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The Crew has been in development for four years

The Crew was originally conceived of as a current-gen release, but got too big for this generation's boots.

In a new interview with Digital Trends, creative director Julian Gerighty said The Crew has been in the works for quite some time - but not because if development troubles.

"This game started over four years ago. The game hasn’t changed, its just taken that long to get it working and working as well as we want it to be working," he said.

"All of the concepts that we have here are concepts that the team has been working on for the last ten years. The massive open world that’s shared with hundreds of other players? That’s something that the team did for Test Drive Unlimited, which was ahead of its time."

How far ahead of its time? Well, given Ubisoft's new obsession with shared worlds, about one generation. In fact, The Crew has a bit of a lead on its rivals, having begun life as a PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 level title before being moved over to next-gen when the project outgrew the hardware.

"It happened about a year and a half ago, where we realized we can push this a little bit further, we can push the personalization of the world, the non-procedural nature of the world, a little bit further if we do it on Xbox One and PS4," Gerighty said.

"So our Miami is radically different from our New York, which is normal but it takes a lot of work to get it to that level of quality. And that’s only possible on this next-generation."

Ubisoft managed to keep The Crew secret until May, which is a pretty decent effort; the racer was formally announced at E3 2013.

It boasts over 10,000 km of road and no player limit. Expect The Crew on PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One in Q1 2014.

Thanks, Superannuation.

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