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Sociable Soccer - Jon Hare - Kickstarter


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  • 1 year later...

I was just thinking to myself “whatever happened to sociable soccer on the Switch?”

 

Looking at their website, it seems they received funding from a Chinese company to produce a version for mobiles in the Chinese market, their FAQ says that it’s due to be released in China in 2018, once its released they’re then going to go back and finish the other versions (is it still only an Early Access game on PC?)

 

Except they’ve also received a Chinese gaming award in december 2018 for “most expected game of 2019”, so I presume it hasn’t been released in China...

 

From their FAQ

 

Quote

Q: When is the game going to be released?
A: The game is out on Early Access Steam for Windows. After finishing it we are porting it to other platforms. We are aiming for PS4, Android, iOS, One, and Switch. First full version will be the Asian mobile version ( Out November – March 2018) and then we will go back and finish the Steam Early Access version and after that we will port to other platforms.

Q: Why did you release the game on Steam Early Access and not finish that before going with the Chinese mobile version?
A: When we released the Steam Early Access version we were in talks with a number of partners. None of them ended up with a deal and so we didn’t get enough money in to finish the game. Eventually we got in contact with Crazysports who wanted a mobile game and provided us with funding that we never had before. We will go back and update the Steam version as soon as we can in relation to the contract with Crazysports. This will hopefully happen somewhere between December and March.

 

What a clusterfuck and talk about killing off any demand for the game. They couldn’t raise enough money on Kickstarter (or was it that they pulled it early because they had funding from elsewhere? I  can’t remember), so instead they went for funding from a Chinese publisher, still haven’t released the Chinese game 12 months after it was due and meanwhile the audience that wanted a new version of Sensible Soccer has lost any desire for the game.

 

Probably a lesson in there....

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I find it amazing how nobody has ever made a captivating sensible soccer/speedball type indie romp that has become hugely popular. I guess what I'm wondering is, why has there never been a popular 2D  'rocket league' type affair?

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On 08/05/2016 at 04:51, SociableSoccer said:

 

Check this out at 1:29!

 

Jesus, this was nearly three years ago!! I can only presume there’s a skeleton staff working on this now, because there isn’t enough funding.

 

@Gabe, yes it did look like the Kickstarter simply didn’t it’s goal, meaning they had to look for funding from more traditional routes. I’m really not sure what it says about the game when the only funding option was from a Chinese mobile publisher. The last piece of PR on their website, from January this year, really makes your eyes roll.

 

Sociable Soccer’s unique online & offline “Light E-sports” football action & management, complete with the ‘Easy to play and hard to master’ playability of Sensible Soccer, has really tapped into the need in the Chinese market for a ‘zero threshold’ learning curve to attract ‘light’ players who love football games but find it hard to compete at the top level on more complex simulations, including many female players. 

The data shows that there are 500 million sports users and 600 million game users in China, and the number of e-sports users is as high as 250 million of which, for some games, the user base is over 50% female. According to gamma data, the female games market in China had a total sales revenue of 43.07 billion yuan (US$6.5 billion) in 2017. 

For these reasons Sociable Soccer was chosen as one of the four e-sports games contested at the “2018 International Women’s E-Sports Championships” held in China last month. Thirty-two players fought fiercely during the three-day schedule and Chinese player Li Cuimin emerged as the champion of the Sociable Soccercompetition. 

“The most anticipated game of the year award and success at the Women’s E-sports Championships are a real bonus for us” said Hare “We are working with fantastic partners here in China and are also look forward to bringing the game home to Europe and the rest of the World on mobile and all other platforms as this year unfolds.””

 

Yeah, I remember all those Chinese female gamers who were desperate to get an update to a 90s 16-bit football game.

 

I believe gamers in Peru are desperate for the final part of the Wizball trilogy....

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17 hours ago, gone fishin' said:

I was just thinking to myself “whatever happened to sociable soccer on the Switch?”

 

Looking at their website, it seems they received funding from a Chinese company to produce a version for mobiles in the Chinese market, their FAQ says that it’s due to be released in China in 2018, once its released they’re then going to go back and finish the other versions (is it still only an Early Access game on PC?)

 

Yeah I discovered when researching for last week's Yesterzine that Sociable Soccer is becoming a "Thing" as an e-sports game in China.

