America’s Cup launches its first official videogame and e-sports championship in Barcelona

International Events

10 Apr 2024

Emirates Team New Zealand has partnered with ACCIÓ-Catalonia Trade & Investment in developing the new videogame.

The America's Cup, the iconic international sailing competition, is entering the virtual world with the launch of its official simulation video game, AC Sailing, and its first-ever e-sports world championship, the America's Cup E-series.

The launch event took place yesterday at the America's Cup Experience in the Port of Barcelona and was attended by Grant Dalton, CEO of America's Cup Event, Dan Bernasconi, Chief Technical Officer of Emirates Team New Zealand, and Albert Castellanos, Secretary for Business and Competitiveness and CEO of ACCIÓ-Catalonia Trade & Investment. The Catalan capital will host the 37th edition of the America's Cup competition from August to October next year.

The process of creating the official video game of the America's Cup has been supported by ACCIÓ-Catalonia Trade & Investment, which has facilitated the participation of the Barcelona-based company Playable Dreams Studios in the creation of the game.

“With ACCIO- Catalonia Trade & Investment’s support, we’ve been able to collaborate with Playable to help build the game”

Grant Dalton, CEO of America's Cup Event

AC Sailing, the ultimate sailing simulator

The new AC Sailing video game is built on the same physics engine used in the simulators that America's Cup teams use to train, refine racing tactics, recreate race scenarios, and develop and test design ideas and iterations for their racing yachts.

At the launch, Grant Dalton, CEO of America's Cup Event, said, "Creating a full simulation game from a simulator that our sailors and designers use in the real world of the America's Cup is really exciting. Players will be able to experience America's Cup sailing as close to reality as never before".

AC Sailing will allow players to take command of high-tech AC40 foiling yachts and compete against others in breathtaking online races, as well as hone their skills in time trials and practice modes. The game will feature real-world locations such as Barcelona, home of the 37th America's Cup, and authentic liveries of the iconic AC40 America's Cup yachts.

Gaudí', race with a yacht made in Catalonia

The Catalan studio Playable Dreams Studios has participated in the design of the new video game, creating a Catalan ship that players can use to compete. Named "Gaudí", it is inspired by the iconic Catalan architect Antoni Gaudí, author of the Sagrada Familia.

Playable Dreams Studios was also responsible for recreating the different scenarios where the game takes place: the maritime area of Barcelona (Catalonia), San Francisco (United States), Auckland (New Zealand) and the Isle of Wight (United Kingdom). The Catalan studio has reproduced the most emblematic buildings and coastlines of each of the locations included in the game.

Founding partner of Playable Dreams Studios, Cristian Astudillo, said: "It has been a very positive experience in every way. We are proud to represent the Catalan video game ecosystem in a production with a global impact, showing all its potential".

Barcelona-Catalonia, a top European hub for the video games industry

This synergy with the America's Cup illustrates the potential of the video games sector in Catalonia, the leading region in the European Union, in terms of attracting foreign investment in this sector. According to data from ACCIÓ-Catalonia Trade & Investment, there are more than 200 video game companies in Catalonia, employing nearly 4,000 people and with a combined turnover of more than 500 million euros.

In fact, it is one of the most important sectors in terms of foreign investment. Specifically, 11% of the 112 foreign investment projects attracted by the Catalan government through ACCIÓ-Catalonia Trade & Investment in 2023 correspond to the video games sector.

According to Albert Castellanos, CEO of ACCIÓ-Catalonia Trade & Investment, "Another great opportunity that hosting a global event such as the America's Cup offers us is the chance to showcase Catalonia's emerging potential in sectors such as video games. This industry is growing in Catalonia thanks to foreign investment, but also thanks to local talent such as those involved in this project".

In addition, Castellanos continues: "AC Sailing will also be available in Catalan, which is an important milestone in increasing the presence of our language in this industry."

"With ACCIÓ-Catalonia Trade & Investment’s support, we’ve been able to collaborate with Playable to help build the game", said America's Cup Event CEO Grant Dalton.

AC Sailing is available for free download on PC through the Epic Store and Steam platforms. The game will continue to be updated with new content, with additional locations, skins, and a single-player AI match race expected to be added in the coming months.

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Jordi Sancho

Jordi Sancho

Senior FDI Consultant - Technology Sector - Food & Beverage Industry

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