News has emerged today that a new license has been agreed with Motorsport Games to develop a game based on the British Touring Car Championship. Following various rumours over the past few months, today the official announcement outlines a release date of 2022, a year in which the sport will see a switch to hybrid engines. The game is being developed by the team at Motorsport Games for next gen consoles, as well as PC, and said to be using ‘market leading technology’, whether this is in-house or using an established tool remains to be seen.
Alan Gow, BTCC Chief Executive, said: “Finally, I’m proud to say that the huge demand from the BTCC and TOCA game fans is being answered. Just like the original BTCC/TOCA game, this will be a dedicated BTCC game featuring all the cars, all the teams, all the drivers and all the circuits – not merely some elements partially incorporated into an existing game.” Alan continued, “It is hugely important to me, our teams, drivers and fans that any new BTCC game reflected exactly what everyone loves about our championship, the incredibly close non-stop action, intense competition and great enjoyment. I’ve no doubt that Motorsport Games will deliver exactly that.”
Stephen Hood, President of Motorsport Games, commented: “This partnership is a clear signal of the enormous trust that the BTCC has placed in Motorsport Games. Our team demonstrated real enthusiasm for the project from day one, and our ambitions were immediately aligned. The opportunity is clear for all to see and we look forward to deploying the significant and proven capabilities of our esports, game development and media teams to return this series back to the forefront of gaming.”
Some of the most interesting news, Paul Coleman will be leading the project, many of you will know him from his previous role at Codemasters as Game Director of the Dirt and Dirt Rally franchises. Now, as Motorsport Games’ Creative Director; Paul Coleman, said: “There is a clear demand and appetite for a new touring car game, and we are delighted that we are going to make that a reality. Many of the staff in our studio have fond memories of the TOCA game series and my first job in the games industry was actually working on TOCA Race Driver 2 as a QA Tester. We have some exciting plans that we cannot wait to reveal.”
The Codemasters BTCC titles are a fan favourite and it’s great to see the brand return. Whether it will be viable in this day and age remains to be seen, BTCC was a huge sport along with Rally back in the 90’s. However, both sports have seen considerable upheaval and big drops in UK viewing numbers. Rally can at least rely on European figures, whereas the BTCC which resides on ITV 4 will rise and fall based on its own avid fanbase.
The game too will be need to capture that old magic with the modern formula. The potential is there and with developers given the power of the next gen consoles, our excitement for this potential will continue to build. With a great team backed up with the experience of Stephen Hood and Paul Coleman, there is no reason why those lofty ambitions cannot be accomplished. More news when we have it.