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Codemasters Receives Exclusive Formula One Rights

timothy posted more than 6 years ago | from the formulas-nine-through-twelve-still-available dept.

Emulation (Games) 48

bigmouth_strikes writes "A few weeks ago it was announced that British game developers Codemasters have received the exclusive right to develop and publish video games using the "Formula One" brand name. This was after Sony and Formula One Management didn't renew their contract that have made the Playstation platform the only choice for gamers wanting "official" games since 2003. The earlier Sony exclusive right and decision to only release for the Playstation platform has led to active fan-created content for various racing simulation engines, such as rFactor for the PC. The official Formula One website has a brief interview/promo piece with Codemasters CEO Rod Cousens about their hopes and intentions for the game and platforms — which will include Xbox 360 and Wii. The company is targeting an initial release in 2009."

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Too bad... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23645253)

Too bad they only want exclusive rights so they can have a kickass sounding game cheat code product.

ah well (2)

pure_chownage (1297733) | more than 6 years ago | (#23645389)

Always got "Phormula 1". Wonder if you could get away with that?

Re:ah well (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23645565)

Why not Formula 42?

Re:ah well (5, Funny)

master5o1 (1068594) | more than 6 years ago | (#23645727)

Formula x^0
Formula -i^2
Formula floor(sqrt(2))

Re:ah well (1)

Karl0Erik (1138443) | more than 6 years ago | (#23649083)

Formula x^0 Who would want to play a game called "Formula One (except if x=0)"?

Re:ah well (1)

master5o1 (1068594) | more than 6 years ago | (#23649219)

Oh there is also `Formula 0.999recurring`

Re:ah well (1)

ijakings (982830) | more than 6 years ago | (#23649285)

Formula [Abs(x)+1]^0?

Re:ah well (2, Funny)

mobby_6kl (668092) | more than 6 years ago | (#23658155)

At least we know what the xbox port will be called:

Formula cos(360)

Re:ah well (1)

master5o1 (1068594) | more than 6 years ago | (#23660791)

Wii: Formula -wii OR Forumla -wi^2

PC (1)

caitsith01 (606117) | more than 6 years ago | (#23645589)

For God's sake make a decent GP sim for PC. Grand Prix 5, to be precise.

Formula One lends itself to precisely the type of things that PCs are great at - high resolution graphics, precise control, and accurate physical modelling.

I am yet to play an F1 game on console that didn't feel like an arcade game.

Re:PC (1)

HomerJ (11142) | more than 6 years ago | (#23646021)

If you want a good F1 sim, you can get the MMG F1 mod for rFactor. For online racing, it's as good as it gets, and maybe better than what Codemasters will put out.

But like most things rFactor, offline racing is so-so. Offline racing isn't something modders usually concentrate on for mods, although rFactor itself CAN work well offline. That's one thing I don't think anything outside GP4 has brought to the table in recent years--good offline racing.

Re:PC (1)

caitsith01 (606117) | more than 6 years ago | (#23646471)

I tried rFactor - I don't have a full wheel/pedals set up, and I found it virtually unplayable with keyboard. One of the excellent things about the Geoff Crammond games is that they always did a great job of making the game playable with the keyboard.

Re:PC (2, Funny)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 6 years ago | (#23646793)

First you tell us you want a driving sim with precise control, and then you tell us you want to use a keyboard? Make up your mind. Couldn't you just get a Wiimote, and use that for a steering wheel. Works great for MarioKart.

Re:PC (1)

caitsith01 (606117) | more than 6 years ago | (#23647717)

You've clearly never played any of the previous Crammond GP games on a PC. The level of control is far, far better than you would get with anything other than a wheel (or a Wiimote, I guess, I haven't played Mario Kart).

PS - Anthropic principle = misstatement of cause and effect

Re:PC (1)

KDR_11k (778916) | more than 6 years ago | (#23648129)

Anthropic principle: P(A|!B)=0 => P(B|A)=1

Re:PC (2, Interesting)

Goldberg's Pants (139800) | more than 6 years ago | (#23648177)

Crammond's controls were always sublime. I loved F1GP and GP2. GP3 was okay... GP4 was horrid. Looked awesome but everyone I know had some sort of issue with the game, from it not working at all, to not playing nice with their wheel, crashing for no apparent reason etc... rFactor and GTR2 are my drug of choice right now. Still play GPL and NR2003 from time to time. Not a fan of NASCAR, but racing Daytona in NR2003 is an awesome experience.

Codemasters getting the F1 license is a disaster if you're a sim junkie. They may as well have no bothered giving it to anyone. You KNOW the people who made the decision have NO idea what sort of games they actually produce. Codemasters wouldn't know a decent race sim if it came and punched them in the face. They should stick to pissing away their time filing cease and desists against people sharing their stupid 8-bit Dizzy games. Seriously, Codemasters last decent race game was Colin McRae 2, and that was no sim.

