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|Release date(s)||August 30, 1997 (V.1)|
Hattrick is a browser-based massively multiplayer online football management game developed in Sweden and started in 1997. Currently the game contains 128 different countries, each with its own league pyramid, and 52 different language versions. As of November 1, 2013, the community of the game is about 450,000 users, each with their own team, but the number has been steadily declining (currently losing up to 1k users a day) since it peaked in February 2009 with almost one million users. Hattrick is in its 50th season, each of which lasts about four months.
The game is free to play, though there is an optional premium supporter service that provides additional features, as well as a mobile service, both available by in-game purchase. As with any manager game, the player must assign positions to the players and choose among some basic tactical and strategic options.
The basic idea of Hattrick is to manage a football team wisely, whether it be in buying and selling players, setting the team's lineup, or expanding the arena to the perfect size. Every user in Hattrick has a team of his/her own. The user has wide control over their team, and gameplay is mainly limited by economic and tactical restrictions. Many different types of teams exist within Hattrick; the team's type is generally shaped by the training program set up by the user, as well as the formations played.
Each included (not all fifa countries are, but they are added when needed) country has its own league pyramid. Abandoned teams in high levels of the league pyramid are not given to new players until the team demotes to one of the bottom two levels of their country's pyramid. As a result, new users begin at the bottom of their country's pyramid and have to work their way up by winning their division at each level. Each division has eight teams competing for the league title. When new players join, their division is randomly selected by the administrator who handles their registration application. If a player is successful enough to win their division, he or she has the opportunity to promote to the next level the following season; depending on the division level of the team and the team's relative performance when compared with other winners from their level, the league winner either auto-promotes to the next level or plays a qualification match against a team from the higher division.
|Position||Division I Result||Div. II, III, IV, V||Div. VI||Div. VII and below (odd)||Div. VIII and below (even)|
|1st||National Champion||Auto-promotion or Qualifier||Auto-promotion|
|3rd||Team stays in their current league|
|5th||Relegation Qualifier[n 1]|
- Except for the lowest division in the country
Winners in divisions II — VI will auto-promote if they are in the top half of the ranking among other winners in their league level, as determined by total points and goals. If the team is in the bottom half, they will draw a qualifier opponent. Winners in divisions VII and below automatically promote. In addition, depending on the level, teams who place 2nd in the lower divisions may also promote, as detailed in the table above. At every level except the bottom division in a country, the teams placing 5th or 6th must play a qualifier against a team from the division below them. Teams placing 7th or 8th automatically demote to a division below theirs, and are replaced by auto-promotees.
League and National Cup
Each included country has a league which is divided into series. The series below the main divisions are also groups, where teams play each other in two legs, the number of sets and groups are defined according to the number of users in the country.
Each included country also has a national cup that is played by all teams through a knockout system.
The winners of the top division and cup of each country gain spots in the Hattrick Masters. If one team is champion of the crown and major league, it is the sole representative of its country. The countries with the largest number of users are Argentina, Denmark, Germany, England, France, Italy, Mexico, Finland, Sweden and United States.
Though Hattrick is free to play, the game has an optional pay-to-play feature called Hattrick Supporter. Hattrick Limited earns additional revenue through the Hattrick Mobile service, and through the more traditional merchandise offerings in the game's shop.
The purchase of Hattrick Supporter unlocks a number of optional features. "Hattrick Supporter will not give your team any in-game advantages, but rather deepen your experience of the game," according to the game developers.
Development and ownership
In April 2012, Hattrick Holdings was purchased by Zattikka, a casual gaming developer based in the United Kingdom, as part of its strategy to acquire established but "under-exploited" online games. As a preparation for the sale to Zattikka, the developers declared that they won't improve core features of the game for the foreseeable future (postponing the announced new staff system for instance), but instead focus on improving the experience for newbies coming into the game, as well as attracting new members and adding things (like hattrick gears) that users can pay for. The philosophy to not be able to pay for success still stands. In August 2013 the old owner group of Hattrick (which includes HT-Johan and HT-Daniel) reached an agreement with Zattikka to buy back the game.
