Black Rock Studios says racing genre is “dying”, Split/Second will save it

Wednesday, 22nd April 2009 15:45 GMT By Stephany Nunneley

splitsecondaBlack Rock Studios’ Tony Beckwith has told Develop that the racing genre is “dying out” and the firm’s new title Split/Second will save it.

“If you look at the sales figures, the racing genre is, in many respects, dying out,” said Beckwith. “Take Mario Kart out of the equation and the genre is in a dire way.”

“We’re all fans of street racing here, but as a genre it is relatively stale – the evolution is only coming from how customize cars, which can only serve to remove you from the action. I think Split/Second will do the opposite.”

Made by the same folks who developed Pure, Split/Second enables players to strategically take out their opponents by altering the course in real time.

It’s slated for a 2010 release for PC, PS3 and Xbox 360.

More through the links.

Thanks, DarkZero.



  1. Blerk

    Er.. Burnout says hi!

    #1 6 years ago
  2. Psychotext

    Didn’t exactly set the world on fire with regards to sales though.

    That said, even if you do take Mario Kart out of the equation there’s still Gran Turismo and Forza which sell well.

    #2 6 years ago

    I’m still waiting for TDU 2.

    #3 6 years ago
  4. Blerk

    But surely Burnout is Split/Second’s nearest similar competitor?

    And there’s not a snowball’s chance in hell it’ll outsell that, never mind Mario Kart. Mario Kart’s on another planet.

    #4 6 years ago
  5. Michael O'Connor

    “Didn’t exactly set the world on fire with regards to sales though.”

    You’re kidding, right? In the first few weeks alone, it sold nearly a million copies. That was over a year ago, and the game continues to get spikes of interest when new content is released. Not to mention the recent box set, which probably shifted a few hundred thousand copies at least.

    I’d easily estimate sales of the game have hit nearly 2 million, at the least.

    #5 6 years ago

    Arguably, and IMO, Midnight Club LA is the current king of street racers.

    #6 6 years ago
  7. DrDamn

    Picked up Burnout Paradise Ultimate Box for £16 – and got Trivial Pursuit bundled with it (360) … Bargain!

    #7 6 years ago
  8. Cort

    Burnout: Paradise has done over 2m (without counting PSN sales) and it has legs too.

    #8 6 years ago
  9. Harry

    There are hardly any good racers around to tempt us with our cash, that’s the real problem.

    The last NFS was rubbish. RACE Pro wasn’t quite good enough.

    We haven’t had anything from Bizarre or Turn 10 for ages, you can wait a lifetime for Polyphony to release anything.

    The genre isn’t dying in terms of sales, we’re just not given anything to buy.

    #9 6 years ago
  10. ecu

    What are you guys disagreeing with? He’s pretty much right. The racing genre isn’t in a great way at the moment, apart from Mario Kart (which he acknowledged, and never said Split/Second would outsell it).

    In fact, he never said Split/Second would outsell anything, he simply highlighted how it would be different to other racing games.

    #10 6 years ago
  11. Blerk

    Well, he said they would ‘save’ the genre. Which sort of suggests that they think they’re going to outperform all the existing players by some distance. Otherwise they wouldn’t be saving it, would they?

    #11 6 years ago
  12. tenthousandgothsonacid

    He goes on to say ” “If you look at screenshots of racing games, they all kind of look the same. [The minimal HUD is] another example of how we’re trying something different”

    Do you think he covers his ears and eyes and goes “lalalalala” every time someone even mentions Burnout Paradise ?

    #12 6 years ago
  13. Psychotext

    Where are these Burnout Paradise sales numbers coming from?

    Last I saw it was at 1m between the PS3 and 360 about three months after it launched. Solid sales, but not what I’d consider setting the world on fire for a multiplatform title.

    #13 6 years ago
  14. ecu

    No, I’m sure Burnout Paradise is a huge influence to them, and I’m sure he would admit that, too.

