Melbourne-based sports game studio Big Ant has revealed Ashes Cricket, developed in collaboration with Cricket Australia and promising to be the “most realistic and authentic recreation of the sport ever.”
Following last year’s licensed Big Bash 2016 game, which was mobile-only, Ashes Cricket will be Big Ant’s first licensed cricket game for PC and consoles. It will feature fully licensed stadiums, as well as all the real players from the men’s and women’s Australian and English cricket teams.
Big Ant’s previous cricket games – the popular Don Bradman Cricket and Don Bradman Cricket 17 – do not contain licensed players or stadia and rely instead on their wide range of customisation tools that allow users to create and share real life players, equipment, kits, and cricket grounds. Ashes Cricket will still feature the player, stadium, and logo creators, and we’ll also be able to create competitions, tours, and match types.
On top of this, Ashes Cricket will feature a “comprehensive career mode” that will allow us to take a custom cricketer from junior grades all the way up to captaining their country through an Ashes series.
Cricket Australia CEO James Sutherland said the decision to partner with Big Ant has come from a desire to reach fans in new ways.
“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 in a statement. “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 last licensed Ashes game was Ashes Cricket 2013. It was developed by Trickstar Games (also based in Melbourne, Australia) but was so irredeemably terrible it was comically cancelled after it had been released (it was quietly released on Steam in November but yanked down just four days later). For the Ashes license to now find itself in Big Ant’s hands is an interesting turn of events considering Big Ant CEO Ross Symons previously accused Trickstar of trying to derail the development of the original Don Bradman Cricket several years ago, prior to the release of the Trickstar’s doomed Ashes Cricket 2013.
Luke is Games Editor at IGN’s Sydney office and reckons Cricket Australia would be mad . You can find him on Twitter @MrLukeReilly.