A friend and I were talking about this today and he said he's going to post on their forums and demand a true sim like many others are doing, just so when they don't listen and deliver their usual arcadey crap he can say he did something. I said I wasn't going to bother, simply because when Codemasters release their title, we'll be in the same boat we are now. Still waiting for a decent F1 sim on the PC.

Said friend picked up "GRID" this weekend, Codies latest race game. He figured he'd give them a chance with this F1 news. "A blend of arcade and sim" is how the game is billed. When he was able to drive around in a Formula 1000 car at Spa using only his gears to slow down, never once touching the brakes, and still win the race... Well that right there, my friends, is all you need to know about Codemasters ability to write a decent racing game.

Anyone giving them the benefit of the doubt is clearly either naive, or has never played any of their titles. Having played pretty much every racing game Codemasters have made since the late 90's... Satan will be going to work in a snowplow before Codemasters make a decent sim. They just can't do it. End of story.

Re:PC (1)

iainl (136759) | more than 6 years ago | (#23649171)

1) How many driving aids did he turn off? My run through the GRID demo didn't seem too bad once I removed all that stuff. But that was in the Mustang, and I was somewhat too excited by the instinctively violent reaction of the internal view to bullying tactics to notice too much.

2) Have you actually played Sony's F1 games? They weren't any better. The PS3 one was very pretty, but the handling was just diabolical.

Re:PC (1)

Goldberg's Pants (139800) | more than 6 years ago | (#23657341)

To answer your question:

1) The mere suggestion that my friend was using driving aids would get you punched rather hard by him. Even back when we were using keyboards to control Crammond's games, he turned them all OFF! He never uses driving aids.

2) No, I've never played Sony's F1 games, because they never released them in the US market when they had exclusivity. I've heard they were fairly dire though. Not sure how this is relevant to a discussion on PC F1 games though.

Re:PC (1)

iainl (136759) | more than 6 years ago | (#23665271)

Ahh, that's ok then.

Re: the second point, it's relevant because even an F1 game with current Codies handling will be a massive improvement on what we've had recently. No, I don't expect it to satisfy the rFactor addicts, but Sony Liverpool really should have stuck to the excellent job they do on the wipEout series.

Re:PC (1)

Phydaux (1135819) | more than 6 years ago | (#23649871)

The level of control is much better with games like Crammond's GP games than with "sims" because it is not a simulation, or precise control. If you tried to control an actual high-speed car with digital controls that meant you were either full lock or straight ahead, or full throttle or no throttle you would spin the car every time you tried to change direction, and most of the time you tried to accelerate or brake.

Crammond's games (and pretty much every single racing game I've played) use poetic licence, things like unrealistically low centre of gravity on the cars, and friction models that aren't so sensitive to the extremes you get with keyboard controls.

The next big problem with a proper sim, is that (generally) you and all the people you play with are not professional drivers. Putting a bunch of amateur drivers in high-performance cars is asking for trouble. In an F1 car they would probably destroy the engine before they got the car to move. It would be no fun in a F1 game having to spend weeks/months learning how to drive.

Re:PC (1)

somersault (912633) | more than 6 years ago | (#23651703)

So true. I had a go in GT5: Prologue recently and think it does have pretty realistic handling when you set it to simulation, it's noticably less grippy at least. I set all the driving aids off (well I had traction control on something like setting 2/10) and my driving physics to 'simulation', then raced against a girl who hardly ever plays computer games (she was using arcade handling, ESP, traction control automatic gears, the lot..), then we both raced a couple of NSXs for a couple of laps, I only just managed to scrape ahead of her near the end of the second lap once I stopped locking up the brakes all the time and slowing down enough for the corners. We were only using sixaxis controllers rather than wheels, otherwise I would have been able to control it a bit better. I had been playing it a bit with a wheel for a couple of hours, before loaning it to a friend and that's where we tried out the 2 player. It's obviously a lot easier to use the wheel rather than the controller in sim mode without the driving aids, because you need to be a lot more delicate with your inputs. So GT5 seems like it's going to be pretty accurate in sim mode at least, Gran Turismo has always prided itself on being 'the real driving simulator'. I can't comment on the quality of race opponents though. I always used to just mod my car to hell and finish way ahead of everyone else with the first couple of games :p

Re:PC (1)

somersault (912633) | more than 6 years ago | (#23651309)

But being able to use buttons to control a game is much more likely to mean that it has 'arcadey' physics, since any sudden braking, steering or accelerating is a poor idea in a race car if you want to keep good traction, and prolong the life of your tyres. If you were serious about your racing then you would have a wheel (I've got a G25 but I haven't got anywhere decent to mount it yet :/ ). To suggest that you'd get more control from a keyboard than from a PS3 controller is just a joke. You get full analog control of the wheels, brakes and accelerator with a Sixaxis controller. I have happily used the keyboard for input for a few racing games over the years, but I definitely wouldn't say that it gives the most precise control.

