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Rugby 22 video game release date, full trailer and compatible devices

A new rugby video game is coming later this month

A gameplay trailer has dropped for a new rugby video game which will be released later this month.

Rugby 22, developed by EKO Software and published by Nacon and BigBen Interactive, is the third rugby union game in the series - following on from Rugby 18 and Rugby 20.

The game, which will be available on PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, and PC, will be released on 27 January.

The games boasts the licenses of the two top tiers of French rugby, the Top 14 and the Pro D2, as well as the United Rugby Championship - meaning players can play as any of the four Welsh sides.

They can also play as Wales - with Wayne Pivac's side one of the licensed international teams. Other Test sides included in the game are New Zealand, Australia, France, Fiji, Ireland, Italy, Scotland, Japan and Georgia.

However, there's no mention of the Gallagher Premiership licence - despite appearing in the past two iterations of the game.

The new game, the first rugby sim to be released since 2020's Rugby Challenge 4, claims to have improved AI, a new control system and deeper tactics - including pod systems and more set-plays.

In recent years, the calls for rugby to have a decent video game as a means of growing the sport have got louder.

Former World Rugby vice-president Agustin Pichot made a huge point of this during his electioneering to become the governing body's chairman a couple of years back.

“Rugby’s old-fashioned in terms of technology,” he said.

“I see my kids today and realise the importance of e-sports for the new generations. They play Fortnite, League of Legends, FIFA. All of the established sports markets are connected with digital games and that is a huge means of attracting a younger audience. FIFA 2020, NBA 2K20, NFL Madden.

“Rugby hasn’t had a decent game since Jonah Lomu Rugby in 1995, so that would be part of the remit for a dedicated World Rugby innovation department. You need to think about how you approach the modern fan. Young boys and girls. It’s not rocket science.”

The likes of FIFA, Madden and NBA 2K have all become behemoths in the video game world - and even nicher titles like Big Ant's Rugby League Live series and Cricket games have shown promise.

While Jonah Lomu Rugby, actually released in 1997, remains the pinnacle for many, video game giants EA Sports did, for a time, dip their toes into the world of rugby.

However, the last of their games, Rugby 08, was released in 2007 - with subsequent titles being produced by smaller developers with smaller budgets and more limitations, with few offering a decent representation of such a complicated sport.

That includes the developers of Rugby 22, but with EKO Software having two previous games to build on, the hope is that it might produce a rugby game worth buying.

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