The Game So Bad It Was Cancelled After Release

The Game So Bad It Was Cancelled After Release

Games getting killed early in production, that happens all the time. Games getting cancelled in development, also, a thing that happens. I can’t remember the last time a game was cancelled after it was already out, and after people had paid money for it.

Yet that’s exactly what’s happened with Ashes Cricket 2013, a game so bad that not only has it been taken off Steam, but publishers 505 Games have taken the extreme step and “cancelled” it entirely, removing it from sale anywhere and everywhere on the planet.

There’s a full explanation below (which throws developers Trickstar under the bus), but suffice to say, it boils down to the developer having two years to make a cricket game on a new engine and completely failing to do so, despite assurances to the contrary.

After apologising profusely, 505 go on to promise everyone who bought the game a refund.

A fair move, but then, it wouldn’t have been necessary if they’d done the smart thing and never released the game in the first place.

The full statement from 505 follows:

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. 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.

The net result of the challenges we have faced was a game which, despite our best efforts over the course of a two-year development, couldn’t meet the quality benchmarks of either us, our licensors or our customers. 505 Games’ main priority right now is to protect the Ashes name and that of the ECB and Cricket Australia, and do what we can to recompense the cricket community.

As the licensee and publisher of name for Ashes Cricket 2013, 505 Games would like to apologise publicly and sincerely to our licensors, the ECB and Cricket Australia, and their respective partners/sponsors, who have been nothing but patient and supportive of us throughout the challenges this project has presented, and who, ultimately, we have let down.

Our deepest apologies, however, are reserved for the fans of cricket and cricket games worldwide. 505 Games prides itself on being a safe pair of hands on which gamers of all tastes and denominations can rely to put their best foot forward to create compelling gaming experiences. It is clear that, in this instance, we have fallen way short of our stated aims and failed to deliver. We know that the mitigating factors, as highlighted above, hold little solace to the hordes of excited cricket fans worldwide who had hoped this year to be able to play out their fantasy of playing in the Ashes series.

The people who purchased the game will be contacted very shortly with details of a full refund.


  • It’s great that they are offering full refunds but the mistake they have made is pulling it from Steam. I keep reading hundreds of comments from people saying they would buy it just to have a laugh at it.

    I live here in Melbourne where the ‘developer’ is and strongly suspect that ‘the game engine’ issue is more of a ‘lazy, arrogant hipster issue’.

    • I think you’re thinking about big ant studios, in which case they have nothing to do with this cricket game. They are making don bradman cricket 2013 and that game is very promising.

      • No. I’m not mistaken @solut1on. It’s Trickstar games. It’s mentioned in the article and apology. They are totally separate from Big Ant Studios who are also based in Melbourne.

        Whatever happened, it’s an embarrassing thing for all involved. How it got to release stage on Steam in that form is strange. From all the videos I’ve seen from gameplay, it’s literally unplayable. I can’t see them thinking that no-one would notice or complain.

        I just think they shouldn’t have been so quick to remove it from Steam. It will be a perfect party game and at least they will earn back some development and release costs.

        The totally nerfed (in Australia) Left 4 Dead 2 is still available for sale on steam with a warning about reduced gameplay attached, so why not this already legendary game.

        • Oh ok, I thought the trickstar was based in London. Trust me It is unplayable I downloaded to try. After facing the first over I basically gave up. The game doesn’t teach how to play the their control scheme. The only thing the game had going for it were the licences. Hopefully ACB and ECB see they error of their ways and lend their licence to Big Ant studios

    • You know, this whole hipster bashing thing is getting really old. I know plenty of so called ‘hipsters’ who are high achievers and business owners. The idea that someone is pretentious and/or lazy based on the fact that they look fashionable is patently ridiculous.

      • Yeah, and I know plenty of Melbourne hipsters who are the opposite. I also work in media and have had first hand terrible experience of a team of guys who make Chris Morris and Charlie Brooker’s ‘Nathan Barley’ look like a coal miner.

        I’m sure Trickstar are great usually. As I said, I haven’t got a clue what has happened here. It must be horrible for all parties involved.

  • I wonder if this is a case of the licensors forcing the publisher’s hand?

    Presumably the publisher knew of the issues before hand but released any way, hoping to recoup some of the development and licensing costs. The licensor might have seen it differently, with the potential to damage the brand.

    • Damn frikken straight whatever body runs cricket internationally stepped in and told them pull it or get sued into oblivion.

  • Only Devs who know how to make great Cricket games is Codemasters and EA. I don’t know why any other devs bother! Unless a new dev is serious about it, there’s no point :/

  • @hyperthx – The last Ashes cricket game by Codemasters(Ashes 2009) was made by none other than Transmission Games. Some of these devs are the same ones at Trickstar. Looking at the videos, it looks like a lot of the code and assets are the same as the 2009 version….

    • True shit! Well to tell you the truth, I haven’t played any Cricket games since the early 2000’s when Codemasters internal studios used to handle the games… so yeah, Cricket games really deserve the level of quality seen in the late 90’s early 2000’s – you’d have to remember Super International Cricket on the SNES, even, and Shane Warne Cricket on the MD – they were great and still stand the test of time pretty well 🙂

      • Wasn’t it “Trickstar Games” though?

        I think the last good cricket games were, probably, Ricky Ponting International Cricket ’05 and EA Cricket ’07. Sux how Cricket has been put to the wayside – in video games and our own TV networks… I remember when they used too broadcast live 24hrs a day!

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