 

The trailer is bloody wonderfully daft, especially the end.

 

 

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4 hours ago, Dudley said:

 

Yeah I discovered when researching for last week's Yesterzine that Sociable Soccer is becoming a "Thing" as an e-sports game in China.

 

The trailer is bloody wonderfully daft, especially the end.

 

 

 

So judging by that trailer, Sociable Soccer is basically nothing like Sensible Soccer then? 

 

Unfortunately it looks like they've just gone for the money and completely changed the game based on the pay cheque. 

 

I'd be pretty pissed off if I'd bought the Steam Early Access and seen where the game has been developed further. If it ever gets a Western release on the other formats in that form, they're going to get a massive amount of backlash (judging by the reviews on Steam, they're already getting a backlash over the lack of updates or game improvements).

 

That video really is a tragedy.

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I can't believe this now has a side on view, it looks like a cheap knock off of Fifa.

 

It kind of reminds me of when Dino Dini tried to follow up Kick Off with Goal! but having the optional side-on view completely messed up the gameplay (and then had a massive fall out with the industry as a whole)

 

Maybe in a few years time Jon Hare will do a video similar to Dino's...

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1anOrh_9Jw4

 

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19 hours ago, gone fishin' said:

 

So judging by that trailer, Sociable Soccer is basically nothing like Sensible Soccer then? 

 

Unfortunately it looks like they've just gone for the money and completely changed the game based on the pay cheque. 

 

I'd be pretty pissed off if I'd bought the Steam Early Access and seen where the game has been developed further. If it ever gets a Western release on the other formats in that form, they're going to get a massive amount of backlash (judging by the reviews on Steam, they're already getting a backlash over the lack of updates or game improvements).

 

That video really is a tragedy.

 

I didn't play Sociable Soccer since it wasn't the point of the video I was making but it's hard to argue with that. 

 

Sorry to slightly cross-promote/spam but the first 8 minutes or so of this has Fifa 1 and then Sensible Soccer, I suspect the people in this thread will not debate the conclusions as to have they've aged.

 

 

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1 hour ago, Timmo said:

They could release a completely unchanged Sensible Soccer engine just with updated rosters and modes and it'd sell.

 

I think this is the problem.

 

The market wants a new Sensible Soccer (well a new Sensible World of Soccer) that maintains what kept it great (as you say the engine) but updates it with features like online play, new rosters, slightly updated graphics.

 

They went to Kickstarter, promoting it as exactly that it was going to be an updated Sensible World of Soccer, and sure they couldn't use the name because Codemasters own it. That Kickstarter campaign failed to hit its target, but not because there wasn't the demand from the market for an updated SWOS, but because the market had been burned so many times by failed crowdfunding campaigns.

 

So instead they went to Steam Early Access, with the exact same proposal - it's an updated SWOS! Except it looks like they still didn't raise enough funds to finish off development, so they started shopping it around to publishers and by their own admission, no publisher was interested except for a Chinese publisher called Crazysports, who it seems as part of the contract wanted a completely different game for mobile devices. That's fine, if it needs to be different and for mobile devices in order to sell into China, but how they got there - promoting it as an updated SWOS on kickstarter, launching a Steam Early Access game based on the updated SWOS concept and then spending three years developing what has ended up with a completely different game, well, I'm sure that's going to go down really well.

 

Something really basic, like having a side on view in addition to top down, just shows how much this has changed from the original proposal and just how much they've disregarded the market - including those that paid for it in Steam Early Access.

 

Eurogamer's review of Sensible Soccer 2006 sums it up

 

https://www.eurogamer.net/articles/r_sensisoccer_ps2x

 

Quote

As Hare and co have always known, you can't really 'do' a Sensible game from the touchline cam that FIFA and PES and a gazillion other games favour. The classic Sensible gameplay always relied on the greater viewpoint that the isometric, slightly zoomed-out 'sky cam' vantage point provided

 

They couldn't even stick to that one single principle, the one thing that makes Sensi Sensi.

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1 hour ago, Timmo said:

They could release a completely unchanged Sensible Soccer engine just with updated rosters and modes and it'd sell.

 

They did that with the XBLA version, and it didn't sell very much.

