Codemasters announced this week the release of DiRT Rally, the newest entry in its rally racing series that began life as Colin McRae: DiRT and Colin McRae Rally before that.
The biggest difference this time around is that the game is currently exclusively for PC and releasing into Steam Early Access. The game will launch with 17 cars and 36 courses set across three different environments.
The decision not to put the game on consoles is a surprising move for Codemasters, but it makes sense. Rally racing is popular throughout the world, and PC gaming is a more dominant force in territories outside the U.S. than the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One ever will be. Further, fans of more sim-like games like their racing wheels, and many players will already have PC-compatible wheels ready to go.
The Early Access aspect, on the other hand, is a bit less obvious. The team may be looking for an infusion of cash at this point to continue development. They might also, freed from the bonds of console development, want to get the game into the hands of the most committed fans as early as possible to get the them testing it and finding all the little bugs. It’ll be tough to say until we see how the game comes along.
Despite the game being in Early Access, DiRT Rally already looks solid. It’s currently available on Steam Early Access with no formal release date.