Yesterday it was announced that the England and Wales Cricket Board had confirmed that Ben Stokes will not travel to Australia with the rest of the Ashes squad “at this stage.”
This follows on from a recent incident whereby Stokes was arrested on suspicion of actual bodily harm outside a Bristol nightclub in September.
But while England preparations might have hit a bump, over in Austraila, video game developer Big Ant Studios are putting the finishing touches on their brand new game.
Earlier this week the developer announced that Ashes Cricket described as “the most authentic and realistic cricket video game ever made” and will arrive in shops on 16 November 2017 to coincide with the first men’s Magellan Ashes Test in Brisbane.
The game is fully licensed and features photo-realistic players of the English and Australian teams for both the men’s and women’s squads.
Not content with just the players, the developer has also announced that the game will feature licensed 3D models of each of the famous Australian cricket stadiums that will set the stage for the Magellan Ashes Series next month.
“There is no competition in cricket that has the heritage and prestige of the Ashes competition” Big Ant CEO, Ross Symons, said recently.
“We’ve worked hard to build on our existing experience with cricket to deliver a truly realistic game of cricket to our fans”
“We wanted this game to build on the years of experience that we’ve had in developing cricket games, and we’re thrilled with the results.
“Playing this game really does feel like being out there on one of Australia’s iconic cricket grounds.”
The Aussie based developers have also promised a comprehensive career mode, where PS4, Xbox One and PC players can take a fresh, ambitious young player, and lead him or her through the ranks with the goal of eventually representing their nation in the Ashes itself.
In addition, Big Ant has previously promised that all of their “much-loved features” from past cricket games will also return for this new release.
“Players will be able to create their own players, teams, stadiums and logos,” a spokesperson for the game told Daily Star Online.
“They’ll also be able to create their own competitions and types of matches, from a short, furious five over match, right through to extended, multi-nation Test match tours.”
Big Ant CEO, Ross Symons, also added:
“Every one of our releases builds on what we’ve learned in previous games [and] we’ve taken fan feedback to heart and have brought innovations to the game that have resulted in a smoother and more comprehensive game of cricket.”
“Time and time again players tell us the feature they love most about our cricket games is the deep customisation options” Symons also added.
“We have produced a true Ashes Cricket game, through and through, but we’ve also made sure that our heritage in sports games remains true”.
While Big Ant’s latest release is unlikely to generate the same kind of iconic status as classic’s like Brian Lara’s Cricket, Cricket Australia CEO, James Sutherland hopes that it can have a positive impact on bringing cricket to a younger audience:
“Cricket Australia’s new strategy recognises the growing role that gaming can play in reaching younger fans, and by working with the likes of Big Ant to develop products that meet this need we are positioning ourselves as leaders in the cricket gaming space globally,” said Sutherland.
“The anticipation for the summer of cricket is building and this game will give our fans another way to be a part of the cricket excitement.”The same sentiment was also echoed by ECB Commercial Director Sanjay Patel, who said:
“We want cricket to be relevant and accessible to the e-sports generation, helping us develop an even bigger nationwide following for the game at every level.
“Ashes Cricket has been designed to be as life-like and authentic as possible.”
“It’s the ideal way for fans to recreate all the excitement and tension of a real-life Ashes contest in their own living rooms.”
Ashes Cricket will be available on PlayStation®]4, Xbox One and PC on November 16.