Inside Look: Brodeur’s Authentic Mask in NHL 13
It started at E3. In Los Angeles for the Stanley Cup Finals and excited about NHL 13, the Brodeur family made their way into the Los Angeles Convention Center to get their hands on the game.
Martin’s older brother Denis Jr. on the left, his three sons on the right
After Denis Jr. watched his nephews play a few games of NHL 13 against Producer Andy Agostini, he seemed puzzled. He told Andy that the game looked great and he was really excited for it, but he asked why his brother’s mask didn’t match his mask in real life.
Front view of Martin Brodeur’s authentic mask in NHL 13
The conversation that followed went something like this:
Andy: Well it’s not possible to include every goalie’s authentic mask in the game because these masks require licensing deals to secure the rights and those rights are usually held by the artist who created the mask, not the goalie.
Denis Jr.: Uhhh, Andy…Marty owns the rights to his own mask design. He made sure of it when we worked with the artist.
Denis Jr.: Ya. So that means you can get Marty’s authentic mask in-game right? We want it in game.
Andy: Well, can you get me some reference shots so we can build it?
Denis Jr.: 100%
Side view of Martin Brodeur’s authentic mask in NHL 13
Let’s be honest, Marty’s mask looks sick and we’re really excited to have it in NHL 13. That being said, we get it and understand that as a hockey fan, you want to see your favorite goalie’s authentic mask included in-game as well. So why can’t we include every NHL goalie’s mask?
Eye-level view of Martin Brodeur’s authentic mask in NHL 13
Who owns the likeness rights to a goalie’s mask?
It usually depends. Mostly it’s the artist, sometimes as in Brodeur’s case, the goalie themselves own the rights. So I bet we can guess your next question.
So why not just cut a licensing deal with the artist for the rights to include the mask in-game?
Well there are bunch of reasons, but here’s what it most often comes down to:
Often, the artist has used imagery that is fine to use in an artistic manner, but not for a licensed product. For example, Peter Budaj’s mask features Lionel Messi and Ned Flanders from the Simpson. The fact that licensed imagery is included in the design would prevent us from ever being able to recreate the mask in-game.