Sociable Soccer flies the flag for UK games industry in inaugural Chinese Import Expo
During the first-ever China International Import Expo (CIIE), held in Shanghai from Monday 5th to Saturday 10th November 2018, British creative companies signed eight deals with Chinese enterprises worth more than 40 million pounds ($52.7 million). The deals involved areas including TV, film, advertising and gaming.
“This is fantastic news which will bring growth to the creative sectors in the UK and China,” Baroness Rona Fairhead, British minister for Trade and Export Promotion, said at a signing ceremony for the eight deals on Wednesday “We see the CIIE as a really momentous event,” she said.
Representing the UK gaming industry was UK-based game developer Tower Studios, who along with China’s sports game company Crazy Sports and Chinese mobile game company Migu Interactive Entertainment agreed on a deal to produce, license and distribute popular mobile games in China.
“We and Crazy Sports will bring Tower Studios’ soccer-themed mobile game Sociable Soccer into the Chinese mainland market,” Fang Zhongjun, vice president of Migu Interactive Entertainment, told the Global Times.
“We provide internet broadcast services of top soccer matches for Chinese audiences, and now we are looking forward to offering domestic fans a good soccer mobile game.”
The signing ceremony between the companies was featured on CCTV’s national TV News in China, Jon Hare CEO of Tower Studios said “We are thrilled to be able to partner up with such powerful publishing partners here in China. Crazy Sports and Migu Interactive Entertainment are truly supportive publishing partners and their affiliation with the Chinese Super League and China Mobile gives us access to the 100 million football fans here that use their live football services.”
The long awaited football action game is due for release on mobile formats in China and throughout Asia early next year.
This article includes citations from an article dated 12.11.18 from en.people.cn
Hi, an update on our Chinese project. 5000-10000 Chinese testers has had the opportunity to try out the game from Thursday and forward. This test mainly focus on making sure the servers work and that the “Build your team” mode has a good feeling of flow to it. We’re giving away cards and tokens all week to the beta testers to see how they do. We need to hit that right formula where people keep coming back for more.
You chose your team from any of the Chinese teams in the game. You get a default squad with crap/low quality players. You receive some tokens so that you can buy new card packs and improve your team. You can sell your players or just let them get eaten to improve the hungry players stats.
You setup your team, currently we only have formations and squad setup available.
You match up via the server and play games versus the opponents team and tactics. This is controlled by AI as games via the mobile network is not stable enough for this quick paced game.
You receive rewards in accordance with your performances and can improve the team.
The mobile version will release on Android and iOS this autumn and will fully use the touch screen, either with an on screen joystick and 3-on-screen buttons (for shot, lob, pass) or with a one button does it all (light touch for pass, hard press for shot).
Having a huge user base of testers from the beginning is really good. We collect a lot of stats on what is going on, this will be useful when we go to other markets too.
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.
Sociable Soccer – billion dollar Chinese company to publish football game in Autumn 2018; creator of multi-platform title available for interview at Gamescom
International independent development company Tower Studios will be attending Gamescom on the 21st-25thAugust and will be available to discuss the company’s ground breaking game publishing deal with telecoms giant China Mobile in Asia ahead of its Autumn 2018 release.
The company is the creator of sports game Sociable Soccer. It is a fast paced arcade style cross platform football game from the designer of Sensible Soccer.
It lets players pick a club to manage from six national leagues (China, England, Spain, Italy, Germany and France), then build and upgrade their team with the top player cards from all six leagues. They will then be able to compete in online leagues against other fans across the world.
The mobile version of the game will buck industry trends by publishing in China first, before it releases in the West.
Tower Studios’ partnership with China Mobile – a billion dollar valued company with over 900m subscribers – and Crazy Sports – a Beijing publisher which currently holds the rights to the Chinese Super League (CSL) – will enable it to enter the Chinese domestic market in Autumn 2018.
It also means that Sociable Soccer features the official CSL license. This means that players across the world will be able to take control of players like Tianjin Quanjian’s Belgium playmaker Axel Witsel, Shandong Luneng’s Italian striker Graziano Pelle and Guanzhou Evergrande’s Brazilian forward Talisca in game.
Jon Hare, the founder of Tower Studios, will be available at Gamescom to discuss in detail:
How an independent development studio managed to carve out a deal with one of the biggest companies in the world (and how the DIT and games industry trade body Ukie helped it to happen).
Why the company has taken a “China First” strategy and to provide advice for developers looking to build relationships within the market.
Where this cross-platform game is headed next on mobile, PC and console over the coming year.
Tower Studios will also be showing a playable build of Sociable Soccer featuring the official CSL content.
“Tower Studios is delighted to have signed a deal with China Mobile and Crazy Sports to get the Sociable Soccer ball rolling,” said Jon Hare, CEO of Tower Studios.
“Along with our development partners Combo Breaker, we’ve devoted nearly 3 years to building a light, accessible alternative to the likes of FIFA and PES across all platforms. We’re delighted that a company of China Mobile’s stature is the first to have seen our vision and backed our aims”.
Zhuo Zhang, Vice President of Crazy Sports said “CrazySports is pleased to be teaming up with Tower Studios to bring Sociable Soccer to both CrazySports and China Mobile’s audiences. We believe it is a great partnership for us and the Chinese Super League and we look forward to bringing a brilliant football game to the tremendous amount of Chinese users.”
