Sociable Soccer wows Women’s Esports Championships and wins award as China’s most anticipated game for 2019.

PRESS RELEASE 4th January 2019

On December 21st, the 2018 Association of Friendship Forum and the Ding Awards Ceremony jointly organized by the Mobile Game Matrix, Game Intelligence, GameRes and Game Forum were held in Shenzhen, China and Hare’s new real-time competitive sports soccer game Sociable Soccer won the “Most Expected Game of the Year” award.

The Ding Awards were officially launched by the Chinese Game Association in 2016 to recognize outstanding companies and products in the game industry, inviting related business leaders to share the 2018 game industry events, look forward to the 2019 China game industry trends, and explore the development opportunities and possibilities of the industry.

Hare’s UK based company Tower Studios Ltd has been in partnership with Finnish developers Combo Breaker for over 3 years developing the cross-platform title. More recently it also reached a strategic co-operation with publishers Crazy Sports, distributers China Mobile’s Interactive Entertainment and the Chinese Super League (CSL) and a fully endorsed version of the game is due to get its first full launch on mobile platforms in China before the start of the new CSL season in March this year with comprehensive online and offline promotion operated by China Mobile’s channels, provincial APPs and entities covering the whole country.

Sociable Soccer’s unique online & offline “Light E-sports” football action & management, complete with the ‘Easy to play and hard to master’ playability of Sensible Soccer, has really tapped into the need in the Chinese market for a ‘zero threshold’ learning curve to attract ‘light’ players who love football games but find it hard to compete at the top level on more complex simulations, including many female players.

The data shows that there are 500 million sports users and 600 million game users in China, and the number of e-sports users is as high as 250 million of which, for some games, the user base is over 50% female. According to gamma data, the female games market in China had a total sales revenue of 43.07 billion yuan (US$6.5 billion) in 2017. 

For these reasons Sociable Soccer was chosen as one of the four e-sports games contested at the “2018 International Women’s E-Sports Championships” held in China last month. Thirty-two players fought fiercely during the three-day schedule and Chinese player Li Cuimin emerged as the champion of the Sociable Soccer competition.

“The most anticipated game of the year award and success at the Women’s E-sports Championships are a real bonus for us” said Hare “We are working with fantastic partners here in China and are also look forward to bringing the game home to Europe and the rest of the World on mobile and all other platforms as this year unfolds.”

Blast Process had a few questions for our CM at Play Expo London

We were in London for Play EXPO a few weeks ago and Blast Process (follow them) had some questions to ask about our game. I’d like to point out that my reference to pinball is just about how the ball moves, not how you are in control of your player. You are always 100% in control of the selected player in Sociable Soccer. Also the PC Windows version will probably hit full release around Christmas (consoles to follow a few months after that) and if there is a good partner the game will also release on PC Windows in China.


PLAY EXPO Manchester round up

This year’s last (announced) public screening is over and we got some new pics and a video for you guys. Hundreds of people turned up to play Sociable Soccer on three different formats. In total the show had about 16-17.000 visitors. We brought the latest build to the show and it was playable on PC, IOS and Android (GearVR). Unfortunately we had problems at the opening because of old drivers and some early visitors might have missed the opportunity to play the game – BIG SORRY FOR THAT.

Jon Hare on stage talking about his games.
Jon Hare on stage talking about his games.

Jon made a speech about his career on the first day and on the second day he played some songs on stage familiar to the fans. I arrived a bit late on the first day because I was in Luxembourg with my family to watch Sweden play. We won 1-0. Happy Happy despite the low score.

People were playing the game and enjoying it and the usual questions “When is the game out?” and “Where can I get this?” flowed over us constantly. The answer is that the game still doesn’t have an official release date. We’ve been saying it should be out Q1 2017 and we want that. But the delay with getting a publisher makes us think the game may be pushed forward. I will announce any changes as soon as we know.

People being sociable!
People being sociable!

As usual we also arranged a tournament to finish of the event with. The winner walked away with a signed Jon Hare Cannon Fodder copy for Mega Drive.

Our Sociable Soccer winner Evan with Jon Hare.
Our Sociable Soccer Tournament winner Evan with Jon Hare.

All in all big thanks to all our passionate fans and to the arrangers and Andy with team at Replay. Hope to see you all soon again!

Stay Sociable
Your CM Gustav

PLAY Expo Manchester coming up!


