“We took a good, hard look at it, but there just isn’t enough hardware out there to justify the cost of development,” said Martin. NASCAR 14 won’t be on next-gen machines.
One surprising culprit in the decision was Sony’s Gran Turismo: “The nail in the coffin was when a guy from Sony talked about Gran Turismo, and how their new game was launching on PS3. He said something like, ‘Why would we put Gran Turismo on a console that has zero units in the market when there are 150 million PlayStation 3s out there?’”
One interesting change behind the scenes of NASCAR was in publisher. While Eutechnyx has developed the game for years, NASCAR had been published by Activision until very recently. This year, though, Deep Silver is handling the publishing. Martin cited development and licensing costs as part of the decision, and I wonder how much of a role the publisher had in the equation. Having the backing of the biggest publisher in the world certainly changes priorities, so did a shift to a smaller one limit the developer, or did it free them up to develop where they wanted to?
Martin said that the company definitely plans to put NASCAR games on Xbox One and PlayStation 4 eventually, but “it won’t be later this year,” he said.
While the game is staying on current generation consoles, Eutechnyx isn’t twiddling its thumbs and cranking out another release, either. Online leagues of up to 16 players are coming to the game for the first time, something fans have been organizing offline for years. Multiplayer matching is improved, as is the artificial intelligence running the offline races.
If you like turning left, you’ll have to do it on the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 this year.