Still no sign of a new F1 video game

Formula One 2006 PS2

It looks as though Formula 1 fans will have to make do without an official F1 video game again in 2008.

According to Pitpass discussions between Bernie Ecclestone and Sony (previous holders of the F1 franchise) have reached a dead end. Sony previously paid $15m per year for the rights to the game.

Ecclestone’s entire approach to marketing F1 in this way is utterly hopeless and shows how badly out of touch he is with F1’s fan base. Fans have been asking for months when a new F1 game is going to appear.

Giving Sony exclusive rights to the F1 franchise guaranteed that the F1 name was shackled to an inferior product – Sony’s last F1 games in 2005 and 2006 were distinctly underwhelming with little detail or depth.

Worse, only Sony PlayStation owners could play them, locking out millions of Xbox and PC owners.

Let’s get three things straight about an F1 racing game:

First: it has to be available across platforms. What has F1 got to gain from shunning Xbox/PC/Wii owners? Nothing. So you have to question whether Sony are the right people for the job.

Second: it has to be really good – not just the F1 graphics slapped on a basic racing engine, which it was the Sony games felt like. It should be more like Gran Turismo in terms of driving feel – distinctly arcade but with more realistic leanings than, say, Colin McRae.

Third – and most importantly – it has to arrive soon. So Ecclestone, stop quibbling over the pennies and get the franchise sold. F1 is at a point of transition with many of the fans drawn to the sport by Michael Schumacher leaving – in their place will come newer, younger fans following drivers like Lewis Hamilton and Robert Kubica. F1 has to capitalise on that.

In the meantime I’m sticking with the rFactor 1979 F1 season. Bliss.

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36 comments on Still no sign of a new F1 video game

  1. Journeyer said on 16th April 2008, 8:58

    gavd, his spam filter would spit it out just as quickly.

  2. Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 16th April 2008, 9:07

    Yeah it’s a good idea Gavd but Ecclestone’s not big on democracy.

  3. gavd said on 16th April 2008, 9:27

    If it doesn’t work we’ve only wasted the effort of clicking ‘send’.
    back later gotta go to work

  4. Nathan said on 16th April 2008, 9:45

    with all the mods that are out for gtr2 etc, they dont have the same feel as the old grand prix games, doing a season with the mods etc isnt as exciting as the old games were!
    just doesnt have the same feel, those older f1 games dont work on my pc for whateva reason (it prob outdated them) and the ones on sony have an arcade feel to them!
    i agree, bring it to all platforms, same as having clips up on utube! it opens f1 up to a whole new audiance!
    also, with the new stars coming into the sport, driving as hamilton or kubica if ur in poland can bring those new fans to the sport so easily!

  5. I still play Grand Prix 3 occasionally. Good smooth graphics and difficult/realistic enough for me. rFactor isn’t an option because it doesn’t run on my computer (well, the demo doesn’t) and BATRacer just kept malfunctioning. Since I refuse to get a console, the only official F1 game more recent than GP3 is GP4. Still, I suppose that if Bernie doesn’t want the money from a market that’s grown a lot since the Sims phenomenon kicked off, that’s his lookout :(

  6. Sush said on 16th April 2008, 12:21

    Gran Turismo Prologue for the PS3 has the Ferrari F2007 as on of the bonus cars.

    Its a start *shrugs shoulders*

  7. Bowks said on 16th April 2008, 12:29

    Get McLaren to do a conversion from their simulator. With all the time and effort they put into it, they must have enough techies available to do a conversion. Hope they don’t make a MES of it.

  8. Interesting report from Pitpass. Accepted wisdom (could be wrong though) was that EA has bought the license in early 2008 and will produce a game for next year. EA has confirmed it has signed up Lewis Hamilton so I suspect Lewis Hamilton F1 Racing 2009 will be a likely first title.

    Knowing EA games it is likely to be very arcadey in feel. Personally I don’t mind that. I spend enough time reading about F1 on the net so I don’t think my wife would let me get away playing some game for hours. A good blast around Monaco for 20 minutes is all that I want from a game.

    Agreed that we need a game though. Come on bernie

  9. gregoff said on 16th April 2008, 13:38

    I think rFactor is very good game but have couple problems

    1. If you don’t have driver wheel to the PC (Xbox/Playstation etc.) you have no real chance to have good fun.
    2. If you have a w driver wheel the game is too hard to play without the driver aids and the setup is too complicated for normal users.
    3. You have to play online to have some fun but you have no chance to be one of the best beacuse there will be always some others better players. Offline game is very bad and have no good chance to get fun.

    In Grand Prix 3 by Geoff Cramond the game was having all. Good fun for keyboards players and for players with Driver wheels.
    Not that advance setup and very easy to get good setup and win games.

    Great offline play with all tracks and very good oponnents that you was having fun to fight.

    Grand Prix 4 was good but have few problems and had been bot that good like GP3. But i think if Grand Prix 4 was having ONLINE gaming it was the best F1 game of all time.

    Grand Prix 4 + Online and we relly have best game in F1 that i’m sure. Easy but not to easy. With having fun for all family not only for hardcore players.

  10. sChUmAcHeRtHeGrEaTeStEvEr said on 16th April 2008, 14:16

    I WOULD of thought that with the rising poularity in f1 in the uk because of lewis hamilton would have made a new game a dead cert.

    the last games for ps3 was good couple of small details which annoyed me,

    main problem though was the difficulty. iv owned most of the f1 games that have come out on playstation and its always been thye same problem. you can find a level of difficulty eg on Championship edition, medium and you could take pole by 2 seconds or more with no problem, go up a level and you can barley get into q2.

  11. gavd said on 16th April 2008, 18:51

    I would like to see a Championship Manager tyre game for F1. The football game bores me to tears (just like real football) but i could really get into managing an F1 team through season after season.

  12. Shahriar Ahsan said on 16th April 2008, 18:51

    Why dont they make any game for the PC? The PC thingy should also be focused.

  13. Daniel said on 16th April 2008, 19:18

    Gabriel: I don’t know exactly where to find a copy, but I suggest you should search for old computer games ‘renting’ stores, if they still exist… that I recall, when I played, I could easily find updates of the subsequent seasons on the internet… and that was before the P2P ‘revolution’…

  14. Rooster said on 16th April 2008, 21:00

    I agree with db….F1CE on PS3 is a great game.  I got sucked in deep enough to coughed up $200 for the G25 racing wheel.  Force feedback, the wheel’s got paddle shifters, VERY realistic.  Sure, I’d love an updated game but this one is still very challenging.  My biggest gripe is no Spa Francorchamps that season — although it does have Imola which I love. 

    That said, Bernie is an idiot the way he’s handling this…does he not look at the Big Picture at all?

  15. AndyWolf said on 17th April 2008, 12:12

    Well, I did it. Went in the loft & eventually found GP4… Loaded it up & have to say it looks surprisingly good. One of the good things is, I’ve been able to put the detail on max for everything, something I could only dream about 5 years ago!! The random weather is one feature I don’t think has ever been improved on, bloomin’ great…

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