Guys, it’s time for one of the events of the year. Sociable Soccer is coming to the theater of dreams, or at least close. We’ll be bringing the standard version on IOS, PC and Android but also the GearVR version so that you’ll be able to get a totally new football experience. Please come visit us Saturday and Sunday and tell all your friends about this. Me and Jon will be there to talk to you and answer all your questions and maybe even give you a game or two. We will have four machines to our disposal. On Sunday we will even have a tournament. WOW WOW WOW!

See you there!



We knocked it out of the park!

This Monday/Tuesday we took part in PocketGamer Connect Helsinki, an event for the mobile game industry. We showed the game on Android & IOS and also took part in a competition for best VR pitch on mobile.

We won 2nd place but we are fairly convinced a lot of 1st place wins will come in the future. Why not let somebody else win until we completely knock it out of the country? For now the 2nd place win is great and considering this is the first competition the game has entered in we have 1st place to strive for in up coming competitions.

2000 $ to spend on marketing!
2000 $ to spend on marketing!

A happy programmer is a programmer eating.
A happy programmer is a programmer eating.

Slack for iOS Upload (4)

Slack for iOS Upload (3)

Trailer, VR & Events

Hi guys,

Yesterday we released this teaser trailer for the game. The meaning with this trailer is to show that football don’t need to be hard if you’re a novice, sure your opponent might score but you can always tackle him to the ground with a feeling of great satisfaction. And even if he scores a crucial goal games are over before you know it (3min). You don’t have to dwell about it, you can just challenge for another game.

We’ve also announced our VR mode which will work on systems which have VR support. We call it “Play as a God” mode. You’re this giant god walking through cities, stopping at stadions and controlling teams with your almighty powers. Sound fun? We hope so. It’s you who control the angle from which you see the game. No other advantages than that. Gameplay is not affected.


We got events coming up.
From now and two weeks on (22nd July – 7th August), the game, in its current Work In Progress form, will be available to play at the Science Museum in London. You’ll be able to play the two player mode and the VR mode. So stop by and try it out if you’re close. It’s £8 for adults.

We’re also heading to Gamescom between the 17th and 21st of August and then to Sensidays, but I’ll create a seperate post about that. Check out Sensidays here.

As always, stay sociable!
/Your CM

More from Nordic Game 2016

It’s been almost a month since I wrote on this blog, I apologize for that. The FB and Twitter have been the places I’ve been most active since it’s easier when you’re on a travelling foot. I didn’t continue to report from Day 2 and 3 at Nordic Game but we did have an exciting tournament on the last day. In general the event in Malmö was more of a business event where you build interesting relationships and check out the latest tech available and what could work with your product. That said it didn’t mean people were not interested in playing Sociable Soccer. They really were and when the tournament started we easily had 16 people taking part, most of them game programming students volunteering at the event as hosts. Here’s a clip…

And off course you need to see the finals.

Here’s a photo of me and the winner Alexander Rooth. You can also see Jon Hare trying to point himself into the picture.

Me (Gustav) and winner Alexander Rooth.
Me (Gustav/Caniggia) and winner Alexander Rooth.

Nordic Game – Day 1

So this morning I packed down some gear and took the train to Malmö from my hometown Helsingborg. I met up with Jon at the event in Malmö and we unpacked everything and got great help from the staff at Nordic Game. They were fantastic, big shout out for them. Also big thanks to the event organizers and Jakob Riis who saved our asses for this event!

Anyhow, we got everything running and people started playing the game and then giving their opinions. Some had never played a football game, others had played a lot of FIFA, and some were retro fans of Sensible Soccer. People generally love the game, which our survey shows and will show you when we publish it here. You can see a gameplay video from day one here with Jon finishing off one guy with a 3-0 win. Another victory for the dev team against the public! *haha*

Also you have to see this and read the comments on reddit.

A Warning Example

/Your CM Gustav “Caniggia” Hedenborg

Summary of PLAY EXPO Blackpool

Blackpool lies on the north west coast of England. A 1h10m ride from Manchester. The city is known as a tourist resort in the summer when brits from all over the country travel there to get some sunny time. End of April isn’t exactly summer time but the weather was still surprisingly nice the two first days of the trip.

Blackpool and four guys, strangely enough looking like Sensible Soccer characters.
Blackpool and four guys, strangely enough looking like Sensible Soccer characters.

Anyhow, I was in Blackpool to show our game for the first time ever to the public. I was a bit nervous of how it would be received, mainly because I had never played the game with working goalkeepers before. As it turned out the goalkeepers did their job pretty well. They’re still not 100% ready but I think people already at this level appreciated how things were looking.

Our tagline “Sport has never been so much fun” is what this game is all about. It’s what we are aiming for. Compared to PES and FIFA, which I see as more or less detailed simulation of football, our game aims to be an arcade game that captures all the beautiful moments in football with a wink.

