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Did the racing genre's decline lead to the death of Black Rock and Bizzare Creations?

Did the racing genre's decline lead to the death of Black Rock and Bizzare Creations?

January 12, 2012 | By Staff

January 12, 2012 | By Staff
More: Console/PC, Business/Marketing

In Gamasutra's new feature, we investigate how the racing genre has evolved on consoles -- and how triple-A titles like Gran Turismo and Need For Speed dominate the market and squeeze out competition.

"Players seem to want to race in cars that they recognize and possibly dream about driving, which is one reason why the Forza, GT, and Need For Speed franchises do so well. It's not hard to see why if you're a car fan; which would you rather drive -- a completely fictional vehicle that you've never seen before or the latest Ferrari that you've seen on Top Gear?"

So says Andy Hubbard, co-founder of ShortRound Games and former staffer of Black Rock, the Disney-owned racing studio that was shut down after arcade title Split/Second failed to perform with consumers.

"There were some great plans for a sequel to Split/Second but, because it's so hard to make a decent profit on any game nowadays -- let alone one in a genre that's in decline -- it was decided not to proceed with another game. From what I understand, Black Rock's closure was largely due to the racing game genre and, in particular, the arcade aspect of it, being in decline," recalls Hubbard.

"If you look at all the successful racing franchises that are out there now, they've all been around for a very long time and have had many iterations to get them to this stage," he says.

Gamasutra's feature takes a look at the shape of the racing genre -- and how stalwart console racing develoeprs like Eutechnyx (NASCAR The Game 2011) and Slightly Mad (Need For Speed Shift) are moving to releasing PC titles direct to consumers given the low publisher demand for new racing IP as the generation strides forward.

The feature, Why Are Racing Developers Heading to the PC?, is live now on Gamasutra.

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