The publishers of the official video game for the Ashes cricket tour have been forced to apologise after a massive backlash from gamers disappointed with the title.
Fans have described Ashes 2013, which was released on 22 November for PCs, as “incomplete”, “a pile of garbage” and “flawed in almost every way”. The game’s publishers are currently offering refunds to anyone who bought the title.
Ashes 2013 was originally slated to be released earlier in the year to coincide with the English leg of the 2013 series, but was delayed after being declared “not worthy of the Ashes name” in July.
Following its release this month, angry fans have given the game a score of 1.1 on reviews aggregator Metacritic, citing a number of flaws including unfinished character animations, graphics “from 1999” and a “ complete lack of understanding of the fundamentals of the sport”.
The game’s publishers, 505 Games, have issued an official apology, blaming the failures of the game on Trickstar Games, the company they contracted to make it.
"As most people who have followed the project closely can affirm, the development of Ashes Cricket 2013 has been fraught with challenges almost from the outset,” said 505 Games.
“The chosen developer, even with their many years of cricket game development experience, was unable to overcome the unexpected challenges that the chosen game engine threw up, even with multiple extensions to the development schedule.
“At the start of the project, 505 Games received all assurances from the developer that the engine was up to the task of creating a dynamic, cutting-edge cricket game for the modern age across multiple platforms, and unfortunately those assurances were found to be misplaced."
505 Games have said that their main priority “is to protect the Ashes name and that of the ECB and Cricket Australia, and do what we can to recompense the cricket community."
“Our deepest apologies, however, are reserved for the fans of cricket and cricket games worldwide.”
Despite the disappointment of cricketing fans, other internet users have managed to enjoy the game for its surreal gameplay.
One commenter on YouTube offered this helpful advice: “To any Americans watching this, this is actually a 100% realistic depiction of the game of cricket.
(Skip to 9 minutes in the video above to see how fielders deal with a rogue ball)