The football market moves a huge amount of money annually and that’s why several developers bet on creating games based on the most popular sport on the planet. However, most of these titles avoid approaching realism, delivering a more relaxed gameplay and the reason for this is the difficulty of competing with two long-established giants, which are the series FIFA and efootball. But for an unknown studio and your new UFL, this doesn’t seem to be a problem.
Founded in 2016 by shareholders of Vizor Games and Playrix under the name Strikerz Inc., the developer’s website claims that they currently have the collaboration of more than 200 people, with them being in five offices across Europe, in countries like Belarus, Cyprus, Ukraine and Lithuania.
Also according to those responsible for the initiative, from the beginning the idea was to create a football game that would profoundly improve online matches and during Gamescom they took the opportunity to announce the UFL.
“We’re football fans and passionate players — we’ve been playing football video games for years and we know exactly what people want to see in a football simulator,” declared enthusiastic studio CEO Eugene Nashilov. “We want to reinvent football games from scratch, offering players around the world a revolutionary, exciting and fair gaming experience. we can’t wait to share more about the game.“
The executive’s words may seem overly ambitious, but as we look at some details of the project, we realize that they are really betting big. Starting with the fact that the title is being developed on the powerful Unreal Engine, even used by Konami in the next edition of its efootball and that should guarantee cutting-edge graphics.
In addition, Strikerz Inc. announced that thanks to an agreement with FIFPRO, players will find themselves on the UFL more than 5000 real athletes to be used in the clubs they create, but except for the presence of West Ham in the first trailer, nothing has been said about having other teams in the real world. As this will be a game aimed at online matches, I imagine that the focus ends up falling on the clubs we create, which would make life much easier for developers, as they would not need to get involved in millionaire contracts to be able to use famous uniforms and shields.
Finally, they’ve also partnered with InStat, one of the world’s leading companies when it comes to statistics and performance analysis of athletes from different sports. Together these two supports, the expectation is that the UFL be able to deliver to “most authentic digital representation of football ever seen“, as defended by the marketing and business development director of FIFPRO, Andrew Orsatti.
Still without a date for its release and with the information that the game will reach the main consoles on the market, I’m very curious to see what will emerge from this initiative. On paper the idea looks pretty good, with a new competitor could bring the fresh air that football lovers have long been waiting for, but could that come from such a new studio with no known names?
I say this because there is a huge difference between wanting to challenge established brands and actually being able to annoy them. If we go back to the 90’s, we will see several much larger companies that ventured into this field, such as Sega (Virtua Striker), to Capcom (Soccer Shootout) and even Namco (Big Libero), but without ever having faced those that continue to take turns in the leadership of this market.
with luck the UFL it won’t just be one of those good intentions that never manage to materialize, with the independent spirit of those who are creating it being enough to deliver us an experience as good as it’s been promised. The proposal starts well when we know that, even though it is a free game, it wants to deliver a gameplay where what will make the difference will be the skill of the one in control, escaping from the much-hated pay-to-win model.
Still, for now I’ll remain somewhat skeptical about the UFL, but hoping to be surprised when more information is released and especially when I can finally play some games in it.
UFL, the game that will try to compete with FIFA and eFootball