Former Bizzare Creations design manager Gareth Wilson believes the simulation racing genre needs a boost from new hardware to become relevant again.
Wilson, now chief designer of Sonic & Sega All-Stars Racing Transformed at Sumo Digital, told OXM that racing sequels don’t offer enough to make them worthwhile.
“Racing games always do well when a new console comes out, and you do a new physics engine and improved graphics, but towards the end of a console cycle it’s always quite hard to push racing games,” he said.
“Because if you’ve DiRT 1 do you need DiRT 3? If you’ve got Project Gotham Racing 3 do you need Project Gotham Racing 4? I’m not so sure.”
Wilson said that racing, more than other genres, “really relies on technology”. He mentioned winning gasps from journalists when showing off launch Xbox 360 title Project Gotham Racing 3, and said that kind of leap is only possible over generational gaps.
“So with the next hardware we should be able to create features with another level of immersion and quality. There’s stuff we can do with this generation that we couldn’t before, and with the next we can make everything that bit more awesome. Racing games need that,” he said.
Wilson seems to believe racing is foundering a bit, mentioning Blur, Split/Second and Motorstorm as examples of good, solid IPs which just didn’t sell well enough to justify further entires.
Blue was one of Bizzare Creations’ last games before the developer was shuttered in 2011; Activision boss Eric Hirshberg admitted the racing genre’s waning popularity was a factor.