About Tower Studios Tower Studios is an independent game studio with an international difference. The company is owned by Jon Hare, co-founder of legendary dev house Sensible Software and works with development and publishing partners all over the world, including Combo Breaker based in Helsinki, Finland. Previous Tower Studios releases include The Bitmap Brothers’ Speedball 2, Word Explorer and Vivid Games’ Shoot to Kill on mobile devices, Steam, Mac and Playstation Plus
About Crazy Sports Crazy Sports is a Beijing based video game publisher. The company, which specialises in publishing sports titles, secured the rights to create online games using the Chinese Super League (CSL) license for six years – growing a new revenue stream for the CSL in the process. Crazy Sports’s team includes the creator of hit Chinese football games FM Worlds, Fantasy World Cup and the recently released Football Dream Team.
About China Mobile China Mobile is the world’s largest telecommunication provider. The company provides mobile and media services for the Chinese market. It has an estimated value of over $1,5 billion dollars and over 900m subscribers. Sociable Soccer is being published with the assistance of Migu Interactive, the company’s entertainment content subsidiary.
We’ve been talking about the online version for quite a while now, at the same time we have been doing new builds for Android and iOS. They were shown at the Game Developer Conference (GDC) in San Francisco this week.
We’ve told you before, this year’s work has partly been focused around refactoring code to make it easier to do changes to the engine. We’re getting where we want but the progress is painfully slow as some of you already pointed out. The version we are showing at the GDC contains the following elements.
Things that are in the GDC version and that hopefully will be in the next Steam Early Access update. – Online will be available in an early non-optimized version where proximity (closeness to your opponent) will be the biggest decisive factor to how well it works. At this stage you will only be able to invite Steam friends as we want people to have the best matches possible with a minimum of delay. We’ll have a thread where people can write if they are up for a match and also our chat channel on Discord will be used to pair users. – Tactics have been redone so that you can compare player stats in your squad and decide who is better suited to play. There will also be some other options that will be blacked out for now but you’ll get a hint of what is to come.
– Referee on screen to show yellow and red cards.
– Many technical fixes that gave users a game that froze.
Things we are working on for the next Steam Early Access update. – Zoomed out camera. This was one of the most requested things after the last patch. You guys wanted a camera that didn’t move that much. We hope to please you.
– Various graphical design updates.
– Control Screen will be updated after making the hoof button unable to perform a tackle in the December update.
– Manager mode. In addition to playing the games you can now just watch the AI play vs itself with your tactical choices. (not sure this one will make it into the update, but it’s coming)
Currently we are also making new animations for the engine. Our latest crew member Steven has started with goalie animations. The goalkeepers you see in the game right now have 6 animations, and when we are finished they’ll have 29. All in all 133 animations are planned to be added in all aspects of gameplay. It will be a step by step procedure just like everything else. When we have something to announce about Steven’s work we’ll let you know.
Stay Sociable everyone and let’s enjoy spring, football, and more updates!
Thoughts? Comment below!
Right now we’re refactoring our code and this will give us greater control over things like:
* game cameras
* calling up menu items during the game (for things like substitution menus)
* game statistics
* the main card collecting game mode
*AND after this Online play
As usual we will do things in steps and we’ll hopefully have some news to share about the features at the end of January.
We’d also like to thank our fans that helped us become the 3rd most trending football game on Steam during the holidays after PES and Football Manager. We are really enjoying your support and feedback and we hope you will help us continue to grow.
Your community manager here writing to you in the middle of the night. Yesterday the team met up in Helsinki. Well all but me because I am stuck in Sweden for now. I hope to join the others shortly though to spend some time together and work on our marketing strategies.
It’s now been almost 3 months since we released the game on Steam Early Access and the response is good for being a multiplayer game that is still not online. We hope to change that pretty soon though. Other things we will be working on in the near future are tactics, substitutions, penalties, free kick walls, yellow and red cards, suspensions, injuries etc – basic stuff in football that are still not in our game. Don’t expect it all to come at the same time, but expect it to slowly arrive, step by step.
We had our first reduced price when we put the game on holiday sale for 14.99€ and that sold us a few extra copies even bringing us to the “top sellers” on steam sports games for a while during Christmas. Now we are back at €19.99 again. Thanks to all our fans for buying the game and following us – it means the world.
So the community. Yes the community is very active on Discord, and on our FB and Twitter and I get the question “when is it out on PS4 and Nintendo Switch?” a lot. All we can say right now is that work will begin on console and mobile when the Steam Early Access Windows version is finished. We need to finish it on one format before we go on to another. Hopefully once it is finished on Windows the conversion to other formats won’t take that long.
We also have the real FIFA World Cup to look forward to and I would love for us to have a Single player World Cup Career Mode. In my fantasy you would pick your team, pick your squad, keep morale high in the squad, answer to the media, collect manager points for results, unlock classic players, etc etc. For me that would be a dream and something with a real replay value. I’m visionary and none of the above has been taken on by our designer yet, but you can still dream right?
Thanks again for your support and I’ll make sure you guys are in the loop as much as possible in 2018. Stay Sociable everyone!
Happy holidays everyone! Let’s look forward to big changes on the pitch for 2018 including online multiplayer. At the present we are also working on the tactics screen. We’ve been moving offices during Christmas and this has taken some time from our development, on the other hand, we will have a new fresh environment when we continue next year. We are all looking forward to taking the game to the next level.
This is your community manager (Gustav) back to give you some excellent news. We’ve been kind of sick here, sick from working so hard on updating this game… Our lead programmer managed to click the upload button on this patch a few days ago before going into a heavy feverish state + sleep. Therefore no list of what has been done, but expect that to be up in a few days.
My general knowledge of what has been changed is:
– Player selection has been improved, particularly in defense. It is now easier to get the player you want when defending.
– Graphics has been improved, everything now looks a bit sharper, crowds are better and we added pitch textures and made things a bit brighter. Try with the button T in-game to see some changes.
– Huge database update from last patch.
60 new clubs added
3,600 new players added
8,600 players transferred
30,000 players revised