VSoftCo signs Striker

3 November 2016

VSoftCo forms joint venture with football comic Striker

Virtual sports software company VSoftCo Ltd has teamed up with football comic Striker to create the world’s first branded virtual soccer game.

The partnership – between VSoftCo and Striker creator Pete Nash – will be in the form of a joint venture called VStriker Ltd. The company will produce 3D-animated versions of an online betting game and a social game based on a new concept called Striker World Soccer League.

Both game versions will integrate with the serialised Striker storylines in The Sun – Britain’s biggest-selling daily paper – and Striker’s Planet Striker YouTube channel, which shows daily motion comic video versions of the newspaper strip. A weekly Striker comic is due to launch in the New Year.

Striker World Soccer League will herald a new era of the 31-year-old Striker comic, which is followed by 1.8 million readers in The Sun. The episodes will follow the creation of a world club football league, comprising fictitious teams from real cities around the world.

Although the story will kick off in the UK, it is envisaged that each country with a participating team will eventually run their own storylines.

The games will be powered by the only real-time rendered football animation technology created by VSoftCo. Brand new motion capture technology – sourced from professional footballers at Sheffield United – will make Striker World Soccer League one of the most lifelike virtual games on the market.

Simon Westbury, Managing Director at VSoftCo, said: “This joint venture is a hugely exciting opportunity to extend the audience and geographical reach of our gaming software products and to help develop Striker into a global brand.”

Pete Nash said: “I’m delighted to be launching this new venture with VSoftCo. Striker is already produced with 3D software but VSoftCo’s expertise in animation and gaming will help to make Striker even more realistic, while Striker in turn will inject drama and fun into virtual gaming.

“And Striker fans will be able to interact and engage with the brand through a series of unique initiatives.”

For further information:
Jeremy Carey/ Kirsty Allan
jeremy.carey@tavistock.co.uk kirsty.allan@tavistock.co.uk
020 7920 3150

Notes to Editors:

About VSoftCo
VSoftCo is a specialist software development company in the global virtual sports market. Over the past five years, the company has developed a highly sophisticated suite of products, largely focused on virtual football with Fantastic League and Spot the Ball, but also including virtual horse and greyhound racing. Through continuous improvement and investment in its products, VSoftCo aims to keep at the forefront of the virtual sports games market, creating the best virtual games on the market. VSoftCo currently has distribution partnerships covering the UK, Eastern and Western Europe, Africa, Asia, North America and Latin America.

About Striker
Striker first appeared as a daily comic strip in The Sun newspaper in 1985 and is wholly owned by its creator Pete Nash, a former Fleet Street journalist.

Striker has charted the adventures of its hero Nick Jarvis from his debut as a 19-year-old footballer to his present day role as the billionaire owner of fictitious football club Warbury Warriors, with characters ageing in real time, a feature that sets it apart from other comic strips. Striker is unusual in that it is followed by a predominately adult male audience, with nearly 40% in the 18-35 age group.

From its raw beginnings a hand-drawn, black-and-white comic strip, its style of artwork has changed noticeably over the years until, in 1998, with the input of 3D animator and modeller Simon Ravenhill, Striker became the first comic strip in the world to be created entirely in 3D animation software.

The realistic look of Striker in conjunction with its core football theme also made it a more commercial proposition to attract corporate sponsorship, and in 2001 Richard Branson’s Virgin Mobile became Striker’s first sponsor in a one-year deal to have its brand on the Warbury Warriors team kits seen in the strip and for a banner on the strip in The Sun. Virgin Mobile renewed for a second year after Richard Branson described it as one of their most successful sponsorships ever.

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