Racing games 'need next-gen' to save genre

Racing games 'need next-gen' to save genre
Craig Chapple

By Craig Chapple

May 1st 2012 at 12:05PM

Blur, Split/Second and Motorstorm 'are too niche for the modern market', says Sumo's Gareth Wilson

Racing games need a new generation of consoles to be successful again, Sumo Digital’s chief designer has claimed.

Speaking to Oxm, Gareth Wilson said that it was difficult to push racing games at the end of a console cycle as they needed new technology to improve titles and entice new customers.

"We need a new console," said Wilson. "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, I think, because if you've Dirt 1 do you need Dirt 3? If you've got Project Gotham Racing 3, do you need PGR4? I'm not so sure. It really relies on technology, the racing genre. Maybe more than other genres.”

Wilson highlighted the example of PGR3, and claimed that elements such as a fully modelled Ferrari dashboard were impossible to do on previous hardware, and gives a sense of what could be done on the next generation of consoles.

“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."

Wilson also said that the market had changed over the last few years, and highlighted Bizarre Creation’s demise, and racing titles such as Blur as examples of shifting industry trends.

"The problem with Blur, Split/Second or Motorstorm is they're probably just a bit too niche for the modern market,” he said.

“They'd probably do great as downloadable titles but the market just isn't there any more.”