Nascar the game 2011 will go Unreleased in UK

Eutechnyx looking into region-free release of NASCAR 2011 in the UK

Thanks activision…. Good thing I was just able to snag a cheap copy of EA’s last attempt at the license, NASCAR 09 to quench my thirst for the sport for the time being. The game is actually not bad, especially considering what I paid for it.

However, that doesn’t stop me being fed up at this news. There are multiple reasons this is happening. The first is that Activision aren’t willing to take any risks whatsoever, even on a small scale release. EA sold Nascar games in the UK, not to mention Madden NFL. Baseball games don’t come out here which is another travesty but that’s a topic for another day.

The second reason in my opinion is that because Brits are generally so hostile towards Nascar in mocking it’s supposed simplicity that only the most hardcore of fans will want to try it. It’s a great shame that people want to ruin it for the rest of us who appreciate all forms of racing, including the predominantly oval variety. Admittedly, I was one of the doubters at one time but when you grow up you realise that you are brainwashed into a certain way of thinking due to the culture.

The third and final reason I can think of that would cause Activision to not release the game here is because Gran Turismo 5 features Nascar, albeit to a fairly limited degree. You get only two tracks, even if they are the two most famous tracks. You also have access to pretty much all of the top drivers you could want.

Because fans here are very sceptical of the sport, they may not see the value in a standalone game as they don’t understand that the season takes place on many different tracks of varying shape and length. I agree to a point, but just from playing the 3 year old Nascar 09 I can clearly see the benefits a full game brings. An in-depth career mode, customisation and many more cars on the track at one time. You also have access to all of the Nascar divisions and can work your way up the ranks.

Apparently Eutechnyx, the ironically UK based developer working on the game are said to be thinking about a small scale distribution themselves if demand is high enough. They will also be making the game region-free so that UK Nascar fans will be able to import the title from the states. It’s not an ideal situation, but at least there will be some a way to play it if all else fails. This is all providing that the game is good and worth playing, which I really hope it is.


Bizarre Creations closed by Activision

Bizarre Creations Logo
Image via Wikipedia

This is a pretty sad story for the videogame industry. Bizarre Creations used to be an independent company which has developed a number of great and popular games, especially in the racing genre over many years. Their first major game was the Formula 1 game in 1996. Psygnosis put great faith in a very small and unproven team by giving them a huge license to deal with. It was a great success and was the highest selling game in Europe in 1996.

Since then, they’ve been known for the Metropolis Street Racer game and the unofficial follow ups called Project Gotham Racing, which were all for Xbox consoles. All were popular and did well commercially. There were 4 titles in that series.

One series that is still a fan favourite, especially with early Xbox 360 adopters is Geometry Wars. It first appeared on the 360 at or near after launch and due to the lack of great retail launch games, it was played extensively during that launch period. It spawned a sequal which was also well received as well as multiple spin-offs for Nintendo consoles Wii and DS as well as iOS devices.

After their buyout by Activision, which severed their ties to the PGR series and Microsoft Game Studios, things went downhill. Although Geometry Wars was still popular, it didn’t do as well on other platforms as it had on Xbox live arcade and Blur wasn’t a great success. The game looked great and was unique in that it took elements of PGR, Mario Kart and WipeOut style weapons systems and brought them all together. Unfortunately it didn’t sell as well as hoped and presumably this is what has led to Activision wanting to close the studio.

Obviously it’s easy to look back now and say that they should have stayed independent and taken less risks, but I suppose staying independant of a huge publisher such as Activision could also be seen as a risk in itself. I wish the guys from the studio the best of luck whatever happens and I hope they reform under a new name to continue to innovate in the industry. They have a pretty terrible name and logo anyway so it’s a nice chance for a new start.