I will forgive you for thinking you’ve heard this all before – Gamebience’s Cricket Life has been the perennial ‘coming soon’ cricket game for nearly my entire time at PlanetCricket – with the game first announced in August 2006, and then with release plans seemingly yearly since then, all being postponed for various reasons, including a battle over the use of the Gamebience company name in India.
An updated website today marked the relaunch of Cricket Life – describing the game as revolving around the life of a cricket player, including ‘fully interactive’ scenes of press conferences to announce new contracts and interaction with other players and coaches. The game promises to be ‘Bigger and Better’, with a planned release on current and next-gen consoles as well as PC. A PC only management-focused edition will be first early next year, with the full game with 3D gameplay being on consoles as well towards the end of 2014.
A partnership between Gamebience and Xteger Inc. is the catalyst for this revival of the game, with Xteger CEO Gerald Matthews acknowledging the past release troubles in telling PlanetCricket,
We have been working with Gamebience for the past four months to bring this franchise back on track and present it to the public. We have considerably invested in purchasing the rights of Cricket Life franchise and Xteger Inc. is a result of this partnership. We will make sure there are no hiccups or hurdles down the road this time.
The “Cricket Life HQ” – a part of the game allowing player creation and kit editing – seemingly similar to the Cricket Academy of Don Bradman Cricket 14 – will be available later this month for a free download.
It’s been a bit of a roller-coaster ride for cricket game fans over the past week, with Ashes Cricket 2013 launching on Steam, then being removed and finally cancelled retrospectively yesterday, but the bigger question for many is what impact it would have on Big Ant Studios’ long awaited Don Bradman Cricket 14, which we saw previewed earlier in the month at the World Premiere in Melbourne.
With Ashes Cricket 2013 bringing the world’s attention to cricket video games in a bad way, Don Bradman Cricket 14 is setting out to show them that cricket games can not only function, but be great.
For more, see our Don Bradman Cricket 14 forums!
505 Games announce today the cancellation of Ashes Cricket 2013. The game was released briefly on Friday 22nd November 2013 on digital PC portal, Steam, but has since been removed by 505 Games following negative consumer feedback.505 Games released this statement today:“As most people who have followed the project closely can affirm, the development of Ashes Cricket 2013 has been fraught with challenges almost from the outset. The chosen developer, even with their many years of cricket game development experience, was unable to overcome the unexpected challenges that the chosen game engine threw up, even with multiple extensions to the development schedule. At the start of the project, 505 Games received all assurances from the developer that the engine was up to the task of creating a dynamic, cutting-edge cricket game for the modern age across multiple platforms, and unfortunately those assurances were found to be misplaced.”“The net result of the challenges we have faced was a game which, despite our best efforts over the course of a 2 year development, couldn’t meet the quality benchmarks of either us, our licensors or our customers. 505 Games’ main priority right now is to protect the Ashes name and that of the ECB and Cricket Australia, and do what we can to recompense the cricket community.”“As the licensee and publisher of name for Ashes Cricket 2013, 505 Games would like to apologise publicly and sincerely to our licensors, the ECB and Cricket Australia, and their respective partners/sponsors, who have been nothing but patient and supportive of us throughout the challenges this project has presented, and who, ultimately, we have let down. ”“Our deepest apologies, however, are reserved for the fans of cricket and cricket games worldwide. 505 Games prides itself on being a safe pair of hands on which gamers of all tastes and denominations can rely to put their best foot forward to create compelling gaming experiences. It is clear that, in this instance, we have fallen way short of our stated aims and failed to deliver. We know that the mitigating factors, as highlighted above, hold little solace to the hordes of excited cricket fans worldwide who had hoped this year to be able to play out their fantasy of playing in the Ashes series.”“The people who purchased the game will be contacted very shortly with details of a full refund.”
Verdict: The rain came down over the Gabbatoir and washed away enough play to frustrate us. However, with patience, frustration, amusement, good fight and lots of positive weather reports from my Brisbane Baggy Green fanatics (playing weathermen) we bagged the final two wickets after some English resistance. Plenty of tension out there at the end with James Anderson in the middle of it all, but we have a Test victory, our first since January and we have taken the opening Ashes Test. 1-0 to Australia. YES!
Play: The man of the match award has been a hard tag to hand out, but despite Nathan Lyon’s beautiful spells of spin bowling, Michal Clarke’s scintillating century and tactical delivery for his troops, and David Warner’s emotional ton, it was a toss up between Brad Haddin and Mitchell Johnson.
Hads was playing his 50th Test (a proud achievement given his challenges in recent years on and off the field) and scored two half-centuries, the first being a dog fighting effort from him to pull us out of turmoil and then his keeping standards were first class. His pushed the troops forward with high energy.
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The dust has started to settle on the release of Ashes Cricket 2013, with the few who have bought it on the forums enjoying it. Not because it’s a good game, but for the degree of hilarity in the ways in which wickets are taken and the players act. This game is laughable in every sense of the word.
Ashes Cricket 2013 has only been released on PC thus far – it’s clear why, the game in its current state – after four additional months of fixing and polishing since the delay to the game in July, is still utterly broken and unsuitable for sale. Bugs in the game are immediately apparent, occur in every match played and most are easily reproducible, things that can’t not have been noticed by the development team or publisher 505 games.
The only public communication we have received has been a very brief statement, making no comment on features such as online play and promised ‘DLC’ content such as the Decision Review System not being included in the PC release.
“Despite the extended development schedule over the summer, we have continued to face challenges with the technology on which we have built Ashes Cricket 2013 for home consoles. Our developer, Trickstar Games have been unable to get the home console skus into a position where they are ready to launch simultaneously with the PC sku and with the start of the Australian series. We will advise on the release date of the console skus as soon as we are able.”
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