KARACHI: Pakistan may have lost the opportunity to host the International Cricket Council World Cup this year but it has found a way to stay in the game, literally. A Pakistani company has received the exclusive rights to develop the official game for the sporting event.
On February 15 it was announced that a local game developer, MindStorm Studios, has already developed the official game for the ICC Cricket World Cup 2011. The game is available at www.cricketpower.com.
This is the first time a Pakistani game developer has managed to get the licence, beating out leading global game development companies such as Codemasters and EA Sports to design, develop, and deliver the game.
“We are extremely excited about developing the official game for ICC’s Cricket World Cup 2011,” said CEO Mindstorm Studios Babar Ahmed. “Cricket has long been a subject closely linked to our organisation and we are thrilled to take it to the next level,” he said.
While most games are released for personal computers and gaming consoles, this year’s official ICC game will only be available in internet browsers.
The company claims that it will be the most advanced 3D browser cricket game developed to date. Allaying fears of issues due to slow internet connections, Ahmed said that the game will have an online downloadable client that will work well on even slow broadband connections.
Official licencing removes the need for re-naming of players which is generally seen in non-licenced sports games.
An avid cricket gamer, Muhammad Umar, said “There are licencing issues with some games because they do weird stuff to player names like Shoaib Akhtar is renamed Shadid Akhtari and Shahid Afridi becomes Shared Afra.”
Earlier, it was rumoured that Codemasters, the oldest British video game developers, will be releasing the official ICC cricket world cup 2011 game for personal computers, Playstation 3 and Xbox 360. Codemasters developed International Cricket 2010 and is a veritable behemoth in the gaming field.
Codemasters and EA Sports have traditionally dominated cricket games. However, EA’s last cricket game was in 2007 while International Cricket 2010 was only available on consoles, not personal computers.
Considering the excitement developed by the Codemasters rumour, Mindstorm Studios, the Pakistani game developers have a very impressive set of boots to fill.
Cricket T20 tournaments have made cricket a cash cow. According to a report by the Business Standard, the brand manager of Mumbai-based Games2Win said that there are six million online gamers from India alone.
Published in The Express Tribune, February 18th, 2011.