Michael Phelps, a guy who undeniably swims really, really well, has announced a deal to take his career to its next logical step: videogame development.
Phelps won a record-setting eight gold medals at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing on his way to becoming "the most decorated Olympian of all time," a feat which immediately turned him into one of the most in-demand and marketable athletes of all time, with endorsement deals estimated to be worth about $5 million annually. He was also named the 2008 Sportsman of the Year by Sports Illustrated.
Developed at 505 Games' new Los Angeles-based U.S. operation, Phelps' game is being called "the first of its kind" and may also include appearances by some of his Olympic teammates. A portion of the proceeds will be donated the Michael Phelps Foundation, a charity that promotes youth swimming and water safety.
"I am really excited to partner with 505 Games and work with them to develop a game that is reflective of my personality, lifestyle and competitive nature," Phelps said. "I believe this will be a tremendous opportunity to help continue my quest to raise the profile for the sport of swimming."
"505 Games is proud to partner with Michael Phelps to create innovative new game play experiences that celebrate active lifestyles, the spirit of competition and the inspirational dream of becoming a champion," added 505 Games U.S. President Adam Kline. "Through swimming, Michael has become an international superstar and role model for people of all ages."
Details about the actual game haven't been released, but it's a safe bet that it's going to be a swimming videogame. Let me go on record right now as saying that it is also going to suck. It's going to suck bad. It's going to suck like American Anthem. It's going to suck - dare I say it? - Olympically.
But for those who just can't get enough of Michael Phelps, hot Olympic 400-meter Individual Medley action or ill-conceived entertainment crossovers, the Michael Phelps videogame is scheduled for release in spring 2010.