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|Platform(s)||Microsoft Windows, Macintosh, Xbox 360, PlayStation 2, Android, Game Boy|
|First release||Backyard Baseball|
|Latest release||Backyard Sports: Baseball 2015 and Backyard Sports: Basketball 2015|
Backyard Sports (originally branded as Junior Sports) is a video game series released for consoles, computers and mobile devices. 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, David Ortiz, Joe Thornton and Andy Macdonald. The Backyard Sports series is licensed by the major professional U.S. sports leagues: Major League Baseball (MLB), the National Basketball Association (NBA), the National Football League (NFL), the National Hockey League (NHL), and Major League Soccer (MLS).
The series includes Backyard Baseball, Backyard Basketball, Backyard Football (American football), Backyard Soccer (association football), 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. Gamers can "Create-A-Player", 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 a 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 distracted for a brief period.
The series began in late 1997 when Humongous Entertainment, owned by GT Interactive, created the first game in the franchise: Backyard Baseball. Later, GT Interactive was purchased by Infogrames. Infogrames allowed Humongous Entertainment to expand the series, and Humongous developed more titles such as Backyard Soccer, Backyard Football, Backyard Basketball, Backyard Hockey, and Backyard Skateboarding. Following the buyout by Infogrames, these titles from the Backyard series were released for game consoles, including the GameCube, Game Boy Advance, PlayStation 2, Xbox 360, and Wii. Infogrames in North America eventually changed its name to Atari Interactive.
In July 2013, private equity firm The Evergreen Group bought the Backyard Sports franchise during the Atari bankruptcy proceedings for its portfolio company Epic Gear LLC. It was later sold by Epic Gear to Day6 Sports Group.
In December 2014, Day6 Sports Group began to relaunch the Backyard Sports series with Backyard Sports NBA Basketball for smartphones and tablets, with Golden State Warriors point guard Stephen Curry as the cover athlete.
In 2016, Day6 Sports Group was acquired by a European investment group.
In April 2019, Humongous Entertainment tweeted an image of the original Junior Sports logo, hinting at a possible re-release of the original games and/or the developer having re-secured the rights to the series proper. However a week prior, Humongous replied to a Twitter post saying they didn't own the rights to the franchise.
Games in the series
|Backyard Baseball||October 10, 1997||Baseball||Humongous Entertainment||Humongous Entertainment||Macintosh, Microsoft Windows|
(Backyard Football in UK)
|September 24, 1998
|Association football||Humongous Entertainment||Humongous Entertainment||Macintosh, Microsoft Windows|
|Backyard Football||October 28, 1999||American football||Humongous Entertainment||Humongous Entertainment||Macintosh, Microsoft Windows|
|Backyard Baseball 2001||June 6, 2000||Baseball||Humongous Entertainment||Humongous Entertainment||Macintosh, Microsoft Windows|
|Backyard Soccer: MLS Edition||October 3, 2000||Association football||Humongous Entertainment||Infogrames||Microsoft Windows|
|Backyard Football 2002||September 19, 2001||American football||Humongous Entertainment||Infogrames||Microsoft Windows|
(Junior Sports Football for PAL)
|September 28, 2001 (US)
November 3, 2001 (PAL)
|Backyard Basketball||October 30, 2001||Basketball||Humongous Entertainment||Infogrames||Macintosh, Microsoft Windows|
|Backyard Baseball||May 30, 2002||Baseball||Game Brains||Infogrames||Game Boy Advance|
|Backyard Baseball 2003||June 7, 2002||Baseball||Humongous Entertainment||Infogrames||Macintosh, Microsoft Windows|
|Backyard Football||September 25, 2002||American football||Torus Games||Infogrames||Game Boy Advance|
|Backyard Football||October 10, 2002||American football||Left Field Productions / Humongous Entertainment||Infogrames||GameCube|
|Backyard Hockey||October 18, 2002||Ice hockey||Humongous Entertainment||Infogrames||Microsoft Windows|
|Backyard Soccer 2004||March 18, 2003||Association football||Humongous Entertainment||Infogrames||Microsoft Windows|
|Backyard Baseball||March 31, 2003||Baseball||Humongous Entertainment||Infogrames||GameCube|
|Backyard Football 2004||September 4, 2003||American football||Humongous Entertainment||Atari||Microsoft Windows|
|Backyard Basketball 2004||September 4, 2003||Basketball||Humongous Entertainment||Atari||Microsoft Windows|
|Backyard Hockey||October 9, 2003||Ice hockey||Mistic Software||Atari||Game Boy Advance|
|Backyard NBA Basketball
(Junior Sports Basketball for PAL)
|September 4, 2003 (US)
November 19, 2004 (PAL)
|Basketball||Humongous Entertainment||Atari||PlayStation 2|
|Backyard Baseball||March 23, 2004||Baseball||Humongous Entertainment||Atari||PlayStation 2|