Re:PC (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23646823)

I got a G25 and purchased LFS S2 a few weeks ago. Frickin unbelievable. Never had a car sim before - it is difficult but fun. FZ50 GTR is my fav car, and I'm just learning to drive on the short Fern Bay club track.

I've tried to play rFactor, but it's too resource intensive for my integrated graphics. Once the new ATI 4850 comes out, I'll be giving it a try, but it'll be hard to beat LFS.

Re:PC (1)

The Warlock (701535) | more than 6 years ago | (#23646697)

Well, console devs have managed to get Le Mans-style racing games to feel realistic instead of arcadey (namely, Forza Motorsport and Gran Turismo), so I'm not too worried about the choice of platform in particular.

Rights (2, Interesting)

Fifth Earth (1172333) | more than 6 years ago | (#23645613)

Interestingly, this seems to only apply to the "Formula 1" brand itself, so other games can certainly include F1 cars, so long as they don't use the F1 organization's name. I guess F1 doesn't actually hold any rights to the cars themselves--which makes sense, but then recent years have shown very little usually makes sense when it comes to copyrights/trademarks/patents.

Certainly nice for those independent game developers anyway, especially Live for Speed, which has an officially sanctioned version of BMW Sauber's 2006 F1 car (as well as BMW's V1 Championship car), which they're using via a deal with BMW Motorsport itself.

Re:Rights (1)

HomerJ (11142) | more than 6 years ago | (#23645991)

There are other games with current F1 cars.

Three examples I can think of are GT5 having Ferrari's 07 car, and both rFactor and Live For Speed both having BMW's.

EA signed Lewis Hamilton to a deal a while back, so I assume an F1 game with at least McLaren would be in the works--nothing has been announced as of yet however.

As far as tracks go, I think the F1 license covers all use of tracks used by the F1 Championship. However, the tracks are also free to be in other games. Various games over the years have had licensed versions of tracks, from Monza to Suzuka.

Codemasters? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23646275)

they gave Formula One [wikipedia.org] rights to the people of Micro Machines [wikipedia.org] ?

Re:Codemasters? (1)

Perseid (660451) | more than 6 years ago | (#23646315)

To be fair they also made Dirt and Grid. They have adequate skill to make an F1 game. This whole exclusivity trend does bother me, though.

Re:Codemasters? (1)

iainl (136759) | more than 6 years ago | (#23649141)

If you like DIRT and GRID then you'll be happy - F1 '09 is being developed with a further-developed version of the engine they used for those two. So I'm sure the purists will hate the handling (though if it's worse than Sony's F1 '06 I'll be shocked), but it will probably look utterly amazing and come out on more formats.

Re:Codemasters? (1)

somersault (912633) | more than 6 years ago | (#23651967)

The handling/physics on Dirt seems pretty realistic to me. I had a few friends round and we tried dirt with my G25 (I'd previously just decided to use the controller until I had unlocked all the cars and tracks), and we were all over the place with the buggys :) I especially like how good the scenery interaction is, with rocks being really noticable problems for your suspension, and how metal barriers bend and crumple realistically. While I appreciate having good basic driving physics in games like Gran Turismo, it's a lot more fun when any damage you do to your car or the scenery is shown too :p I wouldn't think that much of the basic Dirt handling would have to change for an F1 sim, apart from maybe doing more in-depth modelling of high speed aerodynamics.

I've always found F1 kind of dull to watch, but recently saw the Top Gear episode where they sent the Renault F1 car round the Top Gear test track in under a minute (Ferrari Enzo does the track in 1:19), on a damp track no less! I'd never seen an F1 car on the same track as I'd seen normal road cars, so didn't actually have a decent concept of just how bloody quick they are, especially how they can keep crazy high speeds up in the corners with all the downforce they generate - you could pretty much see the car digging in and finding more grip as it accelerated out of the corners. I now have far more respect for F1 cars and their drivers, but I still find TOCA and rally driving much more interesting motorsports overall.

Re:Codemasters? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23650541)

It's been a while since I've played any of the recent racing games from the past few years, but I downloaded the GRID demo for PS3 and I have to say that I'm fairly impressed. Sure, it's not perfect by any means. But it's damn pretty, handles quite well, and the damage is great. When you find yourself out of a race because you can no longer turn left (at all!), then you know you're playing a good game. I'm definitely planning on picking this up in the next few weeks.

Re:Codemasters? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23647707)

Dizzy's Nazi Orgy Adventure

Re:Codemasters? (1)

denzacar (181829) | more than 6 years ago | (#23649035)

HEY!