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Weren't the rosters the same, though? Well, the same but with player names edited slightly. I'd happily play an unchanged player-manager mode but I would want it up to date. Even if the player names were a bit off.

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31 minutes ago, Timmo said:

Weren't the rosters the same, though? Well, the same but with player names edited slightly. I'd happily play an unchanged player-manager mode but I would want it up to date. Even if the player names were a bit off.

Yeah they were the 96/97 rosters with the names slightly changed. It did make it a nice challenge trying to remember who the players were. 

I think we need to face up to the fact that SWOS will never be bettered. 

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2 hours ago, gone fishin' said:

hey went to Kickstarter, promoting it as exactly that it was going to be an updated Sensible World of Soccer,

 

I don't believe they did, at least not to any full extent. They have always been promoting it the online side, emphasising that's why they called it Sociable Soccer. They've also always had a side-on camera. You can read it in the Jon Hare interview with Eurogamer when the Kickstarter went live.

 

Quote

It's the same with the camera. You can switch the camera to where you want. I know I will be picking an up down camera and controls similar to Sensible Soccer, but some people may prefer to play it with a side camera like FIFA.

 

Quote

There won't be as many club and national sides as in SWOS, which was enormous. There were 1500 clubs. But there will be hundreds. We'll cover most of the major leagues and all the national teams. 

 

Quote

When you log on to Sociable Soccer, it'll ask you for your profile. Your profile will be your name, and it will say which country are you? You'll put England. Which team? Chelsea. Then it will ask you to choose to join a clan. It might be a clan of game journalists, or death metal fans, or Jedis, or surf boarders, or whatever you want to call them. Say you pick death metal fans. When you log on to the game, you can play all your single-player stuff, all your competitions, win all the silverware and the cups in the preset stuff, which you can play with up to eight players in the tournament around one machine with your mates with cans of beer and pizzas and stuff. That's the way a lot of people used to play Sensible Soccer in the old days.

 

Then the third way to play it is the multiplayer online way. When you log online, it knows you're England, it knows you're Chelsea, and it knows you play for Death Metal Utd. It'll say, there's an option for you to play as Chelsea against Arsenal, because there's also another Arsenal guy out there somewhere. Do you want to play now? You can play alongside all the other Chelsea fans in a country. You're representing your club. You're playing a full game, obviously you're controlling the whole team. But you're playing a game as Chelsea against Arsenal, Man Utd, Bayern Munich, whoever, in a ladder league. So you can constantly play to represent your club. Or your clan.

 

You can log on and go, right, I fancy playing Death Metal Utd against Butchers. Or do I want Chelsea versus Athletic Madrid? Or do I want to play as England against Malaysia? They're your choices. Go. You just pick what you want and go and play. So, you can at any time represent one of your three allegiances online.

 

 

So I don't think it's diverged so far from what they were advertising, but it's certainly not the SWOS update that we'd all want, and certainly the single player side of things doesn't seem to be anywhere near as well featured as they've stated. I can see plenty of reasons to be disappointed, but this divergence to online play didn't come out of the blue.

 

For clarity, I don't own the game, and think their approach to Early Access has been a prime example of how not to do it, effectively abandoning the early adopters while they chase investors in other markets. I'm a firm believer that if you launch in Early Access, that should be your main focus until you either progress to a full release, or be up front with backers about why the game's no longer in development. You don't toss it out, release a few updates and then go silent.

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I wonder how easy it would be to do a roster update of the mega drive version say.

 

You could edit them all in game and do a save state but that'd be a ballache, it must all be stored somewhere in there.

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53 minutes ago, Dudley said:

I wonder how easy it would be to do a roster update of the mega drive version say.

 

You could edit them all in game and do a save state but that'd be a ballache, it must all be stored somewhere in there.

 

People have done wonders with NHL 94 be modded it to modern rosters and such, so I’d imagine you could do something with SWOS

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9 hours ago, Dudley said:

I wonder how easy it would be to do a roster update of the mega drive version say.

 

You could edit them all in game and do a save state but that'd be a ballache, it must all be stored somewhere in there.

 

The SWOS community regularly updates the Amiga version, I’ve got SWOS 16/17 for the CD32. You could use it in an emulator, I suppose! 

 

http://www.sensiblesoccer.de/forum/index.php

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