Loughborough University London academics play their part in landmark video game

Researchers from Loughborough University London’s Institute for Sport Business are behind the development of a new video game for leading Argentinian football side Club Atlético Banfield.

The game, Banfield Penalty Challenge, follows the figure of the club’s founder Edward Banfield and has been developed to commemorate its 125th anniversary.

The game, which is the first of its kind for a professional football club, sees players tasked to help Edward on his virtual journey by answering questions on general culture and the club’s history. 

Banfield was a British settler and railroad engineer and was credited with driving the first locomotive train in Argentina. The club later inherited his name. 

The game, created in collaboration with Raising Games, has over 750 hours of work invested into its development and has also been translated into eight languages.

Loughborough University London’s Fede Winer, who has played an instrumental part in the project, explained the thinking behind the idea:

“Federations and clubs can take immediate actions to catch on the digital gap: Hire Digital Chief Engagement Officers, become a source of live open-data to foster community driven innovation; we need a world where data helps everyone and develop self-sufficient initiatives funded by crowdsourcing, in-app economy tokens, etc.”

Fede added:

“All brands involved in sports and entertainment industries need a service-oriented digital strategy, which goes beyond a social media post. Brands must facilitate the 24-hour, 365-day content demand of the next-gen fan, providing omni-channel experiences to connect with their passions. Such challenges require immediate attention for economic survival, as more engagement means a higher brand value.

“In the pandemic era, traditional sources of income such as event tickets or TV rights may have disappeared or reduced drastically. Digital-oriented services are the most valuable tools to address the complexity of brand scalability, organic income, and fan connection."

He concluded:

“With games like Banfield Penalty Challenge, clubs can capture gaming communities which aren’t the stereotypical teenager. Stats show that 40% of today’s gamers are women; 26% are older than 50 and the average age of a gamer is 34 years old.”

The game is scheduled to be released in December 2020 on mobile phones, Linux, and Windows systems. The download will be free of charge and those who accumulate the most points will be able to receive prizes throughout 2021. 

View the press release on the Loughborough University website for further information and resources.

Loughborough is one of the country’s leading universities, with an international reputation for research that matters, excellence in teaching, strong links with industry, and unrivalled achievement in sport and its underpinning academic disciplines.

It has been awarded five stars in the independent QS Stars university rating scheme, named the best university in the world for sports-related subjects in the 2020 QS World University Rankings and top in the country for its student experience in the 2018 THE Student Experience Survey.

Loughborough is in the top 10 of every national league table, being ranked 4th in the Guardian University League Table 2020, 5th in the Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2020 and 8th in The UK Complete University Guide 2020.

Loughborough is consistently ranked in the top twenty of UK universities in the Times Higher Education’s ‘table of tables’ and is in the top 10 in England for research intensity. In recognition of its contribution to the sector, Loughborough has been awarded seven Queen's Anniversary Prizes.

Specialising exclusively in postgraduate-level study, Loughborough University London is based on the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park and offers cutting-edge master’s and PhD degrees, as well as business collaboration, research and enterprise opportunities.

The seven specialist institutes at Loughborough University London include: Design Innovation, Digital Technologies, Diplomacy and International Governance, Innovation and Entrepreneurship, International Management, Media and Creative Industries, and Sport Business. Close industry partnerships with a wealth of leading businesses and creative organisations means teaching and learning is informed by real-life challenges and driven by true industry pressures.

View the press release on the Loughborough University website for further information and resources.