We can now confirm that Melbourne’s Big Ant Studios will develop the next AFL game. This marks the first time that the developer has worked on an AFL game since AFL Live in 2011 which is widely regarded as the best AFL game to ever release.
We understand that the next AFL game has been in development at Big Ant Studios for some time, with Ross Symons taking to Twitter tonight with the video reading “I’ve got a feeling” with Holy Grail playing in the background. Similarly, in an AFL Facebook group, Studio head Ross Symons commented “It’s Coming Home”.
Since working on AFL Live, Big Ant has been working on the Rugby League Live games, AO Tennis games as well as cricket games with the most recent being Cricket 22.
Previously, the AFL games were in the hands of Wicked Witch, who have lost the rights to the AFL license. The last AFL game they released was AFL Evolution 2. We gave it a 6.5/10 and said: “Like Evolution before it, AFL Evolution 2 is the best of the footy games. Of course, the bar isn’t a high one, though it’s fortunate in a way that it’s the core gameplay experience that does the heavy lifting. Modes can be fixed, patched and reworked with less work, so knowing that the foundation is rock-solid is a bonus for Wicked Witch as they’ll no doubt return time and again in pursuit of the holy grail.”
We’ll keep you posted as learn more about the next AFL game. It can’t be too long before we hear something given the teases appear to have started.
What is also interesting is the fact that Big Ant had previously developed the NRL games, and it’s unlikely they’re developing both AFL and NRL games, so it’s likely we’ll see the NRL license go to either Wicked Witch or another developer.