Ubisoft grabs SBK and WRC games

Two-wheel racing Honda ascendancy?

Italian-made motorbike and rally racing games SBK and WRC will now be distributed in the UK by Ubisoft.

Tradewest, the publisher formed from Midway's ashes, was previously responsible for SBK and WRC in the UK.

It's a high-profile boost for Milanese developer Milestone, which makes both the SBK and WRC games.

Are these the first tentative steps for Ubisoft towards offering a racing portfolio?

Specifically, the Ubisoft deal covers games released by Italian publisher Black Bean, for whom SBK and WRC are the star players. But Black Bean did also publish Get Fit with Mel B and a range of National Geographic games, so fingers crossed.

WRC FIA World Rally Championship, a realistic take on the off-road racing world, was released last October on PC, PS3 and Xbox 360. What did Eurogamer think? 7/10 - WRC is a series with great potential.

Eurogamer's WRC FIA World Rally Championship reviewer Joao Diniz Sanches wrote: It may let down the sport it depicts with an overall deficiency in polish, general lack of cohesiveness and a few silly design flaws, but a little more time spent in the service area fine-tuning its various elements and next year's edition could be spraying the bubbly while standing on the bonnet of its achievement."

SBK 2011 wheelies onto shelves in May. Actual motorbike owner Matt Edwards took a look for Eurogamer earlier this year. "After the success of SBK X there was a risk that SBK 2011 could turn out be a lazy update," he wrote, "but based on this evidence, Milestone are crafting a sequel which aims to be a more realistic racing simulation and a more gratifying arcade racer."

Behind the scenes of SBK 2011.

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