At the moment in almost all Virtual Soccer games, and certainly the games that Betway and 10Bet have to offer, you will find that when it comes to the actual highlights of the game, these are software simulations generated by the computer.
How while this is easier for developers to utilise in terms of their whole Virtual Sport event, it does require a lot of programming to create the individual highlights and of course, over time, these highlights can and do become a little repetitive, especially if you are someone who indulges in Virtual Football betting on a more regular basis than most.
However, last year there was talk within the industry of some developers looking at changing how the highlights package of virtual football games is put together and presented. Some developers wanted to include real life action, taken from real games around the world, then randomly put together the key incidents from the game in order to create a highlights package that looked real.
The ambition is certainly lofty and if executed to the fullest of its ability, would have the chance to change how virtual football operates almost overnight. However, the first results of this technological advance are now in.
Inbet Games have released their own Virtual Football offering which utilises real highlights from real games.
But unfortunately, there are a number of teething issues with the new highlights package in my view.
Virtual Football Real Highlights Issues
Having previewed the video of how a game would progress, there are plenty of similarities between Inbet Games new offering and the standard virtual football game you find on betting sites. There’s he usual betting period before the game starts and the markets offered by Inbet’s software certainly appear to replicate the markest you can bet on in the standard games, if not expand on them.
So far so good it seems but it is when we get to the much vaunted highlights package that the big differences become apparent and unfortunately for Inbet, that is not a positive thing for their pioneering new software.
First off the positive and that is quite simply that these new highlights packages look superb because they are taken from footage of a real game between the teams. What you are seeing as a highlight is actual action from a game and as such, the realism is far greater than what you get on the standard game.
However, there are some massive flaws with this particular method of presentation that has been highlighted in the demo footage I have reviewed.
Highlights are not smooth
The first and most problematic issue for me is that in this new version of virtual football. The highlights package is not as smooth or as complete as in the virtual game. What tends to happen is that the game kicks off and then you are treated to a staccato number of cuts from the game in question which are then randomly combined together.
This creates a rather unsettling effect of where one highlight doesn’t seamlessly merge into the next, but instead, you are given a short selection of highlights, some of which only last a second or so, that are not just not connected but entirely different. For example, one highlight may show Team A about to launch an attack, then a millisecond later, you are witnessing Team A defend a cross.
The issue I have with this is that the highlights package doesn’t make any sort of sense with how you as a football fan or punter would expect to see a game presented. It is merely a random selection of clips shown, rather than an account of the key incidents of the game, which is precisely what you get when the computer generated graphics are used to highlight virtual football at present.
Sadly at the moment, this method of putting highlights together represents a big step backwards, rather than a step forwards for this technology and that is a real shame.
Many of the Highlights selected are nothing of the sort
Another issue I have with the new highlights package is that many of the highlights selected to be shown for a game are not worthy of being called highlights. In the current standard virtual football highlights, all the highlights you see of a game contain something relevant to what is happening on the field. You may see a goal, a set piece, a missed chance, a goalkeeper making a save or the woodwork being hit. Whatever the highlight is, it bears some relevance to the game and would appear in a ‘real’ TV highlights shot of the game.
In the new real footage Virtual Football game, the highlights selected don’t consist solely of these events but instead a large percentage are extremely dull highlights of players massing the ball out of defence, players trying to win a header or tackle, a throw in being taken and similar. The term ‘highlight’ infers that it is only the most exciting moments of the game that are shown, and in this new version, that is just not the case.
Key Highlights and Goals are now no longer certain to be shown
For me the biggest issue however is that because of the nature of real life football games, which can finish in any score, this means that a company may buy the rights to use a game in Virtual Football, but if the score of that game was say 1-0 to Team A, then how can the Virtual Football game show a goal for Team B?
The answer to that is that the software can’t so what happens is you receive a staccato, highlights package of entirely meaningless incidents and then at the end of this, you will see a final score come up on screen and that final score can be anything.
So, if a team scores a goal, or has a player sent off, or concedes a penalty in the Virtual Sport and the real life game did not have such an incident, then it isn’t shown.
To me, this is a cardinal sin. How can you show a highlights package for a Virtual Football game that does not include at the most basic level, all of the goals in that game?
It is extremely odd to watch highlights were no goals are scored only to be then presented with a screen which shows a result of 3-1 to one team. In effect, you feel that the result shown has absolutely no connection with the highlights package you have just witnessed and that is an unsettling feeling for a punter.
Again, rather than a step forward, this decision is a massive step backwards compared to the computer generated highlights package which do show all the goals and key highlights of a game and which do at least give the player a context to understand the results of the game.
So, despite the promise of a new era for Virtual Football, actual highlights packages from real games , as they stand at present, mark a step backwards for virtual sports fans and I would recommend you stick to the computer-generated highlights. They may not be perfect, but they are far better than the alternative as things stand today.