Image Source: Round4Round via Facebook
Ever since Fight Night Champion came out in 2011, boxing fans all over the world have been craving a new boxing video game.
We received a little bit more action when Fight Night Champion was added to the Xbox One’s backward compatibility library in May 2018, but in March 2020, it will be nine years since boxing fans have had a fully-fledged boxing game for consoles.
Ever since EA Sports decided to ditch boxing in favour of the much easier to manage (regarding athletes’ image rights) UFC series, the sport has gone from strength-to-strength, enjoying a renaissance of sorts throughout its weight divisions.
Boxers like Vasyl Lomachenko, Naoya Inoue, Artur Beterbiev, Anthony Joshua, Wladimir Klitschko, Terence Crawford, Gennady Golovkin, ‘Canelo’ Alvarez, Jermell and Jermall Charlo, Tyson Fury, Dillian Whyte, Dmitry Bivol, Errol Spence Jr, Callum Smith, Oleksandr Usyk, and Manny Pacquiao have all helped to bring the sport back to the limelight.
For the most part, it seems as though a gaming goliath like EA Sports pulling out of such a series has frightened off other potential developers – but not quite all of them.
Falcon Interactive embark on Round4Round Boxing
Initially developed internally and set to be published by UK game company Falcon Interactive, Round4Round Boxing first came to light in July 2018, following an interview with PSU.
At the time, Round4Round Boxing claimed to be aiming for realistic and life-like graphics, a unique soundtrack, and to represent all weight classes. On top of this, the development team aimed to include modes like single-player, historic, amateurs, and world championship mode.
In the months following the original announcement, Round4Round Boxing was quite active through social media platforms, showcasing game screenshots and in-engine images of boxers who had signed-up to be in the upcoming boxing video game.
However, in August last year, everything went rather quiet. It’s not uncommon for a studio to go dark as they hone in on the later stages of development, but Round4Round Boxing did so after announcing that development was taking longer than they expected, per their Facebook page.
Round4Round Boxing recruits Wicked Witch to develop the game
Round4Round is proud to announce that Wicked Witch are our official game developers, bringing over 20 years of sports and console experience to the game.
The team at Round4Round Boxing & Wicked Witch wish you all a safe and happy new year & look forward 2020. ? pic.twitter.com/MzCdouhQ9n
— Round4roundboxing (@Round4roundgame) December 31, 2019
Falcon Interactive always knew that creating a fully-fledged boxing game for consoles and PC would be a tough task, especially as they’re more notably mobile game publishers for Android devices.
As such, to ensure that the game makes it to market – and to, assumingly, speed up the process – the Round4Round Boxing team has brought in Wicked Witch as the official game developers.
Based in Melbourne, Wicked Witch are the developers behind the Aussie rules and rugby union video game franchises AFL Evolution (formerly AFL Live) and Rugby Challenge, both of which were made for this generation of consoles.
Bringing in an experienced developer like Wicked Witch to carry on from the Falcon Interactive team should help to progress the development process.
From what we’ve seen so far, the game has been coming along fairly well, at least aesthetically, and the roster was starting to be fleshed out.
Round4Round Boxing Roster
At the time of writing, Round4Round Boxing had plenty of notable boxers on its roster, and it seemed to be picking up some momentum.
In what could have proved to be a coup, they signed up Andy Ruiz Jr in July 2018. The Mexican would go on to shock the boxing world by defeating the unified heavyweight world champion Anthony Joshua in June 2019.
Six months later, though, Anthony Joshua put on a fleet-footed master class to reclaim the three major world heavyweight titles.
- Joseph Parker (men’s heavyweight)
- Austin Trout (men’s super welterweight)
- Claressa Shields (women’s middleweight, super middleweight)
- Ray Mercer (men’s heavyweight)
- Andy Ruiz Jr (men’s heavyweight)
- Gerald McClellan (men’s middleweight, super middleweight)
- Zab Judah (men’s super lightweight, welterweight, super welterweight)
- Eric ‘Butterbean’ Esch (men’s heavyweight)
- Lucas Browne (men’s heavyweight)
- Ty Barnett (men’s super lightweight)
- Mercito Gesta (men’s lightweight)
- ‘Homicide Hank’ Armstrong (men’s featherweight, lightweight, welterweight, middleweight)
- Kelly Pavlik (men’s middleweight, super middleweight)
- Jeff Lacy (men’s super middleweight, light heavyweight)
- Hector ‘Macho’ Camacho (men’s super featherweight, lightweight, super lightweight, welterweight, middleweight, super middleweight)
- Hector Camacho Jr (men’s super lightweight, welterweight, super welterweight, middleweight)
- Fernando Vargas (men’s super welterweight, super middleweight)
- Jesse James Leija (men’s featherweight, super featherweight, lightweight, super lightweight)
- ‘Buster’ Douglas (men’s heavyweight)
- DeMarcus Corley (men’s lightweight, super lightweight, welterweight)
- Vanes Martirosyan (men’s super welterweight, middleweight)
- Steve Forbes (men’s super featherweight, lightweight, super lightweight, welterweight)
- Rances Barthelemy (men’s super featherweight, lightweight, light welterweight)
- James Dickens (men’s super bantamweight, featherweight)
- Willie Monroe Jr (men’s middleweight, super middleweight)
- Christopher Colbert (men’s super featherweight, lightweight)
- Jemel Herring (men’s super featherweight)
- John Molina Jr (men’s lightweight, super lightweight)
- Leonard Bundu (men’s welterweight)
- Shahin Adygezalov (men’s welterweight)
- Keyshawn Davis (men’s super lightweight)
- Amir Mansour (men’s heavyweight)
- Stephen Fulton Jr (men’s super bantamweight)
- David Grayton (men’s welterweight)
The Round4Round Boxing team has also been keen to expand their real-world roster beyond just boxers. In November 2018, they announced that famous ring girl Ali Drew would feature in the game.
Round4Round Boxing Release Date – Still a long road ahead
While the studio was always keen to utilise feedback from the community, perhaps they went public with the Round4Round Boxing project a bit too soon. Given the high level of detail they seek, the game is bound to take a lot of time to create.
The Round4Round Boxing social media platforms have hinted at a big 2020, but if it takes longer to create the best possible product from Falcon Interactive and Wicked Witch, then so be it: boxing fans just crave a good, new boxing game.
Be sure to follow Round4Round Boxing over the coming months as hopefully bringing Wicked Witch in as the official developers will lead to further announcements about the game.