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Cricket game binned after scoring a duck with reviewers

Graeme Parton

The official computer game of the major cricket tournament the Ashes has been binned after gamers and reviewers described it as  “embarrassing”, “farcical” and “shameful”.

Publishing firm 505 Games has apologised and said those who had already purchased the PC version of Ashes Cricket 2013 will be given refunds.

The game’s release had already been pushed back by several months, but now it will be abandoned completely.

One of the journalists who played the game said that it was “clearly unfinished”. He went on to point out the lack of animation for the players’ catching motions.

Simon Miller, editor-in-chief at review site, said the botched release was unprecedented. Speaking to the BBC, he expressed his shock that the company behind the game thought it’d get away with launching the game in its current state.

The title was made available to cricket fans on November 22, exclusively through Valve’s popular Steam marketplace. Although no final dates had been decided, releases were planned for the three major home consoles: Nintendo’s Wii U, Microsoft’s Xbox 360 and the Sony PS3.

The game’s multiple glitches were quickly highlighted as players uploaded video evidence to the internet. Matt Whitehorn from published one clip which showed fielders in the game in varying states of confusion, with many dancing and jerking randomly.

505 Games is thought to be blaming the poor quality of the title on Trickstar Games, an Australian-based firm which it said was contracted to complete the development process.

It went on to issue an apology to Cricket Australia and the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB), as well as a number of the series’ sponsors. It also apologised to cricket fans.

With damage potentially inflicted on 505 Games’ reputation, the botched release of Ashes Cricket 2013 will no doubt act as a stark warning to business owners everywhere. It also highlights how the internet has facilitated the rapid sharing of feedback and criticism amongst consumers.

Graeme has experience creating content for online sources and for the radio, and at university he studied Multimedia Journalism.

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