Finnish studio Bugbear Entertainment is ramping up its campaign to encourage fans to support its upcoming racer.
Currently being developed under the working title Next Car Game, Bugbear is promising the same “over-the-top, reckless racing action” long-term fans love about the FlatOut series, “re-imagined for today’s technology and gaming standards.”
The game is currently scheduled to be released on PC as a download-only title early 2014 and can be pre-ordered directly from Bugbear.
Once the team reaches 10,000 pre-orders they plan to release a “sneak peek” of the game. Later this year Bugbear is also going to release an early access, a pre-Alpha build for all pre-order customers.
In a video, producer Joonas Laakso explains the games that have inspired Bugbear while developing this spiritual successor to FlatOut.
“With this game we really want to go back to our roots and we’ve been thinking about the classics that inspire us in the racing genre, and we’ve got three games in mind this time,” says Laakso.
“One is obviously FlatOut; we really want to go back to the core FlatOut racing experience. But there’s two other games. One is Street Rod, and the other is Destruction Derby.
“From the FlatOut series we’re going to be taking our whole focus on fun, careless driving. The core of the FlatOut driving experience is that you never know what’s going to happen in the next corner.
“From Street Rod we’re going to be taking the idea that you are assembling a fleet of your dream cars that you are then going to be taking to destruction derby and racing events and whatnot. SO you get all those detailed tools you need to put together those cars you want.
“And finally, from Destruction Derby, we’ve been inspired by its tactical damage system. So we want to bring something like that to Next Car Game. So the damage is not going to be just superficial; it’s going to have actual gameplay effects.”
Bugbear promises the cars will be a mix of “old American heavy-hitters from the muscle car era”, plus European and Asian cars from “long-gone decades” as well.
“The best part is that you’ll be taking them apart and building them back up again in your garage,” writes the team on the Bugbear site. “Need more horsepower on a budget? No problem, scour the classifieds for a bargain supercharger – just remember that a cheap bargain find might not withstand too much punishment!”
Bugbear is making the game for PC but concedes console support (both next-gen and/or current-gen) are possible later if it raises enough money. Bugbear has been forced to self-publish due to a lack of faith in the destruction racing genre from publishers.
“We wanted to make this game for years,” says Laakso. “Finally, a true, honest follow-up to FlatOut.”
“In the past years we’ve been talking to publishers and we feel like they don’t get it. They want to make it appealing to the mass market… The publishers are telling us that there is no market for this type of game, this raw racing game that we want to deliver. But we’ve been talking to the fans and we hear your message. The publishers don’t know how it is. There is a market for this game, and we know what we need to make.”
The team wanted to utilise Kickstarter but discovered it was “tricky” for non-US-citizens, and that Finnish law prohibits raising money for commercial purposes.
Bugbear is responsible for FlatOut, FlatOut 2, FlatOut: Ultimate Destruction and, most recently, Ridge Racer: Unbounded. The Helsinki-based studio had nothing to do with the devastatingly-awful FlatOut 3.