Codemasters barred from creating blog about their F1 game

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Someone wants you kept in the dark about Codemasters' F1 game

There’s a huge appetite for Codemasters’ forthcoming F1 game and loads of people looking for information about it.

But Codemasters’ plans to create a blog about the 2009 title has been quashed. What’s going on?

One of Codemasters’ producers who posts on their forums as Uncle Chewy told fans:

I’m really sorry guys, but unfortunately our first blog has not been approved and we will be unable to release it. This situation may change in the New Year, but for the time being our blog will not be happening.

I can’t say anymore than this so please don’t ask.

Let’s crank up the conspiracy-o-tron:

  • Formula One Group don’t want information about the game’s development getting out. (But what could be so sensitive about? It’s only a video game.)
  • Someone higher up within Codemasters as refused approval. (But if this is an internal dispute, why are Codemasters airing their dirty washing on their own forum?)
  • This is just a stunt by Codemasters to get column inches on blogs. Nothing to see here.

I’ve tried a couple of times to get in touch with Codemasters about their 2009 F1 game, to put some of the hundreds of suggestions contributed by you to them.

I’ve not had a response yet, but I’ll keep trying, and perhaps this latest development will encourage them to find new ways to communicate with fans about this hotly-anticipated game.

More on Codemasters’ 2009 F1 game

Thanks to Chalky for the tip!

Author information

Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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25 comments on “Codemasters barred from creating blog about their F1 game”

  1. I’d probably settle for the second option in that someone high-up at Codemasters didn’t want information and material to be leaked just yet. Shame really as from what I can gather there is a real appetite for the first proper F1 game in aeons. Hopefully it will live up to fans’ expectations.

    Any news on when it’s likely to be released?

  2. HounslowBusGarage
    29th November 2008, 12:02

    There’s probably a bit of argy-bargy going on about the secret level hidden in the new game. You know the one – Max’s secret spanking level!

  3. There’s probably a bit of argy-bargy going on about the secret level hidden in the new game. You know the one – Max’s secret spanking level!

    10/10 :-D

  4. I favour option 1.

    I don’t know why the blog in particular would be blocked, but I am fairly sure that FOM/Formula 1 Group have been very sensitive with previous F1 computer games, giving publishers/developers all sorts of hoops to jump through regarding promotion etc. of the game.

  5. I worked on the BAFTA winning GP4. Built Monaco and a slew of other tracks And yes, the F1 bosses are very very very tight with what is allowed, and what is not allowed.

    Off the top of my head, no car or car part was allowed to brake off, and go over a fence. We we’re not allowed to add an “online” option (madness in my view) as you now see so popular with rFactor and others. And a zillion other rules.

    One of the tricky aspects of the game was getting the car models approved by the teams. Some were pretty lax, but others, if I recall, Red ones in particular, were Very fussy about the car models we were to use. So much so, that we got the impression that they were being shall we say “blooody minded”. As such, we submited a car model that had NOT been changed at one point, to see if it would pass (we were supposed to have made minor changes) and it did, even though no changes had been made.

    It is possible that Codemasters are coming accross similar frustrating episodes, and maybe alluded to them in their blog. And I dare say the blog would have to be approved by someone high up in F1…and if they say no, no it is.

    One thing we do know, is that Codemasters know how to make a driving game, so I doubt the problems are “internal”.

    Also, there is no need for them to keep their powder dry, and keep game features “secret” from other developers, for the truth is there is only 1 F1 licence to be had, so there is no competition for them in that respect.

    I wonder if any of you chaps have any idea how much it costs a games company to obtain the F1 development licence? If I recall, when Microprose lost it to Sony, some 30 Million dollars was invovled. So it is a big investment, and one has to play by the rules.

  6. There’s probably a bit of argy-bargy going on about the secret level hidden in the new game. You know the one – Max’s secret spanking level!

    I bet its a Guitar Hero style game where you have to hit the right buttocks… sorry I mean Buttons! to get the next level?

  7. I second Anonymouse – I knew some of the guys who worked on GP Challenge at Melbourne House. Endless drama.

  8. Anonymouse – that’s fascinating, thankyou for that insight:

    no car or car part was allowed to brake off, and go over a fence…Red ones in particular, were Very fussy about the car models we were to use…

    Crazy that they get so up-tight about all of that – and then fans make their own patches and mods online to put the tobacco ads back in and everything else.

