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Publishers bid for next-gen Touring Cars licence

Latest addition to the rally pantheon could be a major rival to WRC and Toca.

A major new rally franchise is en route to next-gen consoles, with insider reports revealing that three major publishers - including SCEE - are currently bidding for the rights to the World Touring Car Championship.

The WTCC is a new championship, having formerly been a European-only championship, and includes manufacturers from around the globe such as Alfa Romeo, BMW, Chevrolet, Ford, Seat, Honda, Peugeot and Brilliance.

SCEE, which as the publisher of the World Rally Championship series is no stranger to the genre, is believed to be one of the leading bidders to publish games based on the new championship - and all three bidders are rumoured to have their sights set on next-gen platforms if they're successful in picking up the license.

A major element of the deal on offer is that the firms behind the WTCC - including broadcaster Eurosport - are reported to be offering a large media presence to support the game, which is seen as a key part of the overall WTCC "package".

Arriving as it would early in the lifespan of the next-gen consoles, WTCC certainly has the potential to be a major new series - especially if it hooks in the obvious potential for some of the advanced online features which will become possible on those systems.

Our source speculated that given the long-running nature of the WTCC schedule, it could be possible for features to be added such as the ability to race against ghost cars of the real drivers, downloading precise specifications and tuning details for cars that take part in the races and generally keeping the game "in sync" with real events in the championship.