The King Of Pool Games…. At E3!

Hey, My name is Robert Karp and I am the Associate Producer lucky enough to be working on Hustle Kings. On the back of this year’s E3, we wanted to let you all know how Hustle Kings went down. Placed between some of the most eagerly anticipated games on PlayStation 3 (the likes of God of War 3 and Fat Princess), Hustle Kings helped to keep Room 502 packed, showing off the power of the system and impressing gamers, industry veterans and media alike.

Hustle Kings, 2

Still very early in its development, we only showed one of Hustle Kings’ environments and let people play two of the game modes: US 8 ball and 9 ball. Most people chose to play the classic 8 ball game, and almost everyone commented on how beautiful the game was (particularly the lighting and the detail of the reflections in the balls). The part that impressed people the most, however, was how realistically the game plays. We were showing off some of the more advanced shots and techniques – screwing, bending, spinning and chipping the ball – and people were literally staring in amazement, astounded by the realism and eager to have a go and see if they could pull off those shots themselves!

We were really pleased and excited by how positive people’s reaction to the game was, especially as we only showed a very small portion of the game at E3. Much more content, including more game types (Killer, Cutthroat and 14.1 continuous, to name just 3), game modes (Hustle mode and a rather large career mode), other environments, customisation features, a rewards system and plenty more besides will be included in Hustle Kings when it’s released later in the year. Yet, even without all of this content, many people were really getting into it.

Hustle Kings, 1

When the doors closed after the first day at E3, I challenged Simon Livesey, producer on Gravity Crash, to a game of US 8 ball. I expected to win easily, so I was going for the difficult shots and showing off. Before I knew it, I was a long way behind and I stepped up my game and began to take it seriously. Immersed in the game, falling further behind and trying to mount a pride-saving comeback, I hadn’t realised that a large group of producers and developers had gathered behind us… watching me get trounced! On the second day, I was shocked to see that an underground movement of after hours Hustling was developing. Everybody wanted to be in on the action, and I was being approached left, right and centre by people asking for hints and tips, and to practise playing, ahead of a ‘big game’ they had planned for that night!

It really kicked off on the last day, when Heavy Rain producer Scott Johnson and Invizimals producer John McLaughlin went head to head in a high-stakes, big-money match… unfortunately I can’t reveal who won – I’ve been sworn to secrecy; “what happens at E3 stays at E3!” – but I will tell you that, after an intense and closely fought match, it rained pretty heavily for one of them, that night. The Hustle Kings offering at E3 was only a taster of what is still to come. There’s plenty more in store for Hustle Kings, and in the next blog post (and the next trailer) you will get to see the Hustle King Credit reward system and the Hustle online mode. Make sure to stay up to date with the PlayStation.Blog so that you don’t miss anything. Until the next time, I’ll be playing Hustle mode with the guys at VooFoo, fluttering away my hard earned credits.

10 Author replies

Really looking forward to this. I skipped Inferno Pool as I prefer sim type games, and this looks like it will be ideal.



What about Inferno Pool?

This has been out for 3 weeks or so now and is an excellent take on Pool, with classic modes as well!

Robert Karp 26 June, 2009 @ 13:37

There is some HD footage available on the PS Store. You need to go to the E3 icon and you will find it under there. Hope you like it.

Any chance of getting some HD footage of the game in action up on the store. How would you compare it to the billiards game on XBLA. I already own that one, why should I buy this one (please convince me ;-))

I seriously need this.
I bought Inferno Pool, but….
Hard to explain realy, to dirty’d up for my liking.

Need an ETA on this title, please.

Robert, what framerate will the game be running at?

Robert Karp 26 June, 2009 @ 13:39

The code it still very early, so there is a lot of optimisation left to do. There will be more posts in the coming months and once we have the framerate locked down, I’ll be sure to let you know.

The way you hit the Cue ball in ‘Hustle Kings’ will it be with the Right Analog DS3 stick? i.e the harder you move it more the power of the shot etc etc?

The best ever Pool game i thought was ‘Virtual Pool 64’ on the N64 ;) It was so easy to control.

Later in the year :( Really want this NOW :P
Looks amazing it does.

Robert Karp 26 June, 2009 @ 13:39

Hey Carl, We have a few different control methods in there one which will be using the analog stick. Glad you like it. Feedback like that really helps the team’s enthusiasm.

Jack-Bauer-89 25 June, 2009 @ 18:32

Do want!

I’m really looking forward to this game, i believe i read somewhere that there may be some Home rewards associated with the game, can you confirm this Robert and give us any clues as to what they may be, i was really impressed with the video from E3 too

Robert Karp 26 June, 2009 @ 13:40

Thanks. It is great to hear that. Yes there may well be some Home rewards, but I can’t give any clues away, just yet.

TheKonspiracy98 25 June, 2009 @ 19:07

Those screens look amazing, and the game sounds incredible too. Definitely gonna keep an eye (or two) on this one :P


@Liamario There is a trailer for this game in HD under the E3 videos section.


