by Oliver Dewar
Global Ocean Race 2011-12.
GOR UnitedGames virtual race - Global Ocean Race 2011-12
The developer and publisher of branded social games, UnitedGames, will provide the online virtual race throughout the double-handed, Class40 Global Ocean Race 2011-12.
The Amsterdam-based company serves 100 million players worldwide and is a market leader in online gaming with a powerful portfolio within the online sailing community. The GOR game will apply Class40 performance polars combined with outstandingly accurate weather data supplied by GOR Race Partner, PredictWind. The virtual GOR will include all the scoring gates, waypoints and ice limits of the on-the-water GOR enhancing the tactical elements of online sailing.
In addition to the web client, UnitedGames will make the virtual race available on iPhone, iPad and Android-based smartphones enabling player-access to their game 24/7. To provide players with an opportunity to familiarise themselves with the game-controls and the behaviour of the boats, a trial virtual GOR race of around 1,000 miles will be launched shortly before the GOR’s start in Palma, Mallorca, on the 25th of September this year.
'We are excited to be producing the virtual Global Ocean Race,' confirms Marijn Harinck, CEO of UnitedGames. 'We feel the virtual Global Ocean Race is a great addition to our portfolio. The 30,000 miles of racing mean it’s the perfect challenge for the technical accomplishments we have made in developing our online sailing games,' he continues.
'The accurate tracking of the weather data supplied by PredictWind will be instrumental in letting players perform in the race exactly like they want to,' Harinck explains. 'Combined with new platforms on which to play the virtual game, we expect more and more players to enjoy the thrill and excitement of the Global Ocean Race!'
The UnitedGames virtual GOR will be free to play, though performance enhancing upgrades including advanced autopilot systems and sail wardrobe additions can be purchased while the option of decorating the sails and hull of a virtual Class40 with personal or corporate branding is also available.
Unique prizes will be awarded to online skippers throughout the five ocean legs and nine months duration of the GOR and revenue from the GOR game will help to support the GOR’s registered charity, the Global Vision Sailing Trust: a foundation created to introduce under-privileged young people to sailing and its core values via a dinghy sailing programme with a fleet of RS Vision dinghies shipped around the world from Palma to each of the GOR stopover ports.
'We are absolutely delighted to have contracted with UnitedGames for the Virtual Global Ocean Race,' says Josh Hall, Race Director of the GOR. 'The company’s professionalism and the quality of their product will ensure that our virtual skippers will have leading edge, reliable access to their virtual boats throughout the event,' he continues.
'With the ever-increasing popularity of virtual racing we anticipate at least 150,000 virtual skippers to sign up and race against each other and, indeed, against the real boats,' Hall believes. 'We wanted to be sure they had the best available platform and it is clear to us that UnitedGames are at the very forefront of this technology. Onwards to the future!'