If boxing is a business, e-boxing is a business within a business. Despite the growing audience of fight fans becoming ever more impatient for a new boxing game for next generation game systems, Steel City Interactive’s ambitiously amorphous project has again failed to provide a release date for 2023. While some might have guessed that doing this might have the effect of exacerbating demand, the lack of a finished product is nothing less than a failure to sate the accumulating masses of boxing video game fans at this point.
While it’s good of Steel City Interactive to keep the attention on the sport of e-boxing, the latest bungles by the company have shaken the confidence of even some of the most die-hard pro-Steel City Interactive voices. But depending on who you talk to, it’s always been some level of obvious that Undisputed was going to be underwhelming since before the name was changed from ESBC (E-Sports Boxing Club).
To some, there’s overwhelming gratitude for any company willing to invest the amount of time and effort it takes to make a good boxing game. But for others, the stack of promises casts an unforgivable shadow far beyond the silhouette of the bare demo they’ve been given via early access. Today, we’re going to talk about the state of boxing video games in 2023.
Why Was ESBC Rebranded to Undisputed?
This is the subject of much debate. At some point throughout the development of E-Sports Boxing Club, it seems as if Steel City Interactive faced a similar shift in public sentiment to the one they seem to be experiencing now. You’d be forgiven for forgetting; there have been some major changes since ESBC was planned for release.
According to the brainfather of ESBC, the new title more directly reflects the direction of the game. Ashe made it clear that by changing the name, the identity of the project would be preserved. It’s an interesting thought experiment.
When Is ESBC Release Date?
Never; this answer isn’t cynical. There’s no such thing as ESBC anymore. It either failed or was abandoned. In its stead, there’s a new brand, Undisputed. It’s unclear how much of Undisputed is held over specifically from ESBC and how much may have been scrapped with the rebrand. At this point, all ESBC branding, at least, has been scrubbed, and possibly some (or all) ESBC digital assets.
In the event that history proves that ESBC had to be completely scrapped and restarted at some point during that rebrand, it would stand to reason that the progress we’ve seen so far from Steel City Interactive borders on the Herculean. If they really had to start over instead of just changing the name, the timeline of delays in the ESBC release date are completely understandable.
If the public rebrand from ESBC to Undisputed was actually just the visible part of some deeper internal struggle, few would be surprised. Steel City Interactive’s job postings have consistently listed what appear to be critical positions to a video game company already making a next gen boxing sim.
But if Steel City Interactive is as well funded and fully staffed as they’d like e-boxing fans to believe, it’s perplexing as to why the project has fallen into so many chronic delays.
What’s Good About The Latest Undisputed Update?
The latest Undisputed update was received with mixed reviews. As more and more people try the restricted version finally released in January 2023, Undisputed’s developers have access to an entirely new level of data; feedback.
And after reading this feedback, it becomes abundantly clear who really came out ahead because of the Latest Undisputed Update.
Data that an audience literally pays to donate to you is a fairly ingenious model, and that’s exactly what Steel City Undisputed has managed to do. It costs $30 to try it at this stage if you’re feeling lucky, but many insist that the bugs and flaws are more frustrating than fun right now. They’d say that you’re better off waiting until they’ve worked out the kinks. But at this point, no one knows for sure whether Undisputed will manage to turn things around and get better, or if it will continue to decline before the Undisputed release date is officially announced.
What’s Not Good About The Latest Undisputed Update?
The more people play the game, the more feedback Steel City Interactive has access to. This is a double-edged sword; if they were able to somehow take feedback privately, they’d have more control over visibility into their apparent lack of progress.
But few consumers these days trust self-promoting promises of how good one’s own product is. For this reason, Steel City Interactive needs more and more people to promote their game for them. To do that, Steel City Interactive have shamelessly employed influencers to infiltrate and corral the popular narrative around each of their official communications pertaining to their attempt at a next gen boxing sim.
But aside from their covertly paid representatives, there’s still a torrent of freely contributed customer feedback for the Undisputed developers to peruse and consider. Of the most common complaints are those concerning cheaters:
But there’s also no shortage of technical issues reported by players of Undisputed:
And it seems like Steel City Interactive still haven’t quite figured out their server connectivity issues yet:
Is Undisputed Worth The Money?
If you can see past the obvious grifts, the lack of a release date, repetitive gameplay, completely disconnected statistics, desync problems, disconnects, and lack of intuitive movement, and you’re somehow able to just enjoy the experience for what it is, you’ll still have to deal with rage quitters. Imagine avoiding an opponent’s overpowered spam, adjusting with the jab and using distance, only to knock your opponent down and for them to immediately quit with no penalty to their record:
If that’s worth it to you, run, don’t walk, to Steel Ciy Interactive.
So what are your thoughts? Let us know in the comments down below.
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