The game is an indie title that is trying to scoot into the sliver of the market that isn’t dominated by Electronic Arts’ Madden NFL game.
The game is coming to Steam Early Access on June 9 and it will sell for $20. The game offers the most in-depth range of customization for any sports title on the market, Refractor Games said.
Football Simulator takes a back-to-basics approach to football and sports gaming, the company said. It was designed as a unique physics-based football game where you can struggle through and break tackles for first downs, juggle tipped passes, and make diving interceptions.
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In addition, you will have control over everything including your team’s name, logo, and stadium design, and you can create your own videos of top plays using the replay system.
The game will also feature a role-playing game (RPG) Season Mode where you can play as the coach of your team. Players can explore a sports complex that they design, collect new playbooks, and build their dream team with editable rosters and fantasy drafts. The season mode is accessible with up to three friends through local co-op with online options coming.
“We think games have gotten unwieldy and complex,” said Refactor cofounder Nathan Burba, in a statement. “They’re constantly updating, with infinite content, but the experience is often lost behind so much fluff and technical issues that the immediacy of the gaming aspect has been lost. We wanted to make games that are simple, fun and accessible, but also deep, emergent and heavily moddable.”
With no annual versions, full customization capabilities, and by leaning into the RPG element, the goal is to evoke memories of classic football titles that die-hard fans are still playing and still manually adjusting the rosters to this day.
Instead of selling an updated title every year, Refactor said it wants to turn the power over to the players to modify the game how they see fit — and share those elements with other fans while they eventually expand out to other sports such as soccer, hockey and basketball with the same system. That’s a jab at EA, which manages to get fans to dish out $60 or more every new NFL season.
“We use real-time ragdolls to simulate realistic players who can stumble and regain their balance, grab and drag down players, break tackles, box out defenders and more,” said cofounder Arman Meguerditchian, in a statement. “The idea at its core is that we give the players all the tools on the gameplay side and they have free range from there. We want the football video game community to be heavily involved and let them create their own everything. This is meant to be their game as much as it is ours.”
The company is promising a ton of future updates for the game including cross-platform online multiplayer, VR support, a heavily expanded RPG season mode, built-in mod browser, online leagues, and more cinematics, animations and sound effects.
Burba was cofounder at Survios, a gaming company that led the way in virtual reality with titles like Raw Data.
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