The release of AFL Evolution marks the first instalment of an AFL franchise game since AFL Live 2 in 2014, and the first game for modern consoles.
Unlike other sporting franchises like Electronic Arts’ FIFA and NBA Live the player base for AFL Live is much lower, only being able to attract interest from Australian gamers and AFL fans.
This would have created concerns for the games developer Wicked Witch Software as to whether the game would sell. Early signs though are promising according to their Managing Director Daniel Visser.
“The launch has been very successful,” Mr Visser told ECU Daily.
“It remains to be seen though if the sales exceed expectations.”
The development of AFL Evolution was hampered by the limited budget the developer had.
As with most games, the more sales you can generate, the bigger the budget you have, “Our mandate was very clear when making the game to best use the budget,” said Mr Visser.
The low budget didn’t stop the developer from working on the game and trying to make it as entertaining as possible.
“We wanted the game to be fun to play,” said Mr Visser.
“We wanted flowing gameplay and moves that had not been present in any other AFL game.”
Another aspect which was important for the studio was player likeness and making the game look good.
“It is an area that has been a problem for many sports games,” said Mr Visser.
“We researched and developed some new technology to get the best likeness we could going forward.”
The game had the support of the AFL and the AFL player’s association.
“The AFL was included at key points during the project,” said Mr Visser.
“They were a great help ensuring all the logos and sponsors confirmed with guidelines as close to the start of the season as possible.
“We also worked with their recommendations on the player ratings as well as implementing their feedback on gameplay.
“All the players were really great to work with and they really were fun, humble and generally nice guys.
Despite the hard work that went into the development of the game, and the support of the AFL there have been some teething issues with the games launch.
One particular issue that has annoyed players is commentary issues with players being referred to by the wrong name in game.
“It is always amazing to see that no matter how much testing anyone gives a game, big or small, once it is in the hands of thousands of players, some things can go wrong,” said Mr Visser.
“We are currently happy that the game is stable and plays quite well online.
“The commentary issue is something we are fixing right now, and we have already made several gameplay tweaks and improvements.
The small issues have put some potential buyers off from buying the game. Khalil Dalessio, an avid AFL fan is reluctant to purchase the game until he sees fixes made.
“I am slightly concerned about the game so far,” said Dalessio.
“I love the sport, but won’t be buying the game until I see the bugs and commentary fixed.”
The games sales are important to Wicked Witch Software and according to Mr Visser,
“The more sales that are achieved, the more likely there will be future AFL sequels and additional features.”
Article was originally published on ECUDaily.com.au