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Codemasters CEO Comments on F1 Franchise
Community News | F1 2010 | By Paul on 22 November 2009 00:00

Codemasters CEO Rod Cousens took part in an interview with industry website GamesIndustry.biz and comments on the Formula 1 franchise:

Q: The Formula 1 title recently placed in the top ten - just behind Assassin's Creed II - for Eurogamer readers' most wanted November releases. But the license has had a troubled time in the past few years, and really fizzled out - is some of the renewed interest down to a good season in real life, and will that help sales?

Rod Cousens: Obviously, that helps. I think there's a number of factors - if you look at what's gone on in Formula 1 there's been some interesting activity. Just first of all, let's take the shift in broadcaster to the BBC, and the position of Formula 1 within that where they've tried to broaden the audience to a younger range - even down to the presenter of the show itself, the whole marketing of it, and so on. You have to give credit where credit is due, and the BBC has done a tremendous job.

The second is the market expansion - this past weekend was the Abu Dhabi grand prix, they're going into areas now where if you look at the future potential of it (and don't forget this is the second largest sport behind football/soccer) and some of the more emerging markets - whether it's India, China, the Middle East and so on - there's a lot of groundwork going on behind the scenes to broaden the sport itself. That can benefit us, then if you go back to Codemasters and the game itself, what we're not prepared to do and what we will not do as a company is more of the same. When you have a series of games... and the one thing that slightly troubles me in the market today is if we as an industry do not continue to innovate in games, we will turn off our consumer.

While there may be a view that you can't publish new IP with any great success, I don't buy off on that. If all you're going to do is more of the same, then we'll face all the hurdles and obstacles that the music and movie businesses have faced before. If we don't learn from that, then shame on us.

So - what we want to do with Formula 1, a) it's not on a single format, b) we're not prepared to compromise, because we've gone out this year on just the Wii and PlayStation Portable because we didn't feel we could do justice to the capabilities of next-gen formats in that time frame.

The quality of the Wii game is going to be great, and equally, the quality of the subsequent releases on PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and PC next year will also be great. So it's multi-format, and it's an experience - there will be a lot more in the game itself, the experience of racing, the whole pit scene... and the sexiness that goes with Formula 1 - it's rock 'n' roll in may ways. It is literally 'live the life'.

You look at the drivers, Hamilton, Button - they're great for the UK - but you look at up-and-coming drivers like Vettel and Alonso... these guys are rock stars in their own countries, so the game itself is going to be everything you'd expect from us in terms of a racing experience, but in terms of Formula 1 the event, it's also going to put that out there too.

And we'll continue to expand that through each rendition, which is why we don't believe we're going to have jaded consumers which then turn off of the category.
You can read more of the interview here. Don't forget to check out our F1 2010 game profile, or to follow us on Twitter!


When the CEO of the company creating the 'next generation' of Formula One games calls Fernando Alonso an "up and coming driver," it gives me reason to doubt the quality of such game. – Matt 15-Jan-2010
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