An free-to-play MMOG game for the PC, Football Superstars will allow players to meet within a utopian soccer-styled virtual world and take part in 3, 5, 7 and 11-a-side football matches. Players will take control of a single footballer avatar and will interact on and off the pitch living the football superstar lifestyle whilst pursuing fame, glory and success, striving to join the best clubs, compete at the highest level and progress within the game through skill and sporting prowess. The player will exist in a persistent football-themed world and be able to join or form and manage their own teams and careers whilst engaging in various leagues, competitions, events and tournaments.
Once downloaded, players re-create themselves online as a footballer and then have free reign in the state of the art interactive virtual world. Players can play their way from three-a-side up to eleven-a-side matches, gaining attributes and skills in order to specialise in their chosen playing position.
In bringing the most realistic football gaming experience to life, Football Superstars has had to break a few of the old moulds and introduce new innovation previously unseen in football games. A new dynamic control system has been implemented that will allow the player to move around the pitch, easily know where his team mates are and intuitively pass, log and strike the ball while pulling off his skills. Also, several ranking systems have been tailor made for the game that will measure the success of the team during a match as well as the individual performance. Therefore, even if your team-mates have a bad day on the pitch, you’ll still be rewarded for your own good play.
To add to the games virtual football experience, Reebok will use the platform to launch its Ambassador Programme, a global search offering amateur players across the world the chance to win a sponsorship deal with Reebok and join its stable of footballers such as Thierry Henry, Ryan Giggs and Iker Casillas and win a professional-style boot deal. Successful entrants will be transported into the world of the professional footballer, winning a supply of Reebok boots and kit (in and outside of the game), in game currency, custom apparel for their avatars, as well as the chance to interview Barcelona and France striker Thierry Henry, as part of the Reebok Ambassador Programme.
Virtual Advertising hoardings, provided by IGA, will appear around the numerous Football Superstars pitches to support Reebok’s Ambassador Programme. There will also be as a registration link on Reebok’s home page offering three months ‘premium’ subscription to Football Superstars and registrants will also be eligible to enter the Reebok Ambassador Programme.
John Zaheer-Flaherty, Reebok’s Global Head of Football said, “We‘re excited to join the virtual world of Football Superstars. The game and the platform is a perfect fit for Reebok, allowing gamers to express themselves rather than telling them how to play the game.”
Giuseppe Bellanca, VP Ad Sales Europe at IGA Worldwide added, “This game offers brands the unique chance to reach the European market. We are thrilled to be involved with a partnership which combines a high-profile sports brand with the first MMO to pioneer the inclusion of a virtual world in its game. Reebok’s investment into this space demonstrates the ever-growing appeal and almost limitless possibilities of this medium.”
Andy Law, Head of Business Development at CyberSports, said: “This is a great deal for us and Football Superstars. Reebok are a high profile and firm favourite football brand and they will bring an even more realistic dimension to the game play, blurring the reality between the virtual and the real worlds which is what Football Superstars is all about.”
Once the basic skills have been learned on the training pitch, players can choose between unranked casual games, ranked Football Superstars league matches organised by the game and player organised league matches with player manager clubs. All of which will be backed up by extensive web support from developer Monumental Games, which would include downloadable replay videos of every competitive match. All the players – with the exception of the goalkeepers – are controlled by humans, leaving it as close an experience to the real thing as you can get, with the run of play shaped by the twenty human players.
The individuals you play with and against are all of the same skill level as yourself, so your aim as in the real world - is to become a better virtual footballer. You can then play at ever higher levels and enjoy all the financial and lifestyle trappings that will inevitably follow. In simple terms, the better you play the better and more fulfilling your experience in the virtual world will be.
Players are paid for the games they play in Football Superstars currency, of which there are two types-dollars and bonds. The bonds can be bought with real money and used to purchase special privileges and items. Again, following the real world, the higher the level you play the higher your wages, all of which can then be spent in the game’s two vast virtual towns, which have the capacity to host millions of other football fans online at the same time.
Away from the pitch you can socialise in restaurants, bars and clubs and visit shops where you can buy the latest branded football equipment – which aids your progress on the pitch – and designer clothes. You can train in gyms to enhance your physical attributes, which also improves your playing skills, or flirt with the paparazzi in a bid to enhance your fame and status and gain access to the most exclusive clubs and venues.
The lifestyle area of the game will be a first for the genre too. Success on the pitch will bring the player the additional bonuses of experience and fame as well as monetary assets that can all be utilised in the lifestyle world. But while many extra skills and material assets can be gained in the towns within this area it is the non-player-characters (game controlled characters also know as NPCs) that will arguably bring the best rewards, tracking you down as your abilities improve and head hunting you for better and higher profile teams.
The result of all this career and lifestyle building is the chance of that big dream transfer, on the pitch glory, off-the-pitch glamour and the opportunity to become the world’s ultimate Football Superstar.
Football Superstars, published by UK Company CyberSports, is due for release in late 2008.
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