The British studio has acquired the rights to design the official World Rally video games starting in 2023 when the WRC’s 50th anniversary will be celebrated.
Codemasters’ portfolio of racing video games has only grown in recent years. Since the British studio decided to bet all its cards on this category of titles, there have been several successes. The purchase of Slightly Mad Studios (Project Cars) last winter added muscle and raised some 700 employees.
This Monday, the purchase of the rights to the FIA WRC by Codemasters has resulted in an exclusive five-year agreement. The agreement will be effective, starting from 2023 to 2027.
Thus, the first official WRC video game of this new stage will be released around March 2024. Codemasters will also manage the virtual competitions of the World Rally Championship.
The franchise has been in the hands of BigBen Interactive since 2015 (four games to date). Together with the studio Kyloton, they are developing WRC 9 for the next September 3. This moment is right after launching its predecessor last summer with a complete remodeling of the physics and career mode.
Codemasters will try to follow the successful footprint of their DiRT Rally (successor to the legendary Colin McRae Rally) now with the official licenses of the WRC, WRC 2, WRC 3 and Junior WRC.
“The DiRT Rally team is already working on its next project before the agreement with the WRC from 2023.” They said in an interview. At least, there will be one more sequel to the DiRT Rally 2.0 before jumping into the World Cup game.
The WRC will move in 2022 to introduce hybrid engines in its vehicles, and that will also imply a new challenge for the designers of its video games.
What Codemaster Has Done So Far
Codemasters is known for their driving games. The team has announced the FIA World Rally Championship (WRC) deal for five seasons to develop licensed games – including WRC 2, WRC 3, and Junior WRC Championships categories – from 2023 to 2027.
Codemasters also currently has an F1 license. Although, in rally games, they have opted for the Dirt and Colin McRae Rally sagas. Bigben Interactive and KT Racing, which currently own the rights, are expected to continue developing WRC games until 2023.
This agreement will allow Codemasters to launch official games and hold eSports tournaments based on the WRC license. This is also the first time the company has licensed its games since Colin McRae Rally 3 in 2002 – Colin McRae Rally 04 has replaced vehicles and designs with fictional or other championships.
This year, DIRT 5 by Codemasters has released for current consoles, PC, Xbox Series X, and PS5. It is a new approach different from the previous installments in the series, aimed at more direct and arcade gameplay.
This new installment will emphasize international competition by proposing a trip around the world, with stops in settings as picturesque as New York, Rio de Janeiro, Greece and China