Backyard Sports

From Academic Kids

Backyard Sports is a successful series of video games that play on both consoles and computers.

The series includes Backyard Basketball, Backyard Baseball, Backyard Football (American football), Backyard Soccer, Backyard Hockey (Ice hockey), and now Backyard Skateboarding is in. In the games, players pick from a group of kids to form a team, go through some backyard leagues, and play to become the champion.

The games evoke childhood memories for its players by recreating the types of sports fields seen in suburban parks and recreational areas.

Players cannot create their own athletes or name them anyway they want, and also, the player cannot create a new team name. However, more recent versions of the games have included athlete characters based on actual professional athletes as they might have appeared while they were children.

Backyard Sports games were originally produced by the Humongous Entertainment company.

History (Specific games)

In 1997, the first game in the series, Backyard Baseball, was released. Backyard Soccer was released in 1998. Each one was somewhat popular with children between 5 and 10, which is the target audience. The first of the franchise to be licensed by a major sports league was 1999's Backyard Football, which featured Steve Young and seven other Quarterback Club players.

The year 2000 saw Backyard Baseball 2001, which had licenses from Major League Baseball and Major League Baseball Players Association, followed that fall by Backyard Soccer MLS Edition, which was licensed by Major League Soccer.

Following the buyout of Humongous Entertainment by Infogrames, now known as Atari, Backyard Football 2002 and the first Backyard Basketball game were made. The latter had no NBA licenses, but it featured Kevin Garnett and Lisa Leslie. Each one was released in the fall of 2001. Backyard Baseball 2003 followed in the spring of 2002, with updated rosters (e.g. Cal Ripken Jr. is no longer in the game, but Ichiro Suzuki is). Later that year, Backyard Hockey, a game licensed by the NHL and the NHLPA, was released. The year 2003 saw updated versions of Backyard Soccer, Backyard Basketball, and Backyard Football. In 2004, a new game, Backyard Skateboarding, was released, and it featured Andy MacDonald.

Following the buyout by Infogrames various games from the Backyard Sports series have been released for game consoles, including: Nintendo GameCube, Game Boy Advance, and the PlayStation 2.

The Nicktoons Sports series of successful video games have no relation to the Backyard Sports series, and that features all your favorite playable Nicktoon characters.

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