Very nice,didn’t get inferno as it looked acardey,but I like the look of this.Any chance of a character creator?


is there going to be a UK type pool setting or just USA only?

Robert Karp 26 June, 2009 @ 13:41

We are going to most certainly have UK type pool settings. Personally I don’t think you can make a complete Pool game without it. ;)

RadioactiveMouse 25 June, 2009 @ 19:47

Wow that is a really great post. Nice to see a dev studio that hasn’t been featured here before.

Loving the look of the game already from the screenys but is that in game screens?

Hope to challenge you to a game when it comes out….later on this year? (Fall?)

Robert Karp 26 June, 2009 @ 13:41

Thanks for your post Radio Active Mouse.

Yes they are all ingame screens, so as long as you have a HD TV that is exactly what you will be seeing should you decide to purchase it, when it is out later this year…


looking good!

devil_spawn666 25 June, 2009 @ 19:49

will we be able to play snooker as well, or is it pool only?

i need a good snooker game, not wasting my money on wsc real 09.

feedback please

Robert Karp 26 June, 2009 @ 13:42

We will be doing snooker, however it will be as extra downloadable content.

xKillerMonkeyx 25 June, 2009 @ 20:16

Looks great this game.

Looks sexy. As long as it has hot seat multiplayer and some interesting game modes then I’m in.


I’ve read a lot about E3 but haven’t heard about this game. Will this game be a PS3 exclusive? It seems good for playing with the PS3Mote.

Robert Karp 26 June, 2009 @ 13:42

Yes PS3 PSN exculsive. Keep your eyes peeled as there will be more details to come…


I Like the sound and look of this , I like these type of games that are good with a few mates around and a crate of lager each. Good luck , count me in I will buy this.


This is looking really nice. I’m never normally interested in pool or bowling games on PSN, but your descriptions coupled with the lovely screenshots has put it on my radar. If we can get this with a good amount of content and a half decent price, I might just have to buy it. ;)

Looks absolutely gorgeous, so will be a definite but from me. Any chance we’ll see some snooker in the form of DLC?

Robert Karp 26 June, 2009 @ 13:43

Glad to hear it and I am happy to say yes. We will offer some snooker as DLC.


I play Virtual Pool 3 on my pc which is an excellent game with great physics. That game is from the year 2000. If Hustler Kings can top that game, not only with graphics but with gameplay, I can’t wait downloading it.

Need Beta tester ?

i love pool-games so i can’t wait for this release!!
looks great


R.I.P Michael Jackson :(


@Robert: When will we see the first trailer for this game?
And is it a PSN (Or PlayStation 3) exclusive? :)
Kind Regards

@Ollybubs27: Damn he was good for the music we listen now!
R.I.P Michael Jackson

Robert Karp 26 June, 2009 @ 13:43

There is a trailer on the PS Store under the E3 icon, but I’m sure I’ve seen it on a few other websites…
Yes, this is a PSN exclusive.

Komond_Deckard 26 June, 2009 @ 10:16

You HAVE to put the option to use de PSWand (or whatever it’s called the motion capture PS system) in this game. A pool game using a 1:1 caption system must be just great. Hope it includes many other pool variations and a good multiplayer online.

qwertyuiopasdfgh 26 June, 2009 @ 12:28

please allow multiple types of multiplayer:

– online (1 vs 1, 2 vs 2 with friends invites)
– hotseat
– two-player local team going online vs other 2p teams from around the world
– two-player local team vs cpu


devil_spawn666 26 June, 2009 @ 14:27

thanks for the response Robert!

definate buy from me, can’t wait.


@ Robert Karp

You have stolen my avatar!

DLC? = DownLoadable Cues! :D

Thanks for the reply Robert Karp ;) Nice 1. More control types the better i think.

The only other thing is if i play a 2nd player off-line can he/she keep his/hers Stats to. That would be cool ;)
(A bit like Little Big Planet, the other players can join the game with their stats and names)


i think i would probbly only play this if it had motion control. high velocity bowling is my most played psn game. i can’t wait for the ps3 motion controlers.. do you think you will patch in support for those controllers?

Looks very nice, those reflections and shadows are beautiful. Hopefully this game plays as well as it looks.


Nice game, the balls look solid and the motion physics are stunning, a good example is the ball spinning toward the pocket at the end of the video.

This game will be a must have for me, I was considering Inferno Pool but if this game pulls off multi-player online and adds Snooker into the mix as DLC, there’s no competition.


looks brilliant heres a gameplay link

can a dev plse confirm if you can keep the camera angle first person to see how your shot plays out….in video it keeps cutting to another camera view thanks.

by the way looks like its gonna be best pool game since archer mclean series, jimmy white games and pool paradise.

keep up the good work guys


looks nice in the gameplay vid. although it only shows the person’s point of view, it’ll be nice to have a table walk around view to give perspective and how far a ball is away from the cushion, etc. i hope they won’t add the bird’s eye view and stay as real as possible.

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