More great news for the nostalgia-loving equestrian millennials has emerged this week with the revelation that cult computer game Equestriad has branched into new disciplines.
Equestriad relaunched as a smartphone app by GoGallop Studios in November 2020, almost two decades since 90s kids first got their hands on the PlayStation 1 or PC version of the game.
Now, “riders” can transfer their talents from honing their experience around the likes of Badminton, Burghley and Adelaide to jump in some of the most prestigious showjumping arenas in the world, with Shanghai the first stop on the Longines eJumping World Tour 2021.
“These egames are an excellent example of the way in which technology and brands can come together to enhance the development of equestrian,” FEI commercial director Ralph Straus said.
“With the support of our top partner Longines, and GoGallop’s gaming expertise, we are able to take equestrian sport to a truly global audience and offer a level of engagement and immersion that traditional outreach methods have been unable to provide so far. Gaming is an agile market with tremendous potential for broadening equestrian’s reach and attractiveness and we look forward to seeing where this journey takes us.”
That journey, in the gaming sense, takes in fantasy venues in Sydney, New York and Paris.
Gamers will be able to compete against each other for their places on the virtual Longines eJumping World Tour rankings. As players move up on the global game leaderboard they unlock challenges and rewards in the game, adding rosettes and trophies to their display cabinets.
There are likely to be even more Equestriad 2001-style games in the pipeline, too, as the FEI signed a five-year licensing agreement with GoGallop in April 2021.
The Australian-based company is developing a series of FEI-branded and FEI Nations Cup virtual events in the three Olympic disciplines.
“On the sport side, our aim is to create an online competition experience which allows gamers to increase their knowledge and understanding of the sport,” said GoGallop chief executive Craig Laughton.
“To compete, gamers have to learn the rules of each discipline, with feedback and positive reinforcement provided to them along the way through real-time commentary. By working with the FEI and their partners, we have been able to add a greater sense of realism and to enhance the whole gaming experience for fans.
“But equestrian is not just a sport, it is also a lifestyle choice and first-time players receive a brief tutorial on the fundamentals of horsemanship and horse care. All these elements must come together for players to earn the necessary points that take them to the next level.”
Article continues below…
You might also be interested in:
If you spent more time playing Mary King's Riding Star computer game than riding your real-life pony — it's likely
The Sydney, New York and Paris legs of the Longines eJumping World Tour 2021 will be rolled out over the coming months, and plans are also under way for the release of an edressage series.
Matthieu Baumgartner, Longines vice-president of marketing, added:“The partnership between Longines and the FEI has been based on our mutual values of elegance, tradition and performance with the disciplines we support.
“Our relationship with the FEI has evolved greatly since 2013 and our support for this egame initiative is just a natural progression in our brand awareness and digital growth strategy. We are excited to have the Longines eJumping World Tour as part of our sponsorship portfolio and are proud to play a part in the development of this new chapter in the FEI’s digital activities.”
Find out more about the Longines eJumping World Tour
Horse & Hound magazine, out every Thursday, is packed with all the latest news and reports, as well as interviews, specials, nostalgia, vet and training advice. Find how you can enjoy the magazine delivered to your door every week, plus options to upgrade to access our H&H Plus online service which brings you breaking news as it happens as well as other benefits.