Sidhe, New Zealand's largest and most successful game development studio, has announced Rugby Challenge for Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and PC. The game is scheduled for release in Q3 2011 (typically between July and October), which should place it well to coincide with next year's Rugby World Cup.
Perhaps the best news for local rugby fans is that the game will feature licences for the All Blacks, the ITM Cup and Investec Super Rugby among others. It will support online multiplayer, and features a multi-year franchise mode, extensive customisation options and "dynamic, real-time commentary" from well-known commentators.
Thankfully, Sidhe has a pedigree of sorts when it comes to football games; the team also developed Rugby League 3 for the Nintendo Wii, which was generally well received. In fact, most of the criticism leveled at that game tended to focus on the limitations of the platform it released on. You can read Game Console's review of Rugby League 3 here.
“After achieving success with other sports videogames, we are extremely proud to be taking on the national sport of New Zealand” said Mario Wynands, Managing Director of Sidhe, “This is an exciting time for rugby both within New Zealand and internationally, and it is fantastic to be a part of that”.
For more information, be sure to keep an eye on the game's official site.