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ICYMI: Big Ant brings new dimension in virtual sports with AO Tennis reveal

AO Tennis is the latest virtual expansion produced and developed by Big Ant Studios with Tennis Australia as the official licensed tennis game of the Australian Open. Photo courtesy of Big Ant Studios.

By: Kristoffer Ed Bellen

Almost a month before the official start of the 2018 Tennis Tours, the Australian Open offered an early Christmas preseason gift for tennis fans around the world as it released a video teaser on the AO Tennis, the most advanced tennis game ever produced, through the Australian Open’s official Facebook page last Tuesday, December 5.

AO Tennis, which features the best of the best in both the Association of Tennis Players (ATP) and Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) including this season’s year-end world number 1 Rafael Nadal, combines fully-licensed and photo realistic data of players that will be introduced in both Xbox One and PlayStation 4.

Melbourne-based sports game developer Big Ant Studios, the publisher of a few other sports video games such as the AFL Live, Ashes Cricket, Don Bradman Cricket, and Rugby League Live endorses “a decade’s worth” of historical shot data to make sure that the AI will play just like their real-life counterparts.

“With previous tennis games, the world number 1 would be challenging to beat because his or her in-game attributes would be set to merely make fewer errors,” said Big Ant’s Chief Executive Officer Ross Symons during the announcement where his company collaborated with the Tennis Australia.

“In AO Tennis, Rafael Nadal is the hardest player to beat because in game he plays like his real-life counterpart, he plays a game style befitting the number 1 player in the world,” he added. 

AO Tennis will feature dozens of fully licensed male and female players as well as tennis stadia which include the Rod Laver Stadium and will allow the opportunity for the users to create their own player through career mode and player creator features. 

The game also promotes distinct play style and different challenges in playing in hard, grass, or clay courts.

Official global release of the game is scheduled on the first half of 2018 but according to multiple reports, specific dates for other territories are yet to be confirmed.

Xbox One and PlayStation 4 will launch the AO Tennis on January 16 in Australia and New Zealand just in time for the kickoff of the opening Grand Slam tournament of the year that will take place on January 15-28 at the Melbourne Park which also welcomes the return of 2017 champion Serena Williams and the title defense of Roger Federer.