New Sports Themed Social Games Are Coming Soon

A lot of buzz around the watercooler these days seems to be about virtual worlds focused on sports. Two companies in particular, GamesCampus and Cybersports, are building products in this space.

GamesCampus has been working on adapting an online baseball game that was originally developed by a Korean company, Neowiz. After securing the proper licenses, the title is marked to be released under the title of MLB Dugout Heroes, in which players will be able to create their own team of all-stars that come rendered in a cartoonish style and controlled via mouse.

Founded back in 2006, GamesCampus also created the 3D golf simulation game Shot Online, which the company says has around two million users with about 25 million game sessions per year. Neowiz has also invested another $2 million for a stake in company as they bring another game called Slugger to the States. Currently, the launch date is expected to coincide with the 2009 MLB season around April.

Another active company in the space is Cybersports, who will be launching an online soccer league that could compete with big soccer franchises. While this might sound silly, the concept behind their game Football Superstars is actually quite intriguing.

The game is significantly more than just a virtual world, but is rather a massively multiplayer online soccer game. Instead of controlling an entire team like one would in FIFA, you control one just one avatar that you design yourself.

Not only can you go around the world and socialize with other players, but you actually play games with other people using this over the shoulder view. Moreover, players can communicate using 3D positional audio, which means that you can shout at your teammates just like you would in a real game, and the sound will come from different locations.

The game doesn’t stop with the soccer match either, as you can play more to raise your level, galavant with the paparazzi for some celebrity status, compete in higher leagues, and even get sponsors such as Puma and Reebok (but remember, you have to wear the merchandise).

Best of all, the game is going to be free to play. There is only a subscription fee for an upgraded version, and the rest of the revenue comes from the sale of virtual goods. Approximately 250,000 people already applied for the closed beta, with tens of thousands playing now. There is little known about a launch possible launch date, but founder Malcolm Clark says the game will likely be launching sometime in 2009.

[via VentureBeat]