Sport has never been so much fun!
Sport has never been so much fun! The roller banner looked beautiful with Sociable on it

The first day of the event was mainly introducing players to the game. People got it pretty quickly but there was some trouble in understanding how to select 2 players on the select teams screen. You have to mark the team, press the button to select that team, and then player two select his team and presses the button. Then you go down to the 2p option and press the button to start. In FIFA/PES you just have to select the team and then it forces you to wait for the 2nd player to select his team and then you’re both confirmed to start with another press on the button. Anyhow this is just a detail, and there was a bug when side scrolling with L1 and R1 to other team screens also. These will be fixed, or may have been already.

The select team screen.
The select team screen.

Then it was time to play the game. You feel it pretty quickly, the ball control, the passing, tackling, it’s the same as before. Shooting is a bit changed because of the 360 degrees, and so is movement. Actually this part should not be described by me, rather by someone who has played the game and can give a more neutral comment on it. Here comes a few.

“I had an absolute blast playing this with a mate and also being in the tournament Sunday. Game is excellent. It just feels ‘right’ in a similar way to how Sensi/SWOS do. Only minor drawback was the odd glitchy goal, but for a game that’s not out for 6+ months that can be forgiven. Oh yeah, and Jon was as friendly, charming and entertaining as ever. :-D”

“Had a go at the Blackpool play expo yesterday. Not into soccer games as a rule but me and the lad had a great time playing this (I think it was his favourite part of the day). Had a real old school feel to me”
-Paul French

“The game is incredible. Takes me back to my Amiga days. It was only 50% done too.”
-John Oneill

So this was some of the reactions to the gameplay, and also one visitor made a video preview. Check this out 1:29!

After games I also asked people if they wanted to take our survey about the game. It has 6 questions in it and is very fast and you have the chance of winning a price. The price will be that you get to be a player in the game. So if you get the chance to be part of a survey in the future. TAKE IT!

After the event had shut down on Saturday we played a few more games between the crew and I even got a new update late at night for the game from our lead programmer to fix some of the swearing on splash screens and some more tweaks in gameplay. Really cool to be able to have an update coming through like that over night. Would be impossible at for example Gamescom where everything has to be verified weeks before it goes on display.


Sunday was Tournament Day, and also Jon arrived at 3:30 to have a speech about his career in game development. Very appreciated, and after that we asked everyone to join us for the final 16. We had some problem with the organization at that point and the call for contestants in the big hall didn’t reach out at the right time. 16 players joined though and two even missed out which I really regret informing them about.

After a draw which included pen, paper and scissor we had a playoff. Classic. The tournament started. We have yet to introduce extra time and penalties and a few games went to a 2nd game. What’s great about Sociable Soccer and Jon’s other games is that they are only 3 min long. You really have to perform from the start, and it’s over quick if you don’t concentrate. Two contestants were really at top of their game and made the final, Darren Browne and Pete Sutcliffe. Darren who I had been talking to before (great lad) then won that final 2-0 and became the first player ever to win an official tournament in Sociable Soccer. Big congratulations! Congratulate him and ask him about the game on Twitter @kingmonkey25.

Darren Browne - Blackpool Champion 2016
Darren Browne – Blackpool Champion 2016

Thanks to all participants.

Our next stop will be Malmö between the 18th and 20th of May.

Hands on & GK:s

Hey there,

We want you! Join our tournament in Blackpool!


We got a great week ahead and we want you all to follow us and discover the game. The people visiting Play EXPO Blackpool 30th of April – 1st of May, will be hands on with the game and will hopefully give you an insight into what it really feels like by sharing videos and commenting online. Me and Jon will be collecting the players feedback right there which will prove invaluable for the coming months of development. For you guys who are not able to join us at Blackpool (the unlucky majority), we really want your opinions on the videos coming from the show. There will also be a promotional video coming (no time estimate) which will introduce the goalkeepers and a few other additions.

Goalkeepers were our fans biggest concern game play wise since the latest video and so we’re happy to say they now react like they should. Lead programmer Jouni describes how they have now become better between the posts, “Slow rolling balls and kicks from midfield are no longer ways to score.” that’s reassuring because we saw goals where the keeper did absolutely nothing in some situations, Jouni goes on, “Once we show a few goalpost hits and a crab walking, jumping goalie in the next video, I think we’re going to make some people happy.”

So to sum up, our European Tour begins Saturday and besides the high probability of fan uploaded videos we are going to release a video featuring goalkeepers soon.

Stay Sociable People!
/Your CM.

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