If attempting to cash-in on a major sporting event, it's normally a good idea to release a game before that event takes place. That's a key lesson forgotten by 505 Games, which has today confirmed that Ashes Cricket 2013 will now arrive in November ahead of the return real-life series in Australia, missing the boat on the Summer's extravaganza currently underway in the UK.
Originally planned for earlier this Summer, the Trickstar-developed game has been kept in the dark, with no in-game footage shown to date. This suggested that the odds of it even arriving during the current five test Ashes series (five 5-day matches between England and Australia, if you're unaware) were particularly slim, so the delay is no surprise. In the official press release Tim Woodley, Senior Vice President Global Brand & Marketing for 505 Games, was surprisingly honest about the situation.
It is hugely disappointing that 505 Games has had to make this announcement today. We all had high hopes of bringing out a stellar cricket game during the first leg of this unprecedented Ashes year. But the fact of the matter is, we took a long hard look at the game as it stands and decided it simply wasn’t good enough in its current state. It was simply not worthy of the Ashes name.
Unforeseen issues which developer Trickstar faced in latter stages of development have meant that they have been unable to do the requisite amount of polishing and fine-tuning which any game needs. We owe it to ourselves, to our licensors, the ECB and Cricket Australia, but most of all to the dedicated cricket fans and gamers to put our best foot forward.
It is small compensation that we have the benefit of a second Ashes series in this unique cricketing year which affords us further time to work on the game and get it right for the return leg. We are confident that the time between now and the second Ashes series will be enough to add the final polish we believe the game needs. We are committed, as we always have been, to releasing a great game and we are doing everything in our power to ensure this is the case.
Will the game arrive before the second Ashes series of 2013 starts in Australia towards the end of the year, will many gamers still care when all of the Holiday blockbusters are filling up the retail shelves? We'll need to wait and see.