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Rugby 24 game hits another stumbling block as fans await early access

BY Jack Tunney  ·  Thursday Mar 28, 2024

Rugby has a rich history of video games, from the likes of Jonah Lomu Rugby to the classic Rugby 08, and even recently the coveted Rugby Challenge series.

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Unfortunately, nowadays there doesn’t seem to be much in the way of funding for rugby games, with EA Sports no longer releasing their rugby titles. As a result, since 2008 it’s been the likes of Eko Software and Wicked Witch Software picking up the slack.

Despite missing some major licenses, Rugby 2022 provided the most lifelike game of rugby we have seen on consoles. There were of course glitches and issues that you would expect without the backing of large budgets you may get from the likes of EA Sports, but it was certainly an improvement on what we’ve seen before.

The updated Rugby 24 version of the game has been met with much anticipation since its announcement, with a wider variety of licenses and improved gameplay being promised. It’s not had the smoothest of journeys so far, however, with the release date previously being pushed back to January 30th 2024 and then the early access version being moved back to March.

Well, now the goalposts have sadly been moved once again. In a social media post that has included the impressive teaser trailer that had fans flying in the first place, the most recent news has been deflating for those wishing to get an early look in. The post read:

“Dear Rugby fans, Firstly, we want to express our sincere gratitude towards the patience and trust you’ve given us to date. We regret to inform you we will not be able to keep our commitment of Rugby 24 Early Access in March and must postpone it to a future date.”

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The major stumbling block is reportedly that they have struggled to capture photogrammetry for enough professional teams. This aspect is vital for creating player likenesses, and without it the game loses much of it’s credibility.

It’s not all bad news, however, with The Rugby 24 team confirming that the progress behind the scenes is going well and that it will have the full license for the Gallagher Premiership.

NORTHAMPTON, ENGLAND – NOVEMBER 24: Ethan Waller of Northampton Saints takes on Irne Herbst (L) and George Hammond during the Gallagher Premiership Rugby match between Northampton Saints and Harlequins at the cinch Stadium at Franklin’s Gardens on November 24, 2023 in Northampton, England. (Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)

The rearranged date for the early access release has yet to be confirmed, but following up on their statement, they added:

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“As outlined in earlier communication, we believe that official, realistic content is a must have for all Rugby fans, and despite our best efforts to capture photogrammetry for as many professional teams as possible, we have not been able to secure the n° we required for launch.

“We are aware that your expectations for Rugby 24 as fans of the sport are high, just like us, and we are committed to bringing you a feature-full, quality Rugby game.

“While we know this is a great inconvenience to many, we can share that this extra time has helped with the progress of the game development, which is going very well.

“We will share some of that progress over the coming weeks with video and screenshots, and of course we will also keep you updated as soon as we can 100% confirm a definitive Early Access launch date.

“On a brighter note, as you might’ve seen in our latest Nacon Connect teaser, we’re delighted to confirm the game will include the Gallagher Premiership! Sincerely, the Rugby 24 team.”

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