Micro Machines rule!

Re:Codemasters? (1)

iainl (136759) | more than 6 years ago | (#23649147)

Micro Machines ruled on the Amiga. The most recent ones were pretty terrible.

Re:Codemasters? (1)

Porsche917K (1210342) | more than 6 years ago | (#23652913)

Codies haven't been involved in the Micro Machines games since v3 on PSX - they then prompty decided that the games didn't need the licence, rebranded it to 'Micro Maniacs', and had the same 'racing around the house' gameplay being done by tiny, tiny people.

It tanked. Spectacularly.

Re:Codemasters? (1)

Dogtanian (588974) | more than 6 years ago | (#23660465)

they gave Formula One [wikipedia.org] rights to the people of Micro Machines [wikipedia.org]?
They gave the Formula One rights to the people who published those countless "x Simulator" budget games during the 1980s that were *absolutely* nothing like simulations?!

Ironically, having thought that they did, I looked it up and it turns out Codemasters never released a "Formula 1 Simulator"... but that's probably got less to do with licensing than because their budget rivals, Mastertronic did it first [msxarchive.nl] . (Did Mastertronic pay a licensing fee for their £1.99 computer game? My guess is... did they ****!)

But they *did* release a "Grand Prix Simulator" instead, so going by past experience, expect their new Formula One Simulator to look something like this [youtube.com] .

Mind you, I'm not sure if it's going to be out on a £1.99 tape for the ZX Spectrum and Atari 800 this time round...

(Actually, it was a fun game, but not remotely a simulator, not even by the standards of the time).

Feature suggestion (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23646369)

There should be a feature where you can assume the role of FIA President Max Mosley in a multi-hour orgy with prostitutes in which Nazi scenes are recreated.

Is it me, or do these "official" games usually suk (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23646385)

It's as if playing the "official" game somehow makes it more fun? Right.

They pay a lot of money up front for the branding, but the game is 9/10 times a meh to meh.5

The content drives actual sales; the marketing only drives hype.

Hype tends to dissipate rapidly come release day. Start working on that knockoff sequel...

f1 world grand prix (1)

chebucto (992517) | more than 6 years ago | (#23646813)

I'd just like to say that F1 World Grand Prix for the N64 was and remains my favourite racing game of all-time. The graphics overlays as well as the announcer's voice mimicked the real TV broadcast almost perfectly, and the tracks were - to my untrained eye - accurate. The physics were realistic, or at least not arcade-like.

Great game. Still looking for a used copy of it to play on my old machine, as it happens :\

I hate "the official" games (4, Insightful)

nog_lorp (896553) | more than 6 years ago | (#23647361)

Fuck "the official F1 games". Make me a GOOD game, I don't give a shit what it is "the official game" of. Those three words are almost always an indication of a terrible game.

Re:I hate "the official" games (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23648257)

What troubles me is that if they sell the rights to an official game, will they try and go after un-official games?
Copyright claims on the race tracks, and general appearance of the cars and so forth.

Re:I hate "the official" games (1)

hcdejong (561314) | more than 6 years ago | (#23648741)

Knowing what greedy bastards the owners of the F1 "brand" are, I don't doubt an unofficial game would be sued before you can say "Gentlemen, start your engines".

Easter Egg (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23648607)

Hopefully there's a Max Mosley [wikipedia.org] hot coffee mini-game.

no thanks (1)

Bobtree (105901) | more than 6 years ago | (#23651701)

Many Codemasters racing sims pivot the cars on a central axis, especially their off-road driving ones. It's atrociously bad in this day and age. From 3rd person it looks ridiculous, and in first person the lack of proper weight transfer and 4 corner independent suspension makes feeling the motion of the car impossible. Its less noticeable (maybe even absent) in their track racing games, but still inexcusable. I'll pass.

Re:no thanks (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23665459)

they really don't pivot on the central axis, try driving the car slowly and watching it.

What are the Formula One people smoking? (1)

Lilith's Heart-shape (1224784) | more than 6 years ago | (#23653489)

Couldn't FIA have found a better developer than Codemasters? Did nobody else want the Formula One brand? After playing the demo for Overlord and forcing myself to finish Clive Barker's Jericho, you couldn't pay me enough to rent a Codemasters game, let alone buy one.

Re:What are the Formula One people smoking? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23666481)

overlord? jericho? WTH are you talking about?

Have you tried Toca Race driver 3? or Grid? or Dirt?

Codemasters are the best doing racing simulation games.

Re:What are the Formula One people smoking? (1)

Lilith's Heart-shape (1224784) | more than 6 years ago | (#23681671)

Overlord and Jericho are the only Codemasters games I've played. After playing those two pieces of shit, I'm not willing to try any of their other products.
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