Don’t mourn Ashes Cricket 2013. The footage players managed to capture before the game was removed from Steam revealed enough: crowds discernable as cardboard even from a distance, a camera that made tracking the ball a nauseous impossibility, and staccato animations that served only to accentuate dunder-headed AI.
Its players were unanimous in their damning verdict – as were Ashes Cricket’s publishers, 505 Games. Since removing the game from sale, they’ve pledged to refund all copies and sought to explain themselves.
“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,” wrote the publishers in a statement.
505 outsourced development to Trickstar Games, who they say failed to overcome those challenges – despite a development period extended to two years.
“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,” wrote the publishers, “and unfortunately those assurances were found to be misplaced.”
505’s stated priority now is to recompense their players, and to protect the reputations of the ECB and Cricket Australia – the game’s license holders, who’ve been “let down”.
“Our deepest apologies, however, are reserved for the fans of cricket and cricket games worldwide,” finish the publishers. “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.”
Gosh, what a mess. It’s worth noting that 505’s recent back catalogue includes Payday 2 and Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons – so when they say Ashes Cricket “couldn’t meet [their] quality benchmarks”, I’m inclined to agree. Just a shame they didn’t realise that before it hit Steam, eh?