There are three pillars of development focus in the modern arcade industry: gun games, racing games, and redemption. While you do get titles that fall outside of those three “genre pillars,” most R&D is spent on them, given how they have a proven track record of sales.
As developments go, some years a particular pillar will receive more attention than another. 2018 is one example where the balance shifted so hard towards gun games, that you have to look to Japan to find any new racer; North America only saw a new cabinet model release of Daytona. It seems weird that such a thing will happen, but it isn’t the first time that balances have shifted like this, and one pillar goes through a release pause.
With 2019 alive & kicking, fans of racers have plenty to look forward to, as developments didn’t cease; things have just worked out for racers to fall into this year.
The first of those is a game we mentioned recently, a title shown at EAG 2018 by the name of Racecraft Arcade. The base software was created for PCs by a company called Sandbox, and has been adapted into a full-fledged arcade machine by Italian distributor & manufacturer Tecnoplay.
This week, Tecnoplay gave the game an official rollout via a special website. It details various aspects of Racecraft, including the specs (55″ screen, a “professional” force feedback steering wheel, 2.1 ch audio system, links up to eight units, etc.) and features. Here’s the trailer that shows it in action, including close-ups on the steering wheel:
As an aside, one thing I find interesting here is how this is focused on formula-style racing, something that used to be all the rage in arcades thanks to games like Pole Position, Sprint & others (Sega’s OutRun started like that too, but wisely decided to stand out with the Ferrari). That changed when Daytona/Cruis’n/Rush proved that you could make truck loads of money by focusing on different cars & styles, and the industry has pretty much ignored formula racing since.
Racecraft has 15 courses and three difficulty modes, allowing kids to pick a special mode for them in case they can’t reach the pedals or understand the concept of the gas. The site also touts earnings data with a 12 month ROI and a numberless average earnings chart with Racecraft topping Sega’s most recent racers. You’ll have to reach out to Tecnoplay to find out how much a set goes for though.
The release of Racecraft is focused on Europe/Italy to start, with an international release coming this Spring. What do you think about it from the new information?