The large Hattrick community has expanded the reach of the game well beyond the hattrick.org website. Many supplemental websites for the game seek to explain the game's inner workings to new players, while others simply offer easier methods of calculation and organization through an API.
Forums exist for every series, country, region, CHPP Program, and federation in the game, along with a Global forum. In addition, there are forums for "newbies" to ask questions about the game, as well as both country-level and global "non-HT" forums, in which free discussion of topics outside of Hattrick may occur.
During two weeks in May 2006, more than 196,000 Hattrick members gave their opinions about the upcoming World Cup in Germany, making this the largest ever football survey.
Certified Hattrick Product Providers (CHPP) enhance the HTML-based game by accessing various site data from the server and using it to perform useful functions. Applications outside of Hattrick.org which use any form of automation (such as scanning pages) must be CHPP certified. CHPP Applications take many forms. Manager Assistants such as Hattrick Assistant Manager (HAM) and Hattrick Organizer (HO!) generally help managers by organizing various team data graphically and archiving that data. Manager Assistants also usually offer some sort of lineup calculator that calculates the ratings teams will achieve with a certain lineup. Match Viewers offer an enhanced method of viewing matches live beyond the in-game HT Live. NT/U20 Trackers such as HT-World and Türkiye U20 Player Database help NT/U20 coaches to follow players easily. Other CHPP applications include Friendly Cup Assistants, browser plugins, online betting. Applications that are CHPP certified display a CHPP logo, and Hattrick users may login to the applications using their Hattrick username and password which produces an OAuth token for use with CHPP.
Hattrick has won the Multiplayer Online Games Directory's "Game of the Month" Award on three separate occasions: October 2002, April 2004, and most recently in November 2006. It was also voted Favorite Simulation Game of 2011 by the users of BBGSite.com.
Hattrick has been studied academically, for example being used in a University of Helsinki case study into whether online simulation games, such as Hattrick, could be used as a business model for online betting and gambling businesses. The conclusion was "Online gambling on simulated sport events is a very interesting proposition with good prospects in the future; further research and piloting projects are however needed before one can give any conclusive answer to the actual future value of such services."
It has also been used as the basis for a Lund University academic paper, "Time Extraction from Real-time Generated Football Reports", presented at the Nordic Conference of Computational Linguistics in Tartu, Estonia, 2007. The paper proposed sorting events in football match reports, per sentence, based on a classification scheme (e.g., result-change, save, finish, pre-finish) and implemented the approach in proof of concept tool. For Swedish, the approach was better than naively assuming that events occurred in the same order as they appear in the match report.
- van den Hoek, László (February 2012). "Graphs" (PHP). Maptrick. Retrieved 2012-04-16.
- http://www.hattrick.org Help » About Supporter
- Lunden, Ingrid (16 April 2012). "Europe’s Zynga? Social Games Co. Zattikka Raises $20M On AIM, Buys Hattrick, Concept Art House And Sneaky Games". TechCrunch. Retrieved 16 April 2012.
- http://www.globalfootballmonitor.com/ Accessed: 14th May 2008.
- Multiplayer Online Games Directory - Game of the Month: Available: http://www.mpogd.com/gotm/?Date=10/1/2002 Accessed: 11th May 2008.
- http://contest.bbgsite.com/gameprize/2011/index.php?action=win Accessed: 4th March 2011.
- New Business in Computer-mediated Communities. (Helsinki, 2004) (Patrik Ajalin, Tomas Granö, and Kaj Nyberg) Available: http://www.cs.hut.fi/~rsarvas/Sarvas_etal_NewBusiness.pdf Accessed: 11th May 2008.
- Title: Time Extraction from Real-time Generated Football Reports (Borg, Markus) Description: Proceedings of the 16th Nordic Conference of Computational Linguistics NODALIDA-2007. Editors: Joakim Nivre, Heiki-Jaan Kaalep, Kadri Muischnek and Mare Koit. University of Tartu, Tartu, 2007. ISBN 978-9985-4-0513-0 (online) ISBN 978-9985-4-0514-7 (CD-ROM) pp. 37-43. Available: hdl:10062/2516 Accessed: 13th May 2008.