This fall, we’ve been reporting a lot on eSports Boxing Club, an upcoming simulation boxing RPG by Steel City Interactive. It boasts a lofty goal: to bring about a new era of boxing video games. So far, they seem committed to the effort. Steel City Interactive was quick to bring important partnerships on board. That’s a huge start, but what’s next? Last weekend, SGO reached out to Creative Director of Steel City Interactive Ash Habib to learn more about what to expect from eSports Boxing Club.
The Significance of “eSports”
We started by asking about the title itself. Why include eSports when the game is a boxing simulation game? Habib says it’s linked with a real-life boxing circuit they’d like to run when the game launches. A series of eSports Boxing Club tournaments in which Habib says “the winner is crowned the eWBC Champion of the World whilst receiving a physical belt. This will be an annual competition held at a specific location – We are in talks with Broadcasters to televise the event.”
Habib talks about Steel City Interactive’s long-term plans for ESBC, which are “to continually develop ESBC post-launch. We have a long-term roadmap that means many features that we and fight fans want – need to be developed and implemented properly.” An important point to keep in mind about a game like ESBC is that, while the team is growing, it is no AAA team. Habib says that Steel City Interactive wants to “release a product that gamers can enjoy early, whilst allowing us to continually add features to the game.”
We have a better idea of what will be coming to ESBC when Early Access launches in late December. “Late December,” according to Habib, will be sometime between Christmas and New Years. In Early Access, ESBC will feature 8 venues, with variations of each location. Players will have their choice of eight weight classes. The team is developing create-a-boxer, but it may not be in Early Access. Similarly, some aspects such as era-appropriate boxing attire, authentic voices and fighter tendencies, won’t come to Early Access. These things are already on the post-release roadmap.
eSports Boxing Club Gameplay
eSports Boxing Club will have a full career mode, according to Habib. Your boxer starts as an amateur and works their way through boxing’s many different circuits (WBC Youth Championship, the IBF, the Ring Magazine belt, etc.). Career mode will feature some management aspects. One example Habib gives is how players manage injuries. Will you take time off to let an injury heal? Will you push forward through an injury to get that bag? Each decision has positive and negative consequences. The staff you hire to be in your corner will greatly impact how your player handles injuries.
Habib wasn’t able to confirm any specific commentators just yet, but did tell us that Steel City Interactive is working with “some of the biggest names in the UK and US broadcasting markets.” He also confirmed plans to add Spanish commentary.
The game will feature both casual online quick fights and a ranked leaderboard. Habib was not able to share too much information about the online mode right now, but notes the team is aiming to make online gameplay equally fun for both hardcore and casual players. We asked Habib if Steel City Interactive had any plans for a game mode like EA’s Ultimate Team. He responded, “We have something different in the works that will be released in 2021, which we feel is more realistic and pertinent to the boxing world.”
More info on things like controls, fighting mechanics, and online will be featured in upcoming development blogs. If you’re itching to see more of eSports Boxing Club in motion, there will be a new trailer released this week. Follow us on Twitter and on Facebook for more info on ESBC, including the new trailer when it drops.
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