I have seen the future of online football gaming and its name is Football Superstars.
Since the launch of the original Football Manager game in 1982 (developed by Kevin Toms; interviewed here), the world of football games for computers and video game consoles has made huge advancements both in terms of graphics and playability. Over the years, classic football games have been developed such as Sensible Soccer, Championship Manager, Pro Evolution Soccer, FIFA, Emlyn Hughes International Soccer.
This summer, a totally new concept for a video game will be unveiled. Created by a company named CyberSports, the Football Superstars game puts you into a virtual world where you control the destiny of your online character.
Playing the Massively Multi-player Online game (MMOG), you can play in virtual matches online against other people around the world. The key differentiator is that you only get to control your player. The remaining players on your team and the opposition are each played by a different person online. The exception are the goalkeepers, which will be controlled by artificial intelligence.
If you’ve played Second Life before, imagine that but set in a world of football. Imagine yourself training to become a team player and then honing your skills and talent. Or, outside of the daily grind of football practices and matches, how about impressing the honeys?
The game is intended to be free to download. It’s scheduled for a summer 2008 release, but don’t be surprised if it’s late summer before the bugs are all worked out. Meanwhile, the PR campaign is scheduled to launch in September.
Depending on how the game plays, this has the potential to be bigger than MyFootballClub, the online initiative that purchased a non-league football club that’s now owned by football fans from around the world. One of the biggest benefits of Football Superstars is that it’ll hopefully break the monotony of the same old video games from EA (FIFA) and Konami (PES), where the same formula is used year after year. All that improves are the graphics and the options, but the basic concept is the same. It’s much too predictable.