How Kunos could put Assetto Corsa on the PS4 and be successful

My creative side got the best of me tonight, and with our own rumors fueling my imagination, I got to thinking, how in the world could Assetto Corsa be successful on the Playstation 4? Despite hands-down the best overall driving physics ever seen in a consumer simulation, Assetto Corsa on PC still has its flaws. The game’s AI needs work, online modes and functionality are nowhere close to what’s seen in gMotor-based simulations (and what we’ve come to expect from racing sims in 2015), and bugs within the software itself are still being ironed out as we speak. Kunos, I love what you’ve given us so far, but there’s still a long road ahead.

And with the disastrous launch of Project CARS, one marred by bugs, glitches, and bad game design choices, the door is wide open for a game like Assetto Corsa to steal the thunder away from Slightly Mad Studios and drop a fantastic racing sim on the masses.  The problem is, with the game still having unfinished elements on PC, and Project CARS players already becoming bored with a fully-featured career mode and online format, how in the world do you make the best with what Assetto Corsa currently has to offer? You can’t just drop a bare-bones hardcore racing simulation on console gamers, it doesn’t end well. Race Pro and Project CARS already proved that straight PC ports of racing sims don’t translate very well into the console environment.

So here’s what I’m thinking…

9254807732_8884b77933_oYou sell it as a digital download on the PS4 marketplace for $24.99. This price undercuts every major competitor on the market, from R3E and its expansions on the PC, to Project CARS and Driveclub on the PS4. This approach worked for 2K Sports when competing with the historic Madden NFL franchise a decade ago. People will automatically be interested in Assetto Corsa just on the price tag alone – they want a racing game, they’ve heard good things about it on the PC, and what’s this, it’s twenty five dollars? Why even bother paying attention to Project CARS and the never-ending list of patches, Driveclub with its abundance of DLC packs, or Need for Speed Rivals when a new NFS game is on the way?

acs 2014-05-18 22-43-59-36You totally ignore the singleplayer part of the game and focus on Multiplayer. Look guys, the PS4 audience is a different crowd, and the AI still needs work. Leave the AI out of this altogether. The PS4 audience want to play all their games with friends, in a way that’s quick and easy to set up. You know Gran Turismo 7 will have a robust single player experience, and you know that currently, no racing game exists for the PS4 that offers any sort of competent hardcore online racing. Assetto Corsa shines on the track, so let it shine on the track.

To focus on Multiplayer, it’s time to implement playlists and matchmaking.

img_50905c0c97a7fAbove is something that console gamers have gotten used to over the years; the playlist selection screen from Call of Duty.

My ideal version of AC on the PS4 would obviously feature a test track with all available cars and tracks for practicing at will, but the bulk of the game would revolve around CoD-like playlists. While I admit that all racing games need custom lobbies, Project CARS proved that very few people on consoles actually do a competent job of hosting their own sessions, and everyone who is serious about sim racing and wants to host their own session already owns Assetto Corsa on the PC so this would be a design decision largely aimed at console players. A different crowd means a different approach.

Playlists would be separated into three distinct groups; Street, Open Wheel, and GT. Upon booting up the game for the first time, only the Supercar, Amateur Open Wheel, and BMW M235i Cup playlists would be available. All three would feature a pre-game lobby, followed by a ten minute qualifying session, and a ten minute race. As you progress up through the different playlists, the races would become longer and the top playlists (such as Track Day Special, Modern GP, and GT3) would include a mandatory pit stop and accelerated fuel/tire wear. The next level of playlist would be unlocked after achieving five top-three finishes in the current playlist. This extremely simple method of ranking up, plus capping the field size at 16, would keep the carnage down and you would know once you’ve unlocked a playlist or two that you’re among clean, respectful drivers.

ProgressionObviously not all cars are included in the above list, and that’s because there are some cars that just aren’t interesting enough to drive in a competitive setting. I am sure nobody is going to cry if the Fiat 500 is not in the PS4 version of AC. As cars get added to the PC version of AC, and the roster is fleshed out with multiple cars in a competitive class, updates to the PS4 version could include a handful of new cars at a time, with a new playlist or two. This would allow Kunos to work out all the bugs first with hardcore racers on the PC giving feedback, before putting the new cars into the console game.

It’s a very simple concept, a $25 racing sim that plays to its strengths. Would it work? I think so.

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22 thoughts on “How Kunos could put Assetto Corsa on the PS4 and be successful

  1. Pingback: Anonymous
  2. Just focussing on multiplayer would let the game fail hard on consoles. You rather need the opposite: a strong focus on singleplayer. Multiplayer isn’t overly popular on consoles. It is used, but not by the masses. Singleplayer-games sell much better.