    Blerk, he never said it would save the genre. That was added in by Stephany here by the looks of it. If you read the feature he’s just being optimistic about his game. This is how journalism works though, you quote out of context to make someone sound like they’re being more vehement than they actually are. They way you guys are talking, you’re making it sound like he came out and said Burnout was shit and they’d crush every other game around. He said nothing of the sort.

    #14 6 years ago
  15. Shatner

    EA’s Need For Speed games were often the Xmas number 1 game. It got to a point that it had happened so often that it was regarded as a foregone conclusion.

    The guy specifically mentioned software sales, but I don’t think there’s much merit to his claims. He was wise to make a special exception for Mario Kart though, those Nintendo devotees would have slaughtered him if he’d implicated a Nintendo IP in his statement!

    #15 6 years ago
  16. Gamoc

    Don’t forget GRID!

    #16 6 years ago
  17. theevilaires


    the FIGHTING GENRE was DYING…until SF4


    the CASUAL GENRE was DYING…until the Wii

    Now its the RACING GENRE?…until Black Rock Studios saves the day?….HEY BLACK ROCK….STFU you stupid mother fucking,dumb ass,pussy lipped cock sucking,shit heads!!!!!!!!! You’re not saving shit because the Racing Genre was never on the ropes. You will be lucky if your game does a fraction of what elite racing titles like Burnout and GT5 have. As a matter of fact I have a feeling the only thing thats going to be dying is your studio after thousands and thousands of copies are pirated…I’m psychic!

    #17 6 years ago
  18. phatb0y

    Burnout, GT-P, Midnight Club, Wipeout, Mario Kart, GRID, Ridge Racer, Motorstorm, PGR etc.

    Yeah, that genre is well and truly fucked.

    What we need is racing with a gimmick. I know…


    Why did nobody think of that before?

    #18 6 years ago
  19. Michael O'Connor

    “What we need is racing with a gimmick. I now…


    Why did nobody think of that before?”

    SEGA tried that.

    It flopped. Massively.

    #19 6 years ago
  20. ElfShotTheFood

    Reminds me of Stuntman: Ignition.

    #20 6 years ago
  21. Syrok

    There is a distinct lack of proper rally games, though.

    I wish the guys who made the WRC titles could work on a new one, instead of Motorstorm.

    #21 6 years ago

    Reminds me of Stuntman: Ignition.

    I was playing that the other day. Outside of the game engine, it’s really well presented.

    I was surprised.

    #22 6 years ago
  23. Harry

    I agree Syrok. Motorstorm seems a real waste of talent when you consider how much better the WRC games were. But we’re in the world of lowest common denominator publishing now – so don’t hold out any hope.

    #23 6 years ago
  24. ecu

    Split/Second actually looks really good though, and the previews have suggested it will be.

    #24 6 years ago
  25. Hakkiz

    Syrok: WRC games will hardly be revived until the WRC series revives itself. However, I think Richard Burns Rally is still a very, very compelling game in that genre if you have a decent computer to play it on. Just add some mods like HDR-like bloom and current season and it’s almost like a new game. :)

    #25 6 years ago
  26. mightyhokie

    I loved dIrt and, of course, Burnout.

    #26 6 years ago
  27. OrphanageExplosion

    As I understand it, there are few ex-Burnout coders working at Black Rock now. But kudos to BR for the Pure engine, which is absolutely fantastic. I’m guessing it’s too much to hope that Split/Second is 60 frames per second.

    #27 6 years ago
  28. ashers2ashers

    That deal is amazing!
    I really did love Burnout 3 and revenge and have long thought about getting Paradise, when the ultimate box came out – and relatively cheap too – I knew I’d get it some day, maybe preowned. But that is a good price, let alone with another game too!

    Admittedly it’s ‘only’ trivial pursuit, but I enjoy a bit of general knowledge and is another game you can play with everyone in the family.

    So I’m definitely getting that when I have sufficient funds. :P

    #28 6 years ago

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