The developers of the official 2013 Ashes video game have been forced to make a grovelling apology after the game turned out to be too appalling to release.
505 Games' 'Ashes 2013' was originally scheduled for a release this summer, to coincide with the first England-Australia series.
But huge problems with the game and development delays meant it was pushed backed until the Winter series in Australia.
Then a glint of hope: without warning, the game was released last week via the digital platform Steam. But the lack of fanfare and budget price should have been a clue to what state the game was really in. Fans quickly rose up in anger, after handing over their cash only to find a product about as solid as Matt Prior's forward-defensive stroke.
The game was plagued with issues, from dodgy animations and broken mechanics, to low-quality player models, reactions and scoring.
Now 505 Games has been forced to issue a full retraction and apology, announcing the game has been totally cancelled:
"The development of Ashes Cricket 2013 has been fraught with challenges almost from the outset. The chosen developer, even with their many years of cricket game development experience, was unable to overcome the unexpected challenges that the chosen game engine threw up, even with multiple extensions to the development schedule....ADVERTISEMENT
As the licensee and publisher of name for Ashes Cricket 2013, 505 Games would like to apologise publicly and sincerely to our licensors, the ECB and Cricket Australia, and their respective partners/sponsors, who have been nothing but patient and supportive of us throughout the challenges this project has presented, and who, ultimately, we have let down.
Our deepest apologies, however, are reserved for the fans of cricket and cricket games worldwide."
505 added that anyone who had bought the game so far would be issued a full refund.