    I also have a strong focus on singleplayer when playing console games and I hate games forcing you being online or just letting you play online.

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    1. if multiplayer isnt overly popular, why is star wars battlefront multiplayer only? why are call of duty campaigns 4 hours long yet people sink 300 hours into multiplayer?

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      1. Because they are ego-shooter and ego-shooter are popular for muliplayer. That doesn´t count for racing games or lots of other genres. There´s not one racing game only popular for multiplayer. It needs a singleplayer.

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      2. because there’s no ego behind online racing?
        look at the GT series, and their online, and how many people played. if it were single player only it would’ve died lone ago.
        look at toca 3 back on the PS2. meh career (ai was iffy) but that online! it blew GT away at the time because of the online.
        not one racing game only popular for multiplayer? then just what exactly are people playing forza horizon for? or any of the forza games?
        online racing on consoles is very popular.

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      3. “Ego shooters” are just what FPSs are called in some language (don’t know which one, but have seen the term before). BTW, what’s up with not being able to reply to every comment here?

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      4. @livef1fan
        Multiplayer is not even close as popular as singleplayer games or games having both…sp and mp. Just look at sale numbers and how much people use the mp in Forza or GT. It’s small compared to the overall sale numbers. I didn’t say that a racing game shouldn’t have multiplayer. But a game JUST with multiplayer would fail.

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  3. Pls no. I like my PC sims the way they are. Matchmaking, cod-like playlists, and “ranking up” is all fucking cancer. Give me a goddamn server list and gtfo.

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    1. This is exactly what Is wrong with pc racing. Only iRacing has figured out that funneling people into categories makes the car counts rise and races easy to find. I don’t mike server browsers for shooters on PC but racing games need something more than the same method that has been used since the 90s.

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      1. If there is no server list it is impossible to use the game for league racing. This is the only thing worth doing in sims, literally who gives a shit about pickup races with a bunch of random scrubs? And no iRacing’s model dod not fix this.

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      2. Who cares about pickup racing with random scrubs? I don’t know there seems to be a whole thriving DWC series that requires pickup racing to enter. Did I mention 10,000 USD on the line. Yeah custom servers will be needed for leagues. We know and get that.

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    2. It’s actually a really good idea. Forza already does the matchmaking thing, but forcing people to level up would be a good way to make the people who just wreck and run the wrong way stay in the bush leagues racing hatchbacks.

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      1. Way to miss the fucking point, your reading comprehension is really bad. And I’m also sure you’re real good as racing games too!

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  4. The multiplayer lists sounds very convoluted. Most people would get angry at it. Beside, a racing game need a strong single player mode. Not everybody likes to go online to play against trolls and no-life idiots wrecking the fun.

    Kunos could benefit from a broader market. But on the other hand, do they have a big enough team for that? I’d rather see Kunos working to bring more cars, tracks and refinements – night races and rain, for example – for an already great game than deviate resources to support an adventure like this.

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    1. did you miss the part where to get into the higher series you need to not suck?
      yeah the first few levels may be full of shitters, but luck and ramming will only get you so far. at a certain point you’ll only be surrounded by decent people.
      it’s like the iracing model, of unlocking new series by not sucking.

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      1. It sounds like a terrible idea for multiplayer. Wouldn’t work anywhere, people that suck but are trying hard in good faith would simply be frustrated to be stuck with wreckers and just drop the game altogether.

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  5. No need to have any cars removed. Once the groundwork of porting is finished, adding in the cars is basically nothing. Gamepad support is basically already done, too.

    The fiat 500 is excellent for newer drivers and still fun when racing in a pack of evenly matched racers who drive clean.

    ~$30 for the base content + dreampack would be a very good deal. AC doesn’t really need to appeal to the casual crowd to re-coup dev costs, their team is very compact and efficient compared to most studios.

    If a console release brings them more income and added attention to polishing multiplayer, I’m all for it.

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  6. I really like this idea and wish it was implemented on PC.

    [quote]Wouldn’t work anywhere, people that suck but are trying hard in good faith would simply be frustrated to be stuck with wreckers and just drop the game altogether.[/quote]

    That would be simple to fix, just make the initial ‘proving ground’ leagues non contact racing, ie your competitors are ‘ghosts’. Once you’re past this, you race for real.

    I also think making it just multiplayer is fine, as long as it’s advertised as ‘multiplayer only’, the people who only want single player needn’t buy it. After all the good MP games are the ones with long shelf lives.

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