It has certainly been a busy week for racing Journalists, the long awaited new update on iRacing introducing a new circuit the legendary Lotus 49 , new videos for Assetto Corsa, new DLC for Grid 2, the US release of Nascar The Game besides the much awaited announcement of F1 2013. A game which has received a mixed reception and you can read more on that in my recent Huffington Post blog.†
It is always difficult for developers to meet expectation; even then any product needs to be supported by a solid Marketing and PR campaign. Electronic Arts is one such company that has got it down to a tee. †Every year we see a new Fifa and every year it sells whatever the quality of the final release. Sure right now it is finally a critical and commercial success but in years gone past they were often sub-par and with the World Cup editions virtually identical it felt a somewhat cynical approach. But Footie fans will never complain, the game remains largely the same and in all fairness it is 22 guys kicking a ball around a pitch. F1 on the other hand features new cars, drivers, circuits, modes besides general evolution. But yet itís never enough, part of that has been down to the bugs apparent in the previous versions but a bigger part is in consumers feeling like they aren't getting value for money.
Fifa works because the gamers are satisfied in their investment, the sales gimmick works and once you get the hardcore on board they do the rest of the work promoting the title to their friends as a Ďmust haveí. †That starts with the faces of the real players getting the ball rolling whereas the F1 drivers stay largely separate to the F1 game campaign, but overall itís about creating a positive vibe. I canít stress how important this year could be to the F1 franchise and the Classic Edition is a great addition to the package but will it be enough?
Often gamers feel the grass is greener with another publisher at the helm but could EA really do a better job? Their last approach on the franchise didn't fare too well and there are only a handful of publisher that could do the license justice let alone afford it in the first place. Of course the best solution would be for a publisher to license it out to an external developer, thus introducing a whole world of potential talent. †But with the license costs being so high that is unlikely, leaving it down to the same structure we see currently.†
Iíll add more thoughts on this in my coming blogs and †if you havenít seen my recent F1 videos do check them out and Iíll have more F1 2013 content following Gamescom.
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