|Backyard Baseball 2005||June 22, 2004||Baseball||Humongous Entertainment||Atari||Microsoft Windows|
|Backyard Hockey 2005||September 21, 2004||Ice hockey||Humongous Entertainment||Atari||Microsoft Windows|
|Backyard Basketball||September 22, 2004||Basketball||Mistic Software||Atari||Game Boy Advance|
|Backyard Skateboarding||September 27, 2004||Skateboarding||Humongous Entertainment||Atari||Microsoft Windows|
|Backyard Baseball 2006||March 16, 2005||Baseball||Game Brains||Atari||Game Boy Advance|
|Backyard Football 2006||September 20, 2005 (Windows)
October 4, 2005 (PlayStation 2)
|American football||Humongous Entertainment||Atari||Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 2|
|Backyard Skateboarding||October 4, 2005||Skateboarding||Full Fat||Atari||Game Boy Advance|
|Backyard Skateboarding: Game of the Year Edition||October 4, 2005||Skateboarding||Humongous Entertainment||Atari||Microsoft Windows|
|Backyard Football 2006||October 18, 2005||American football||Torus Games||Atari||Game Boy Advance|
|Backyard Sports: Baseball 2007||June 12, 2006||Baseball||Game Brains||Atari||Game Boy Advance|
|Backyard Sports: Baseball 2007||September 5, 2006 (PlayStation 2)
September 11, 2006 (Windows)
April 3, 2007 (GameCube)
|Baseball||Game Brains||Atari||Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 2, GameCube|
|Backyard Sports: Football 2007||September 26, 2006||American football||Torus Games||Atari||Game Boy Advance|
|Backyard Sports: Basketball 2007||November 14, 2006||Basketball||Mistic Software||Atari||Game Boy Advance|
|Backyard Sports: Basketball 2007||February 13, 2007 (PlayStation 2)
February 20, 2007 (Windows)
|Basketball||Game Brains||Atari||Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 2|
|Backyard Basketball||September 25, 2007||Basketball||Mistic Software||Atari||Nintendo DS|
|Backyard Hockey||October 9, 2007||Ice hockey||Mistic Software||Atari||Nintendo DS|
|Backyard Football 08
Backyard Football (Wii)
|October 16, 2007 (PlayStation 2 and Wii)
October 23, 2007 (Windows)
|American football||FarSight Studios||Atari||Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 2, Wii|
|Backyard Football||October 23, 2007||American football||Torus Games||Atari||Nintendo DS|
|Backyard Baseball 09||March 25, 2008 (Windows)
June 10, 2008 (PlayStation 2, Wii)
|Baseball||FarSight Studios||Atari||Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 2, Wii|
|Backyard Baseball 09||March 25, 2008||Baseball||Mistic Software||Atari||Nintendo DS|
|Backyard Football 09||October 21, 2008 (PlayStation 2, Wii)
October 29, 2008 (Windows)
|American football||FarSight Studios||Atari||Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 2, Wii|
|Backyard Football||October 21, 2008||American football||Torus Games||Atari||Nintendo DS|
|Backyard Baseball 10||March 27, 2009 (Wii)
April 28, 2009 (PlayStation 2)
|Baseball||FarSight Studios||Atari||Wii, PlayStation 2|
|Backyard Baseball 10||2009||Baseball||Mistic Software||Atari||Nintendo DS|
|Backyard Football 10||October 20, 2009||American football||FarSight Studios||Atari||Wii, PlayStation 2|
|Backyard Sports: Sandlot Sluggers||May 25, 2010||Baseball||HB Studios||Atari||Microsoft Windows, Wii, Xbox 360|
|Backyard Sports: Sandlot Sluggers||May 25, 2010||Baseball||Powerhead Games||Atari||Nintendo DS|
|Backyard Sports: Rookie Rush||October 20, 2010||American football||HB Studios||Atari||Wii, Xbox 360|
|Backyard Sports: Rookie Rush||October 20, 2010||American football||Powerhead Games||Atari||Nintendo DS|
|Backyard Sports: Baseball 2015||February 6, 2015||Baseball||Day 6 Sports Group||Fingerprint Network||iOS, Android|
|Backyard Sports: Basketball 2015||February 6, 2015||Basketball||Day 6 Sports Group||Fingerprint Network||iOS, Android|
- Schmidt, Eugene (April 24, 2019). "Humongous Entertainment coming to consoles". Barrelrolled. Retrieved May 17, 2019.
- Frech, Ricky (April 24, 2019). "Humongous Entertainment is Bringing Their Collection of 90s Classics to Consoles". DualShockers. Retrieved May 17, 2019.
- "Games Database". Gamesdatabase.org. Retrieved 9 December 2021.
- "COMPANY NEWS;GT INTERACTIVE ACQUIRES HUMONGOUS ENTERTAINMENT (Published 1996)". The New York Times. 1996-07-11. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2020-12-31.
- "History of Infogrames Entertainment S.A." Fundinguniverse.com. Retrieved 2020-12-31.
- "The Evergreen Group Has Agreed to Acquire Backyard Sports Video Game Franchise". Businesswire.com. 24 July 2013.
- Kram, Zach (2017-10-10). "How 'Backyard Baseball' Became a Cult Classic". The Ringer. Retrieved 2020-12-31.
- Humongous [@HumongousEnt] (April 19, 2019). "[Image-only tweet; image shows a red exclamation point on a transparent background overlaid with the words "It's Junior Sports" in blue.]" (Tweet). Retrieved May 17, 2019 – via Twitter.
- Fleming, Mike Jr. (March 30, 2016). "'Backyard Sports' Video Game In Movie Deal With Cross Creek & Crystal City". Deadline.