    But regarding car parts coming off, this is a very interesting point. Imagine if you created a 100% perfect physical representation of an F1 race, and you were able to show how, say, a car could go into the crowd or something like that. Insurance nightmare…

  9. HI Zerogee and Keith.

    Yup, endless drama, but strnagely worth it. I trained as an engineer in the early 90s, and wanted to get into F1 that way. Got lost (and found) along the way, and ended up in Video game and film graphics. And without really trying, I ended up at Microprose, so got to F1 in the end…sort of…lol.

    And yes indeed Keith, we can’t make it too real. Thats why you can drive through the marshals and other oddities. Believe me, with the brain power we had at Microprose and the utter genius of Geoff Crammond,we could have made it frighteningly real. But nope, as much as the F1 bosses want a simulation of their sport, they also want it to be an advertisment, and loads of home made GP4 fan vids, showing people getting run over, or parts flying into the crowd, would not be on F1s list of “to dos”…lol

    It was still the greates moment of my professional career though, all expenses trip to the Monaco GP 2001, but with a unique twist. We were there to photograph the track. Again, strict rules applied, we were NOT to trake ANY pictures of the cars, and had to submit every photo we took (some 3500) to the FIA for approval,m and these were simply to use as texture on models, but still they wanted to check every image. That being said, becasue we were there to photograph the track, we had unparalleled access during the race week and weekend.

    So at race start, it was the insied corner of San’De”Vout (spelling?) All those cars going by less than 30ft away, was a Shock to the system, a slow walk up to Casino, down to Miarbeau, and standing in the tunnel during the race, are experiences never to be forgotten. Frightening and awesome being that close to a car doing 180mph.

    Of course we looked like idiots to everyone else, as we were taking photos of fences, trees, man hole covers…..everything but the cars…lol But it was an amazing experience. So well worth it…frustrations and all.

  10. Anyone played GriD. I heard this game will be based on the GRiD physics engine and will be pitched quite heavilly at the US market (From the interview of the official F1 website a while back). As a result I am far from optimistic about the forthcoming F1 title. GRiD is a joke imo

  11. Anonymouse:

    That’s awesome, I love the Microprose Grand Prix games, It’s a shame that no more of the manager games were made, they were always good fun.

    Being a texture artest and modeller myself, I know the funny looks you get taking pictures of walls, grass, windows, etc. Kudos to you, GP4 was, and still is a lot of fun.

    Maybe Codies are having to be tight-lipped on their 2009 F1 game because of the new regulations. I’m guessing they may have access to photos/blueprints of exactly what all of the team’s 2009 cars will look like in order to be able to model them, and so won’t be able to release any in-game footage or screenshots until the cars themselves are unveiled to us all during January.

  12. Many thanks Ajokay :)

    Yeah, we get funny looks, but it’s worth it is’nt it??? lol. S’good fun doing this type of work.

    And I think you make a very valid point about the cars for next year. I’m not sure when their game is due to be released, but if they can’t get official car data until very late in the day, this may be a big headache, and of course, if alluded to on a blog, then maybe thats what got it stopped.

  13. Anyone played GriD. I heard this game will be based on the GRiD physics engine and will be pitched quite heavilly at the US market (From the interview of the official F1 website a while back). As a result I am far from optimistic about the forthcoming F1 title. GRiD is a joke imo

    yep, Codemasters are using their propiertary “EGO” game engine to create the F1 game, which includes a clever suspension physics engine for the urm suspension.

    as for the game being made for the american market that is correct, think about it, the EGO engine was built primarily for the XBOX360 whose install base are the biggest software buyers (in terms of games)… that and the XBOX has the biggest games market share in the US

    Unfortunatly this game started off being pitched by mad F1 fans in codemasters using their race game sales of TOCA, Colin Mcrae DiRT and GRiD as a marketing pitch, but turned into a spreadsheet exercise to make money by “the suits”

    Anynonimouse, you have made the best comments regarding blogging articles i’ve ever seen, excellent read! congratulations, you win an internets!

  14. I bought all of Geoff Crammond’s GP Series (I think they’re still in the loft!). The one thing I and many other wanted above all (even graphics) was realism. I especially loved in GP4 the variable rain, it always made for interesting racing (as of course we’ve seen this season!). Many thanks to Anynonimouse for his insights, got any more???
    I really hope that Codemasters aren’t hobbled by the FIA, and let there be online racing, variable weather and REALISM!!!!!

  15. I will be buying it, whether or not it is any good, just because I like F1 so much, but I would love it if it were anywhere close to the gameplay of Forza Motorsport 2.

    I haven’t been a fan of the GRiD gameplay, but it will be fun to drive the F1 cars on the proper circuits.

