After deciding it was unhappy with its quality, 505 Games has taken the unusual step of removing its PC game Ashes Cricket 2013 from Steam, blaming the developer for its issues and offering full refunds to consumers.
In a lengthy statement to RockPaperShotgun, 505 Games explained what had led to the current situation.
"The chosen developer [Trickstar Games], even with their many years of cricket game development experience, was unable to overcome the unexpected challenges that the chosen game engine threw up, even with multiple extensions to the development schedule," it said.
"The chosen developer [Trickstar Games] was unable to overcome the unexpected challenges that the chosen game engine threw up"505 Games
"The net result of the challenges we have faced was a game which, despite our best efforts over the course of a 2 year development, couldn't meet the quality benchmarks of either us, our licensors or our customers. 505 Games' main priority right now is to protect the Ashes name and that of the ECB and Cricket Australia, and do what we can to recompense the cricket community."
505 Games also apologised to "licensors, the ECB and Cricket Australia, and their respective partners/sponsors," and fans of the games, and stated that those who had purchased the title would so be contacted and offered a full refund.
"It is clear that, in this instance, we have fallen way short of our stated aims and failed to deliver. We know that the mitigating factors, as highlighted above, hold little solace to the hordes of excited cricket fans worldwide who had hoped this year to be able to play out their fantasy of playing in the Ashes series."
The Australian developer, Trickstar Games, has yet to comment, but will no doubt be stung by the criticisms. Its studio motto is "quality is the foundation of our studio" and indeed scored a BAFTA nomination for its work on Ashes Cricket in 2010.
On Metacritic the game has no official reviews, but does have a user score of 0.9 and an overwhelming amount of negative comments ranging from "train wreck" to " an insult to the Ashes license." Only one user gave the game a 10, calling it a "beautiful masterpiece."