UPDATE 10/07/2020: Preliminary details have emerged about the next iteration of the Test Drive Unlimited series, which we now know will be titled Test Drive Unlimited: Solar Crown (TDU3).
KT Racing (Kylotonn) is confirmed as the game developer behind the title, announced in a video interview (below) which details several other bits of information about the long-awaited title as well.
While they stop short of showing any actual gameplay, we can see some initial close-ups of cars that'll feature in the game and get some background information from KT Racing creative director Alain Jarniou.
The 'Solar Crown' name is repurposed from the competition that featured in TDU2, in-keeping with the competition's ideology that the whole game will be freeform and unrestricted in terms of progress.
Same as the last two games, TDU3's environment will be based upon a real-life island according to Jarniou. We've previously seen Oahu, Hawaii and Ibiza, Spain, which both delivered huge amounts of space for players to roam and race upon - especially impressive, considering the last time we saw a TDU game was almost ten years ago.
There's also a snippet of information within the game's teaser that points towards to inclusion of Bugatti, Dodge, Ferrari, Koenigsegg, Lamborghini and Porsche as manufacturers being involved.
From brief snippets, we can already see a Bugatti Chiron, Porsche Carrera GT, Pagani Huayra, Lamborghini Diablo, Koenigsegg Regera and Apollo IE. it's worth noting that this is just the start of what cars will be on offer, too.
KT Racing will be drawing upon its experience gained from developing the handling physics of WRC games, which should hopefully see an improvement over TDU2.
We're glad to see more information rolling in about Test Drive Unlimited: Solar Crown but it's a long way off yet. We'll be keeping our ear to the ground and will divulge more as soon as it's revealed.
What are your initial impressions so far having watched the video?
ORIGINAL STORY: The long-awaited third instalment of the Test Drive Unlimited franchise has been quietly confirmed by an executive at a French game developer, lifting hopes that a follow-up to the much-loved open-world racing game series is finally in development
Speaking with VentureBeat, Benoit Clerc - head of publishing at Nacon – dropped the first solid evidence that a sequel to 2011’s Test Drive Unlimited 2 is in the pipeline.
Talking of Nacon’s (and parent company BigBen’s) numerous acquisitions over the past few years, Clerc spoke of one of their subsidiaries; a Paris-based games studio named Kylotonn, bought by BigBen in 2018.
“They’re specialized in racing”, says Clerc.
“They’re doing off-road racing with WRC (World Championship Rally), and they’re doing two-wheel racing with Isle of Man TT… They’re currently working on our biggest project by far, which is the next Test Drive Unlimited game.”
Unfortunately Clerc doesn’t go on to mention any further details regarding the highly anticipated sequel, other than that it is in fact, in development.
Having previously worked on FlatOut 4, WRC 5, 6 & 7, and V-Rally 4; the Parisian game developers were handed TDU3 after BigBen’s acquisition of Kylotonn in 2018. BigBen had previously purchased the rights to the Test Drive franchise back in 2016.
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Whilst we don’t have much to go on officially from those at Nacon and Kylotonn – the information we do have seems to align with a previous leak on Reddit; which predates the interview with Clerc, and correctly listed Kylotonn as the game's developers and BigBen as the publisher.
Of course what is to follow remains unsubstantiated at the time of writing, but the Redditor – who claims to be a Ubisoft Paris employee – leaks a fair bit of information reportedly collated from a number of friends working for various game studios regarding TDU3 (or “Project Sunrise”, as they call it).
The Redditor goes on to allege that TDU3 will take place in South America and boast a playable map that “will be a little bigger than The Crew”. With The Crew’s gargantuan map covering just under 5000 square kilometres, the next Test Drive Unlimited should give players a massive amount of space to roam and race
They also assert that the game intends to include around 90 cars upon launch, but worryingly continues by saying “[they] think that number has dropped down due to some licencing issues” (*cue painful flashbacks to TDU2’s reduced car list*). Players will reportedly choose between a Renault Clio RS, a Mitsubishi Evolution, or a Polo GTI as their starter vehicle.
TDU’s signature housing system is said to return, with more unique houses “than TDU1 and 2 combined”, and the game will boast more of a multiplayer focus; with regular updates bringing new game modes etc.
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The physics system is said to be lifted from WRC 8 (pictured below), although with much improved visuals “since they are rebuilding part of the KT engine”.
Now here are the juicy bits: the Redditor states that the developers are currently aiming for a late-2020 release, although they themselves show some scepticism given “the current state of the game”.
They close by stating that the game will release on Playstation 5 and Xbox Series X, although PS4 and Xbox One versions “could happen”. On the PC front; the leaker says that the third Test Drive Unlimited will remain an Epic Store exclusive for the first year, before appearing on Steam and Google Stadia.
If the game is indeed on schedule for a late-2020 (or early 2021) release, we should expect to see a more substantial announcement and even some game material in the coming months.
This is one that has a few of us in the office excited, given our fond memories of the first TDU title, so be sure to stay tuned here at WhichCar. Any further information regarding Test Drive Unlimited 3 will be found right here!