Mike Ditka’s Big Play Football is yet another miserable football game created for the NES. The one thing that separates this game from the pack is that it was never released. Nintendo Power mentioned it in their “Coming Soon” section for almost an entire year while other magazines from the era did full page reviews on it. In the end, Accolade realized that the game wasn’t worth their efforts.
Big Play Football started off as a 1989 release on the Famicom called Quarter Back Scramble and apparently Accolade liked what they saw. They picked up an endorsement from Ditka and away they went. It is unknown why this game was never released but there are a few possible reasons. The most official sounding reason that I’ve heard is that Accolade decided to focus on 16-bit games, which is perfectly possible. More likely, though, is that they realized it wasn’t worth paying Mike Ditka to use his name for a game that wasn’t very good. Since they didn’t create it themselves they wouldn’t take too big of a loss if they just buried it.
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