NFL Retro Football, also known as ‘Retro Studios Football’ was a cancelled sports game by Retro Studios, the developers responsible for the Metroid Prime series. It was being developed for Nintendo Gamecube from 1998-2000.
Retro Studios struggled in its early years, dealing with several cancelled projects and lay-offs. In 2000, Nintendo offered the company the license to the long-dormant Metroid franchise which proved to be a turning point for the company. One of the GameCube games that were cancelled to concentrate the team on the development of Metroid Prime, was this NFL Retro Football, that was basically a traditional football game with impressive graphic and animations for its time (and a rumored create-a-player mode).
Initially, this project was meant to be a Mario Football game, but Nintendo wanted Retro to create more “mature” titles (that’s why they created the team) so it soon became a realistic / real world sport game. The concept above was not created by Retro Studios, it was just a drawing done by OptimalProtocol for an N-Sider article, to show what the game could have looked like.