After spending much of this past weekend with mates watching the V8’s race Bathurst, we discussed the glaring need for a new V8 Supercars game.
In Australia and around the world, V8 supercars is regarded as one of the best racing categories available. There’s millions of fans, of which many are no doubt gamers, pair that with gamers who are into racing titles and we’re talking about a significant potential market. Unfortunately the last version of V8 Supercars is severely out of date and in need of an update. The last version was released years ago on previous generation hardware, this means the graphics were horrible, sub-par audio and no support for new peripherals (i.e. steering wheels).
On the surface this appears to be a massive opportunity to create a game based on a sport that’s constantly evolving each year, with drivers changing teams, new sponsors and colour schemes, new teams, rule changes and new circuits, there’s real potential to create an EA-type of annual franchise.
Ford and Holden fans are amongst the most passionate of any sport, spending up big on merchandise to show their support for their team. Downloadable content for the game could be a huge money spinner for the developers and potentially could filter back to the teams themselves.
There’s a couple of possible implementations, the first would be to licence an existing driving engine, let’s say Forza 2, then build the cars and tracks required for V8’s, if this method reduces production costs and time, then I’m all for it. The second is to build a specific game from the ground up, this would enable developers to more closely reflect the handling characteristics of a V8 Supercar. The third and least desired option (this has been done before), is to simply include V8’s as one of the racing types in a larger racing title. As with any multi-format driving title, they are never as good as a dedicated title. I understand this may be tempting as it may appeal to a wider audience, the offset to that V8 enthusiasts ultimately pay the price as development resources are diverted to spend time on the other forms of racing.
Ultimately this title should take advantage of the HD graphics available today, combine actual real lap times, real driving physics, real tracks, both single and multiplayer modes and while there’s no guarantees in video game development, I find it hard to envisage how this game, and franchise wouldn’t be successful.