Rugby fans have been treated like street canvassers in recent years by game developers, as nobody wants to listen to them, and most pretend they don't exist.
But now a glimmer of hope is shining through in the form of 'Rugby 15', an enigmatic game developed by HB Studios, the team behind EA Sports Rugby 08 and Rugby World Cup 2011. The Canadian studio has been there and done it before, Rugby 08 was a hit, but without EA Sports do they have the financial clout to really make the game what it needs to be?
What is slightly worrying is just how little exposure this game is getting. First announced back in May, there have been almost no details released, apart from one translated review from a French games journalist who got the play the game, and also some information that has come from a playable demo of the game at this week's Gamescom expo in Cologne, Germany.
So what do we know about 'Rugby 15'?
Rugby 15 is pencilled in for a November 14th release date.
While initially the vague area that the game could land in was stated as "Fall" 2014, the team behind Rugby 15 have this week announced that November 14th is the planned date of arrival. This could possibly change, as not only are there a worrying lack of details out there, but that date-range is a total death-wish for a small studio game, with titans such as Call of Duty, Assasins Creed, Far Cry, and even Pro Evolution Soccer, planning to pump out their annual iterations at that time.
The game is coming to PS4 and Xbox One, as well as 360, PS3, PC, and PS Vita.
Rugby 15 will be the first taste of rugby on the next-gen systems (although technically they are current gen now). This was announced a while back, but the playable demo at Gamescom (pictured above) shows that PS4 is the system they have chosen to showcase the game on.
The licences that have been secured are promising.
From the above picture taken at Gamescom, it is clear that Rugby 15 features the licences of the Top 14 and D2 in France, the Rabo Pro 12 (thank Christ), and the English Premiership. Rumours are flying around that the 6 Nations will also be there in full form, but no confirmation as of yet.
There will be no online game modes.
The previously mentioned French game reviewer confirmed that the developers told him there would be no online, this is because they want to focus on the core gameplay itself, which is something we support. Get the game basics right first, then we'll think about online.
The plan is to make 'Rugby' an annual release.
The game-play is probably going to be similar to Rugby 08.
Lets face it, Rugby World Cup 2011 was Rugby 08 in a different skin, and the chances are that 'Rugby 15' will again feature few changes. HB Studios don't have the biggest budget in the World, but they keep trying to satisfy rugby fans, so we love them for that.
These two screenshots.
Yeah, that is literally all we have at this time. Those two screenshots. The first appears to be an Australian extra from Home And Away playing scrum-half for Munster against Racing Metro (probably), and the second one seems to be... Ehh... We have no idea.
So, the big question. Is 'Rugby 15' the rugby game we've all been waiting for?
No. Probably not. But at least it's something. We'll bring you more on this game as we get it, if we ever get it, it's all very secretive.