Want to take a break from the glut of fantasy MMOs? Maybe a football-themed (the English kind) title is that way to go. That's where developer Interzone has decided to put all its balls. I mean eggs. Egg balls. Anyway, it's put all its somewhat-spherical hopes in Interzone Futebol.
According to the announcement release, Futebol will take your standard football game formula, ala FIFA or Pro Evo, and replace all those daft AI opponents with potentially daft real people. There will be a levelling mechanic, allowing players to access new moves and upgrade their skills.
"Players will also improve their personal rankings and their team's rankings, earn money through salary or sponsorship, and customise their character at creation, during game play, and by buying virtual items from Interzone's online store", the release goes on to say.
A social networking system is to be included, so players can invite friends to matches and organise games. The only bad news is Futebol will debut in Latin America, which I imagine will serve as testing ground for the product.
While Interzone has a base in Western Australia, the developer is most definitely global, with studios in Chicago, Brazil and other locations.
Press release after the jump.
(Chicago, ILLINOIS): Interzone Entertainment, parent company of Interzone Games and a BigWorld licencee, has announced its long-secret massively multiplayer online sports title, Interzone Futebol. The PC MMOG will first release in Portuguese for the Brazilian market, home to millions of avid futebol (soccer in the U.S.) fans and players, closely followed by international versions for worldwide release.
Interzone Futebol features team-based multiplayer matches, with every character on the pitch (playing field) controlled by a different player, including goalkeepers who, until now, have always been AI-controlled. During the match, players will improve their skills and unlock new skills and moves. Players will also improve their personal rankings and their team's rankings, earn money through salary or sponsorship, and customise their character at creation, during game play, and by buying virtual items from Interzone's online store.
Unlike other futebol games, Interzone Futebol will have a social space for players to explore and socialize in, and can find other people to play with. The game will also have an invitation system that allows players to invite their friends to try the game and, once friends are in-game, players will also be easily able to find them and invite them to join matches.
Interzone Entertainment president Marty Brickey explains why Interzone Futebol will debut first in Latin America. "Of 17 World Cup championships, 11 have been won by South American nations, with Brazil winning a record five World Cup titles. Soccer is a passion in Brazil, with perhaps 15 million players, a very high percentage of whom are in the 18-34 demographic, making it an ideal initial market for our game. We decided first to create Interzone Futebol in Portuguese so it will have the broadest appeal to this very large Portuguese speaking market in Brazil."
The bulk of Interzone Games' development is done by their staff of over 50 developers in their studio in Perth, Western Australia, and supported by their Live Team in Sao Paulo, Brazil. The company has recruited major game development talent from top studios including Microsoft, Interplay, Parallax, Lionhead, Cyberlore, and others.
"Having so many talented people relocate their families to our Perth, Western Australia studio shows their dedication to this project, and their level of commitment to creating a futebol franchise with global appeal," said Interzone Entertainment executive vice president Greg Chadwell.
Exact release dates have not been announced, but Interzone Futebol is planned for launch in 4Q08.
For more information, visit www.interzoneentertainment.com and www.interzonefutebol.com.br.
About Interzone Games Interzone Entertainment is a publisher of massively multiplayer online games for a global audience. Headquartered in Chicago, Illinois, and with studios in Australia, Brazil, and Asia, Interzone Games currently employees a staff of over 100 worldwide. Interzone is committed to the concept of fun and intends that this constant, almost maniacal focus on gameplay will bring a genuinely different kind of gaming to customers around the world.