Michael Owen's WLS 2000
|Michael Owen's WLS 2000|
|Developer(s)||Silicon Dreams Studio|
Michael Owen's WLS 2000 (known as Mia Hamm Soccer 64 in North America) is a association football-based sports video game developed by Silicon Dreams Studio and published by THQ for Nintendo 64. Released on 10 November 2000, the game stars English footballer Michael Owen.
Michael Owen's WLS 2000 has received reskinned versions for releases outside the United Kingdom, primarily Mia Hamm Soccer 64, which stars Mia Hamm, and was released in North America by SouthPeak Games. Other international versions include RTL WLS 2000 in Germany, in cooperation with RTL Television, and Telefoot Soccer 2000 in France, in cooperation with Téléfoot; both also published by THQ.
Michael Owen's WLS 2000 was originally announced by Eidos Interactive in September 1998, as a Nintendo 64 conversion of Silicon Dreams Studio's previous World League Soccer game, Michael Owen's World League Soccer '99. However, it was put on hold as Eidos Interactive did not find itself suitable for the Nintendo 64 market, until it was announced, in August 1999, that THQ had picked up the game for further production.
Mia Hamm Soccer 64
The North American release of Michael Owen's WLS 2000 was reskinned to feature American soccer star Mia Hamm, and published by SouthPeak Games as Mia Hamm Soccer 64, on 9 November 2000. This version was developed within twelve weeks by an all-male team at Digital Creations Studios, to take advantage of the high profile of Hamm and the United States women's national soccer team, who had just won the 1999 FIFA Women's World Cup, and be released in time for the upcoming Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) and the 2000 Sydney Olympics. The athletes in the Hamm version were hand-animated, while Michael Owen's WLS 2000 used motion capture.
Mia Hamm Soccer 64 was one of the first sports games to star female athletes, with Wendy Gebauer serving as commentator. In a December 2000 interview, Patti Miller of Children Now stated that the game was one of the "positive examples of games for girls". In a 2012 interview, psychologist Fernanda Schabarum retrospectively noted that the game was a "good example of the wrong timing and the wrong approach" in the matter of women in sports-oriented video games, and David Rutter, producer for the game, stated that the game being a reskin "made it appear more of cynical marketing tactic than a game really interested in women's sports".
In the United States, Mia Hamm Soccer 64 sold a "relatively high" 42,886 copies. Gameplay features 18 football teams in the hypothetical U.S. Women's League, 32 national teams, and Mia Hamm's All-Star Team. Different gamemodes, such as Practice and World Cup, where the player can play on a team, with or against Hamm, in a World Cup tournament, were also included.
Game Boy Color tie-in
A Game Boy Color tie-in to the game, Telefoot Soccer 2000, was developed by Aqua Pacific, published by Ubi Soft, and released in Europe on 1 March 2000. Like the Nintendo 64 game, the North American release of Telefoot Soccer 2000 had a Mia Hamm reskin developed; titled Mia Hamm Soccer Shootout, it was released by SouthPeak Games on 27 October 2000.
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