When Black Rock and Bizarre Creations shut down in 2011 on the back of dismal sales for Split/Second and Blur, a lot of us forecast doom and gloom for arcade racing. Two years later, though, there are still plenty of developers trying to make it work. EA still has the Need for Speed, even spinning up a studio in Gothenburg to focus on it, while Bugbear Entertainment has just announced a new racing game due out in early 2014.
One of the more interesting examples is The Crew, developed by former Eden Games staff at Ivory Tower with a bit of help from Driver outfit Reflections. An open-world racer where you sprint across the United States and complete missions with friends or people you meet on the road, it hopes to build on the promise of games like Test Drive Unlimited when it launches early next year on PC, PS4 and Xbox One.
Speaking to Eurogamer at Gamescom, creative director Julian Garrity elaborated on how the open-world concept would work - The Crew's USA is a curated selection of the best urban and rural road networks - and how players can come together, customise their experience and take on missions. We're still gutted that we're not playing Project Gotham Racing 5 in 2013, then, but it's clear that there is still good work going on in arcade racing, and if The Crew takes off, who knows what the future might hold for this once-proud, once-doomed genre? Check out Ian Higton's interview with Garrity below and see what you make of it.