There's a Facebook page now at https://www.facebook.com/AFLEvolution/ and the developers have been posting on BigFooty. The AFL itself seems to be having a much more hands-on approach this time around, maybe in response to comments from Eddie Maguire last year:
“FIFA and the PlayStation is as big as a threat to AFL football as the game of soccer itself,” he said.
Electronic Arts (EA)’s FIFA series is one of the most successful video game franchises in the world, consistently sitting in the top ten of all games for copies sold each year.
It has a truly global presence, as seen in late April when footy stars Gary Ablett and Scott Pendlebury participated in a FIFA 15 tournament in Melbourne.
Check most AFL players’ social media accounts and it’s likely that you’ll see them talking about playing FIFA at some stage — because they’re just like every other 20-something.
Ex-Hawthorn star Jordan Lewis estimates that 60 to 70 per cent of his colleagues play games like FIFA, as well as competitors like the NBA 2K series.
It’s hugely popular, and it’s converting a generation of fans to the round ball. And it’s not just the Australian sides — you’ll see just as many if not more Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi tops as you will Archie Thompson or Besart Berisha while out and about.
Lewis agrees, suggesting that some of his teammates have become bigger fans of soccer from playing FIFA.
Preorders are up on EB Games (preorder bonus is a mini footy) and JB HiFi (with placeholder dates and prices) for PS4 and Xbox One. April release most likely. PC (Steam) release has been confirmed, but no preorders anywhere which suggests it's digital-only.
Their first major BigFooty post:
Hi guys, thanks for the conversation, and even for some of the debate!
I did read here and there over the holidays, along with a little bit of relaxing minecraft!
We had a busy first week back last week, now settling in during our second week in the awesome Melbourne weather!
And yes, we may have said something would come before the new year, but there was probably a change of Plan due to the box competition [this was a vote on the AFL website as to which "young gun" should be on the cover. The Bont won], or because we were wondering how active everyone was over Christmas and New Year’s Eve. Now we know…
Just to chime in with a few things - this is our only official big footy account at the moment, it usually myself, Daniel Visser, the Managing Director of Wicked Witch that posts when I get time. Some other guys from Wicked Witch may post using this account from time to time, and many of the team read the posts more often than I get time to. I myself may tend to write responses quickly when I get the time, so I hope you don’t get angry if I have typo's and, as I used to be a programmer, I might occasionally use our internal wording such as grubber kick. I know it is not lingo, but I believe it is in the rule book, on the AFL site, and yes, we make rugby games too! If you can let that slide, I can let all the stuff you guys say slide.
So, the player ratings debate! From our perspective, there are a few factors here. Firstly, we have our own algorithms that rate these on a combination of the other 100 stats that each player has, typically at the start of a season. The stats are also influenced by position, and other factors. This is so when you train those players up, the rating goes up as you would expect, or if you move them around, things try and balance out. Furthermore, each of these stats is weighted differently to get it as meaningful as we can. Compounding that, is that the team rating is made up from the player ratings, again, so when you get better players, your team rating goes up. This means the team rating is made up from over 2000 weighted stats that all have an effect in game, some obvious like speed, stamina, accuracy, and others are more subtle. Having said that, we also get directions from the AFL statisticians, and these final ratings for the default out of the box have to be approved by the AFL! And I am curious, will anyone EVER all happily agree on player ratings?
Classic teams with past players are not allowed from the AFL or the players association, however that’s why we have created the online fanhub, because when they are made as user generated content, then that is the only way we can get them in the game. Creating jumpers on the fanhub is a good idea, we have been looking into this and the complex issues it causes.
An Ultimate team mode in the sense of the FIFA games is also a great idea, especially for me personally, and it is up the top of the list for major features in the future for console, and dare I say, for mobile as well.
Obviously, we can't talk about the budget, but some comments are correct. EA cannot make the game work, and only we can because we are lucky to have a Publisher that supports it, and we work 25 hours per day, getting home an hour after we have gone to work the next day. It's the only way...
Lastly, the AFL and the publisher have asked us to centralize most information through their official facebook page for the game. We will still read and respond to the other sites, this forum and more communities – but just reminding you all that we have lots of rules to conform to and can’t drop all the info whenever we want. We will however, keep on pushing in order to do the best we can for everyone. So, for those on FB, it is well worth staying tuned: https://www.facebook.com/AFLEvolution/
That's it from us for now, please keep up the dialogue, good and debatable, and we will be here and replying soon!
I'll be getting it on PC. I just hope the PC version isn't delayed
I don't know if it'll be shit, but it won't be as refined as FIFA or NBA2K and the like. Still, if they were able to make this game annually I'm sure the improvements would be there. Either way, it's a new afl game and I'm really looking forward to playing it. It'll be the only time this year my team wins!!!
Due for release in the first half of 2017, AFL General Manager Commercial Operations Darren Birch acknowledged the importance of video games as a tool to enhance entertainment for fans.
“It’s no secret that the youth market is highly engaged with a variety of digital brands and properties. So for some time the AFL has identified a need to create a new video game as another entertainment property for footy fans,” Mr Birch said.
“AFL Evolution will deliver a unique experience for footy fans, taking them to the heart of the action in a virtual footy world.
“The AFL is dedicated to supporting Tru Blu Entertainment and Wicked Witch Software in creating a game that is fun to play for AFL fans and keen gamers alike,” he said.
AFL Players’ Association General Manager – Commercial, Marketing and Communications, Rebecca Chitty said the players were thrilled to deliver this exciting product to the fans.
“This generation of AFL footballers grew up playing video games and this is an opportunity to feature in one that’s sure to have footy fans highly engaged,” Ms Chitty said.
“Digital is an ever evolving space and the players see this as just another way to grow the game by reaching out to new audiences and showcasing it on different platforms.”
Tru Blu Entertainment’s Sebastian Giompaolo said: “We are extremely proud to be releasing another AFL video game. We have produced a number of games across console, PC and mobile platforms and we’re determined to make AFL Evolution the most enjoyable AFL video game we have released.”
Afl needs to bite the bullet and invest in it so they can build a better engine and tools. I reckon they are building from the previous game engine so that has given me hope it will be much improved from the previous unplayable disaster.
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