Written by Oliver Kellner-Dunk
For nearly five years fans have been pining for a new Rugby League video game following Rugby League Live 4’s release in 2017 to mixed reviews, with the hunger for a new game getting stronger by the year.
Over the past few months, numerous people have been sharing images of an email they have received from the NRL stating there is a new Rugby League video game in the works under a new developer.
The validity of these emails themselves is still in question; however, a new Rugby League game has been all but confirmed as Wests Tigers second-rower Shawn Blore posted a picture of teammate William Fine Kei Paiaaua being scanned for something on his Instagram story with the caption “69 rated guy”, suggesting that will be his overall rating in the game.
Big Ant Studios has been responsible for developing Rugby League games since 2010’s “Rugby League Live”, making four Rugby League console games and two World Cup editions, but Big Ant’s founder and CEO Ross Symons has taken to Twitter to confirm that his studio is indeed not developing the next Rugby League game.
“Wicked Witch have said publicly that they are not making RLL5 (Rugby League Live 5), neither are Big Ant Studios,” said Symons.
“It’s the longest run of the football codes to not have a game.
“Who’s making it is a mystery, if you find out please let us know.”
Fans have speculated that the next game could be developed by one of the bigger sports game developers in the world, with fans hoping wither Electronic Arts (EA), the developers of the FIFA and Madden franchises, or 2K Sports, the developers of the NBA 2K and WWE 2K games will be at the helm of the next Rugby League video game.
It does seem a bit of a stretch that either company would put the effort into designing a game for a sports code that is largely only popular in Eastern Australia and the North of England when the franchises they currently develop have a worldwide appeal.
Although, EA, in particular, has developed a series of Rugby League games in the past, with the 90’s “Australian Rugby League” trilogy which included 1992’s ET’s Rugby League, 1995’s Australian Rugby League and 1996’s ARL 96, so there is a chance they could return to Rugby League.
No matter the developer, fans just want a fun game with longevity, and hopefully, that is what they receive.
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