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Studio issue 'truly heartbreaking' news for rugby gamers

By Ian Cameron
The release date has been delayed until next year.

The makers of rugby’s highly anticipated new video game – Rugby 24 – have explained why they have taken the ‘heartbreaking’ decision to delay its release.

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The game was set for release on PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One and PC during the Rugby World Cup but gamers will have to wait until the new year to get a taste of the latest attempt to capture the sport in a gaming context.

NACON and Big Ant Studios have confirmed that the new release date for Rugby 24, will be January 30, 2024; meaning it won’t coincide with the Rugby World Cup which kicks off in France next week.

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The studio have explained the reasoning behind changing from its original plan to coincide with the sport’s flagship event.

“Ever since we began developing the game Rugby 24, our goal has been to create the best simulation and most complete game possible. The team has been working hard to adjust the gameplay, represent the sport as accurately as possible and integrate all the officially licensed teams, which include over 130 countries and 15 leagues.

“With this massive expansion in content, the development of the game has taken more time than we originally planned, and we have also had difficulty gaining access to some of the top teams’ players to capture 3D photos (photogrammetry) prior to the World Cup. As we want to bring the most authentic and complete rugby game to date, we have taken the difficult decision to push back the Rugby 24 release date to 30 January 2024, on the eve of the Six Nations tournament. This extra time will also aid development and allow us to further enhance gameplay.

“While it is truly heartbreaking to miss the Rugby World Cup, we are convinced that this is the right decision, one that will enable you to experience your passion in a great game. Thank you for your understanding, patience, and support. See you soon with more information about Rugby 24.”

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The developers say the new game will include “130 national teams, 15 leagues and innovative gameplay for even more realism, Rugby 24 sets out to offer the most complete rugby simulation to date.”

Rugby union fans have been crying out for a new computer game for years, with gamers hoping a studio will once again capture the magic of Jonah Lomu Rugby and Rugby ’08’, which many felt did justice for what is a complicated sport that doesn’t necessarily lend itself to attempts to capture it in a computer game format.

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