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Codemasters announces new F1 game

Free-to-play game coming early next year.

Codemasters has announced a new F1 game, a free-to-play title that blends team management with driving action that's scheduled for release early next year.

F1 Online: The Game is a browser game that's being developed at Codemasters Studios, and it allows players to create their own team, designing the livery and managing the commercial side while overlooking research and development.

It'll also allow players to race, utilizing a top-down view that repurposes some of the assets from Codemasters' mainline F1 game and dials them down. F1 Online: The Game will be using the Unity engine for a browser-based experience.

"As the worldwide gaming market evolves, 2012 is the perfect time to extend this series to the free-to-play market,” said Codemasters' online VP David Solari.

Codemasters has explored F1 in various ways since it picked up the license from Sony in 2008. 2009 saw the release of a Wii and PSP game, while the Xbox 360, PC and PS3 had to wait a further year to get their own take on the sport. Two stripped down iPhone games have also been delivered in that time.

F1 2010, the full-blooded home console version, was well received, and its successor is shaping up for a release on September 23, with PS Vita and 3DS versions expected to follow.