generation of consoles, meaning that the animations and the like are "going to make Madden look like a PS1 game."

Hyperbole, sure. But apparently, the game has been demoed and many people are locked under a non-disclosure agreement to prevent them from talking about it.

The thing is though, that a few bits are starting to creep out...

Not only that, but Joe Montana himself retweeted this back in December...


And developer Damon Grow (who's Twitter bio shows him as working for "Super Secret Sports Company") tweeted this....


So, what was indeed nothing but a forum post, is starting to gain a little bit of credibility, once you take a look back through the breadcrumbs...

With Microsoft looking to close the gap in the current-gen sales race, a genre-defining NFL football title could be just the sort of thing to kick sales up a notch, don't you think? With Madden NFL 15 shipping over 5 million units, only a quarter of which were on Xbox One, there's plenty of sales to play for.

We'll bring you all the info just as soon as any of it is confirmed.

[source operationsports.com]