505 Games has apologised for Ashes Cricket 2013's last-minute delay, stating that it "should have been more transparent and honest" with fans after discovering that the game "was not going to hit its submission dates", before reiterating that it is "100% committed to delivering the best possible cricket game".
The game had been due to release on Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, PC & Wii U last Friday, June 21. But two days before launch, the publisher announced that the game had been delayed until July.
In a statement posted on the game's official forums, 505 thanked fans for their "honest feedback" and outlined plans to roll-out additional details about the game in the coming weeks.
"Firstly, we do feel that we owe you all an apology," the statement reads. "Informing you two days before the scheduled release that the game is being delayed was an error on our part.
"Once we accepted that the game was not going to hit its submission dates, we were contractually obliged to gain approval from our partners before communicating a shift in release date. For the reasons outlined below, this has all happened very late in the end-phase of the development cycle. That said, we should have been more transparent and honest with our community and for this we sincerely apologise."
505 states that the game "has only been pushed back as we are 100% committed to delivering the best possible cricket game, pushing the boundaries of what has been done in previous titles. This has always been our focus."
Only a handful of screenshots of Ashes Cricket 2013 have been released following the game's announcement last September and video footage is nowhere to be found - something 505 acknowledges "hasn't been popular with the community".
"In an effort to make a truly authentic cricket title and one which stood up to the benchmarks of current sports games, 505 Games and Trickstar Games decided to rebuild the technology behind Ashes Cricket 2013 from scratch," the publisher continues. "To ensure we delivered something that met our own expectations, we had to focus all resource on game development. As a result, creating assets such as screenshots or videos had to be put on hold so the team could completely focus on the development of the game. We understand that this hasn't been popular with the community to date.
"However, it is neither in the nature of Trickstar Games nor 505 Games of finding excuses, but rather solutions. And while we continue to pursue our goal, we want to work with our communities to help you understand our issues and be more transparent in the problems we have experienced. We understand that many of you feel there has not been enough communication. In an effort to rectify this we are to going open up a direct line of communication between you, the real cricket fans, and the Trickstar development team."
To establish a dialogue with the community, 505 invites fans to post questions on the game's Facebook page to be answered by Trickstar boss Mike Fegan each week until the game's launch - something some fans aren't convinced will happen any time soon.
"It's highly likely that [the] game will be delayed again," wrote one user on the game's forum. "It has to go through re-submission to console platforms, then manufacture and distribution. That takes a couple of months."
"If it is ever released, I've already decided to give this game a miss unless the reviews are excellent," said another.
"As soon as we can be 100% sure when the game will be released we will tell you an exact date," 505 continues. "We are also pointing some additional resource at asset development, such as screenshots and videos as we understand you all want to see where we are at and how the game is going to look. As a result, we will be releasing more assets very shortly.
"We are committed to our community and to releasing a game that we are all proud of."