Backyard Sports series
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Backyard Sports is a series of video games released for both consoles and computers. The series is best known for starring kid-sized versions of popular professional sports stars, such as Albert Pujols, Paul Pierce, Barry Bonds, Tim Duncan, Clint Mathis, Kevin Garnett, Tom Brady, Alex Rodriguez, Joe Thornton and Andy Macdonald. The Backyard Sports series is licensed by all the leading professional US sports leagues (MLB, NBA, NFL, NHL, and MLS).
The series includes Backyard Baseball, Backyard Basketball, Backyard Football (American football), Backyard Soccer, Backyard Hockey (Ice hockey), and Backyard Skateboarding. In the games, players form a team consisting of Backyard Kids and pro players, which they take through a "Backyard League" season, attempting to become the champions. Players can create their own athletes, starting in Backyard Football (1999). Another aspect of the games is the use of Power-Ups, allowing players to gain "super-abilities." For instance, "Super Dunk" allows a basketball player to make an incredible dunk from nearly anywhere on the court, "Leap Frog" allows a football player to jump over the entire defensive line, and "Ice Cream Truck" causes the other team to be completely distracted for a brief period of time.
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The series began in the late 1997, when Humongous Entertainment created their first game, Backyard Baseball. Humongous Games was owned by GT Interactive. Later in the 1990s Infrogrames bought the company, and along with it came all of the game titles. Infrogrames used allowed Humongous Entertainment to expand the series, and they developed more titles such as Backyard Baseball, Backyard Soccer, Backyard Football, Backyard Basketball, Backyard Hockey and Backyard Skateboarding. Following the buyout by Infogrames these titles from the Backyard series have been released in 1998 for game consoles, including: Nintendo GameCube, Game Boy Advance, PlayStation 2, Xbox 360 and Wii.
On 24 July 2013, Epic Gear bought the Backyard Sports franchise from the Atari bankruptcy proceedings