Racing game GRID 2 was announced just a week ago and it's already creating controversy. Some fans of the series aren't happy that this sequel won't feature a cockpit cam. Codemasters says that they decided the feature wasn't worth the trade-offs.
GRID 2 executive producer Clive Moody explained to Eurogamer that the cockpit cam is very underused by players. Only 5% of players used the in-car view for GRID or any of their other racing games. They discovered this from multiplayer servers' telemetry data.
The typical counter-argument is that many games have seldom-used but important features. For example, almost every title on the market supports subtitles even though most players have zero need of them. Why not keep cockpit cam then to service the small number of players who use a racing wheel, then?
The issue with the in-car view, according to Moody, is that it uses a lot of in-game memory and processing. The development team decided that they would rather use these resources to push the game's visuals. The lack of a cockpit cam will allow the game to have higher resolutions for vehicles and environments. Particle effects and real-time lighting are among some of the other features that will get a boost.
"While we certainly don't want to alienate any of our fans, we want to deliver truly exciting features that 100 per cent of our players will enjoy."
Moody adds that they're very familiar with current console hardware at this point. The lack of cockpit view, therefore, isn't just a matter of them being unable to figure out a way to make it work without harming the visuals. It's tough from our vantage point to really say whether that's true or false.
Will Moody's explanation end the argument once and for all? Probably not. I'd imagine there's a petition for cockpit view going around right now. We'll see whether Codemasters ends up bowing to pressure. It doesn't seem likely, considering the fact that they're citing technical reasons rather than, say, a lack of time or manpower.
GRID 2 will arrive next summer. For the first screenshots and details, head here.