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Yesterday EA officially announced WRC, their licensed World Rally Championship title developed by the Codemasters DiRT Rally team. I really like DiRT Rally as, even with a few physics flaws, it’s just so much fun – I’m hoping for more of the same here. It’s interesting that they appear to have dropped the DiRT Rally 2.0 engine though in favor of Unreal Engine running on their own physics (that they vaguely suggest are still derived from DiRT Rally 2.0). Unreal is becoming very common these days.

Here are the bits of the press release (quoted below) that you may find interesting:
– Releasing October 31 in Early Access (Digital pre-order required), November 3, 2023 otherwise.
– Releasing on PS5, XB Series X|S, PC via Steam, EA, Epic.
– Five DLC packs (they call them VIP passes, I guess).
– “Builder” and subsequent explanation suggests you can design your own rally car.
– “Moments” suggests you can participate in specific events EA create.
– “longer, more detailed stages than previously possible”
– “18 official FIA World Rally Championship locations”
– “10 current WRC, WRC2, and Junior WRC vehicles”
– “68 of the most iconic rally cars spanning 60 years of the sport”

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Press release:

BUILT FROM THE DiRT UP, EA SPORTS™ WRC DELIVERS AN AWE-INSPIRING OFF-ROAD EXPERIENCE FOR THE NEW GENERATION OF SIM RACER
Unreal Engine and Dynamic Handling System Technology Delivers Photo-Realism and True-to-Life Control

REDWOOD CITY, Calif. – September 5, 2023 – Today Electronic Arts Inc. (NASDAQ: EA) introduces EA SPORTS™ WRC, the official game of the FIA World Rally Championship, for PlayStation®5, Xbox Series X|S and PC via EA App, Epic Store, and Steam. Developed by Codemasters, the team behind the critically acclaimed DiRT Rally series, with over 25 years of off-road videogame heritage, EA SPORTS WRC is a truly next-generation rally game and the quintessential title for sim-racing enthusiasts. Players who pre-order† the game will receive five VIP Rally Passes for access to additional post launch content, livery and apparel packs, and up to three days of early access starting October 31, 2023**.

“EA SPORTS WRC is the purest form of motorsport where every stage is a fight against the clock, the terrain, and yourself,” said Ross Gowing, Senior Creative Director at Codemasters. “This is the rally game we’ve always wanted to make, combining our studio’s deep knowledge and expertise with the power of the official WRC license representing the pinnacle of rally motorsport. The game’s new engine has enabled us to push rally to the edge of what’s deemed possible, and the additional features, including Builder and Moments, give players even more ways to interact with the sport they love.”

Combining the power of the Unreal Engine with the DiRT Rally series physics, EA SPORTS WRC delivers longer, more detailed stages than previously possible, with 18* official FIA World Rally Championship locations and over 600km of unforgiving asphalt, gravel, and snow stages. The game also boasts 10 current WRC, WRC2, and Junior WRC vehicles and 68 of the most iconic rally cars spanning 60 years of the sport. Working together with official WRC teams and manufacturers, such as Ford, Toyota, and Hyundai, each vehicle is built to tackle every challenge they’ll face throughout the season. The hybrid-powered 4WD Rally1 cars are some of the fastest in the sport’s history, capable of incredible speeds while tackling gravity-defying jumps, deteriorating surfaces, and adverse weather.

The advanced Dynamic Handling System refines Codemasters’ original model and gives players the most realistic off-road experience to date. Taking feedback from drivers, including former FIA Junior WRC title contender and 2023 FIA European Rally Championship ERC3 champion, and game designer Jon Armstrong, players can choose a professional driver set-up mirroring the experience drivers encounter every race week. New players can personalise the handling, enabling them to make adjustments to help them master the ultimate player versus environment off-road challenge. The realism extends to audio, with each car intricately replicated, and new pace notes, including simplified commands for rookie drivers, give much-needed information to the player as they battle through each stage.

The introduction of Builder fulfils the dream of those longing to build their very own modern-era rally car. Select the chassis, body shells, and all-important mechanical parts before customising the interior and exterior, finally personalising with the livery editor. Put the car through its paces and make any necessary adjustments before competing for the World Championship against the best competition WRC has to offer.

EA SPORTS WRC brings fans together with 32 player cross-platform multiplayer, allowing for competition between friends and the wider rally community. Using EA Racenet, EA’s racing companion app, Clubs serve as community-built hubs offering custom multi-surface tournaments with rallying at any location and time of year. Alongside personalised events, Moments, updated daily in-game, give players the chance to relive pivotal scenarios from the 2023 season alongside classic events from the sport’s archives.

All players who pre-order† EA SPORTS WRC digitally receive up to three days of early access starting October 31, 2023**, and five VIP passes, each containing additional post-launch content, vanity packs consisting of liveries and apparel.

†Conditions and restrictions apply.
*Central Europe Rally will be available as a post-launch update
**Digital version only

About Electronic Arts
Electronic Arts (NASDAQ: EA) is a global leader in digital interactive entertainment. The Company develops and delivers games, content and online services for Internet-connected consoles, mobile devices and personal computers.

In fiscal year 2023, EA posted GAAP net revenue of approximately $7.4 billion. Headquartered in Redwood City, California, EA is recognized for a portfolio of critically acclaimed, high-quality brands such as EA SPORTS FC™, Battlefield™, Apex Legends™, The Sims™, Madden NFL, Need for Speed™, Titanfall™, Plants vs. Zombies™ and F1®. More information about EA is available at www.ea.com/news.
EA, EA SPORTS, EA SPORTS FC, Battlefield, Apex Legends, The Sims, Need for Speed, Titanfall, and Plants vs. Zombies are trademarks of Electronic Arts Inc. John Madden, NFL, FIFA and F1 are the property of their respective owners and used with permission.

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