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Sensible World Of Soccer for Live Arcade possible - senior source

Originally planned as unlockable.

Codemasters is considering the possibility of releasing Sensible World of Soccer through Xbox Live Arcade, Eurogamer has learned.

"Codemasters originally planned to include the Amiga version of Sensible World of Soccer as an unlockable aspect of Sensible Soccer 2006," according to a senior source with ties to the publisher.

Unfortunately, a SWOS unlockable didn't make it into the full game, which launched on PS2, Xbox and PC this month - but that may not be the end of the matter.

According to our source, Codemasters "wants to do a rewrite of SWOS for Live Arcade".

Codemasters would not confirm any of this, but did admit that it is "certainly" evaluating Live Arcade and "constantly evaluating" the potential of its back catalogue - as witnessed with this week's launch of a new Micro Machines game.

Why SWOS was dropped from Sensible Soccer 2006 is something our source couldn't shed light on, and Codemasters had nothing to say on the subject either, but it seems likely that it was to do with licensing rights - both of the original game and the player names.

SWOS was born in a more innocent time, where using real player names like Frank Lampard and Michael Owen wouldn't have caused friction - but as videogames have grown in stature and the rights governing name and likeness have become a serious commodity, it would be difficult to launch SWOS in its original form.

Sensible Soccer 2006, developed for Codemasters by Kuju in association with Sensi creator Jon Hare, uses fake names that bear resemblance to their real life counterparts.

Speaking to Eurogamer today, the publisher said: "Codemasters is constantly evaluating the opportunities offered by its back catalogue. There's a lot of IP there that's dear to gamers' hearts, and we wouldn't rule out anything if we thought the time was right. Live Arcade is a platform we're evaluating certainly - it's an exciting area of videogames. There are no announcements to be made at the moment regarding our IP on Live Arcade, Sensible Soccer or otherwise. Ultimately that will come down to demand among games players and we think will work on that platform. Having just shipped Sensible Soccer 2006 on PC, Xbox and PS2, it's clear that there's still a great affection for the series and that's encouraging."

In other words, shout if you want SWOS on Live Arcade. Or any of Codemasters' other games, for that matter.