Blitz project lead explains lack of late hits in EAs Blitz

EA’s announcement of a new NFL Blitz had fans of the arcade classic very excited, but the lack of brutality shown in early trailers had many concerned. Will there be violence? Will there be foul language? Most important of all: will there be late hits? Last we heard the developers had put late hits in the game and sent it over to the NFL to review, so what’s the verdict?

After getting hands-on with the game yesterday (check back next week for a full preview) we noticed that there were no late hits at all. Stranger yet, it looked like they were only recently taken out – ball-carriers still leapt to their feet after a tackle and went into a defensive stance, as if they were waiting to be punched in the face. So what’s the deal? We asked Dave Ross, Project Lead for NFL Blitz, about the omission.

“When we started working on this game we partnered very early on with the NFL and talked to them about what it is we wanted to deliver. We played the old versions of Blitz with them and we talked with them throughout the course of this entire product development cycle and, at the end of the day, the NFL felt like the late hits did not meet with their take on player health and safety, and they asked us to remove it from the game. Right now we have big action and big, over-the-top gameplay, but once the whistle blows there are no late hits.”

Above: Check out the full interview for more Blitz details

According to Ross, late hits were in the game, letting players demolish their opponents after the whistle blew, and the developers had a chance to play around with the feature and show the NFL what it would look like, but in the end they were told that it had to be cut. “They understand that it’s not a simulation and they understand that it’s over-the-top, but at the end of the day they really felt like, with the messaging that they have, and with their stance on player health and safety, that it was something that was better left out of the game at this point,” he explained. “It still has the same over-the-top arcade experience that people remember from the old version of the game… it just doesn’t have the late hits anymore.”

Well, there you have it: the NFL said no, and EA had to tone it down. Does it destroy the experience? Find out next week when we post our preview.

Hollander Cooper

Hollander Cooper was the Lead Features Editor of GamesRadar+ between 2011 and 2014. After that lengthy stint managing GR's editorial calendar he moved behind the curtain and into the video game industry itself, working as social media manager for EA and as a communications lead at Riot Games. Hollander is currently stationed at Apple as an organic social lead for the App Store and Apple Arcade.