If you were looking for games based on the maddest of motor sports, then you only ever had one rally official option: Milestone SRL and Big Ben Interactive’s (teehee) series of WRC games. Now to be fair, the WRC games started out as perfectly alright, but over the years and annual sequels they actually became rather damn good. Favouring a mix of gameplay styles that could cater to purists or players looking for fun with a more forgiving gameplay system, Milestone and Big Ben did a decent job with the official rights to a sport that claims to have over 830 million sets of eyeballs fixed on its dirty action across 150 different markets.
That run is about to come to an end as massive racing game juggernaut Codemasters has signed an exclusive five-year deal to pump out official FIA World Rally Championship games according to Games Industry Biz. In addition to that, the deal will also see the studio handle the esports side of the franchise, with their own series of tournaments.
Codemasters’ deal will run from 2023 until 2027, with games being released on console, mobile and PC platforms. It’s most likely also one of the best partnerships that fans could have hoped for, as the UK studio has made a name for itself with licensed content such as their annual F1 series that has proven to be pretty damn good stuff.
The biq question though, is what does this mean for the Dirt franchise? Codemasters put together a hell of a series with Dirt, balancing the rally genre between purist point to point racing in Dirt Rally and also branching off towards more entertaining automotive acrobatics with the titular Dirt series over the years. Will Dirt give way to WRC? Not likely. “The Dirt Rally team is already working on their next project ahead of the WRC agreement in 2023,” Codemasters said.
The first Codemasters WRC game from the studio will drift in from around March 2024.
Last Updated: June 2, 2020