  16. I won’t be buying it unless it gets good reviews and the reviews say that the game has good realism. I’ve been screwed over with unsatisfying F1 games for too long.

  17. It’s probably a contract issue with sony who owns the f1 game rights till the end of the year or somthing…
    My money is on that

  18. “Many thanks to Anynonimouse for his insights, got any more???”

    Yeah, I could tell you a few. lol.

    Like the subcontractor who let us down with 5 months to go, leaving us with 14 track sceneries outstanding, resulting in yours truely sleeping on the office floor for a few months…….Ever been so tired that you dream…when you blink?……I’d never felt it before or since, but I felt it then…most weird…

    S’good fun though…but hard hard work……Neil Duffield said it best. “We get paid to sit on our ass, and think for a living”……

  19. Because the damage modelling was always so incredible in the Grand Prix games, I’d most often use them as a ‘most awesome first-corner crash simulator’. I had some doozies.

    Hopefully the new Codies game will have a good damage and car failure model. I know GRID does, it’s a beautiful looking game, now if it just wern’t so damned awful to play.

  20. Just to back up what “Anynonimouse” was saying, about 4 years ago, I was at a software conference in Seattle where there were some people there from EA. Being a quizitive F1 fan and business reporter, I asked about why they stop making their F1 game. The response from one of them was “Formula One’s management was by far the most difficult sporting body we ever had to deal with… They restricted our creativity (like a interactive manager mode and other features that they wanted to add but was killed by FOM) and what we had to pay for a license made it not worth it… We will never work with them again.”

    I really think that F1 is hurting itself by being so restrictive about their licenses and agreements. I really hoped that they would of learned their lesson, but apparently they have not.

  21. Perhaps it would be seen as conflicting with the FOM agreement with the BBC on coverage?

  22. Jonathan Pulliam
    13th December 2008, 6:24

    You guys just don’t get it. The “license” to use “F1” isn’t worth 30 cents, much less 30 million dollars, to any true racing sim enthusiast. The features that are historically “missing” from these games (except for driving handling and driving physics ) are UN-SUPPLIABLE in the context of what F1 is courageous enough to license. Unobtanium. “Ain’t gonna happen”.

    Make the cars & tracks LIKE F1, but NOT NOT NOT F1. Do you know what verisimilitude means??

    Codemaster’s arrogance on this subject just takes the god damn cake!! You’re very naive to think they give so much as a a rat’s snotball about your suggestions. EVERY software corporate counsel who ever drew his invertebrate, slime covered form into vertical says NO to BLOGS. That’s one major reason why the products their clients produce so consistently underwhelm their customer base.

    Codemaster’s final F1 2009 product is VIRTUALLY GUARANTEED TO SUCK. It’s on a so-called “suckage trajectory”. I’ve already explained why in a separate post. You dopes are such RUBES!!! Half the features you ask for are preposterously NON-FEASIBLE.

    Be honest. Of the SEVERAL HUNDRED racing games out there, are ANY OF THEM really stand-out great? The answer is NO. NOT ONE. So what are the odds that this purported “sim” is anything but the same old disappointment-in-the-making?
    Answer: ASTRONOMICAL against.

    You F1 guys have gotten as brand-conscious as a 14-year old girl. Like some half-inbred NASCAR hickster. You deserve what codemasters’ is gonna give you, and that ain’t much.

  23. Anonymouse, what happened to Geoff Crammond?

    Grand Prix 4 was by far my favourite racing game. Still is actually. Just… the sheer randomness of it. And being able to save half way through a race, when doing the full race distance if you needed to, like, go to work or something haha.

  24. I guarantee that its a time/money concern for top brass… either that, or this is some sort of hip marketing BS.
    I don’t like it and they are just irritating fans. There is NO CONSPIRACY. It’s all just a joke. I’d be more optimistic but I understand they aren’t releasing the game until October of this year. Other than the cars, the game should be ready by now and it shouldn’t take a 300 member team 7 months to draw up the cars. All I can say for certain is that Codemasters better deliver in a big big way if they are going to do F1 any justice.

    Additionally, I realize that they probably weren’t sure 2 years ago that the economy was going to continue down down down, but by the time they release the game, its possible nobody will either have the money or want to pay the few dollars they have to buy a $60 game(crappy USD). They’d do better to release it mid-season if they want to capitalize on it.

    Dear Codemasters, I am not a fan of yours at all lately and I hope that the few of you who read any of these posts will take the information to your bosses and let them know how angry/irritated the fans are with all of the stupid moves you’ve made in this process. No blog? Really? Really? There is no reason developers couldn’t post a few comments on the process or release some more screen shots. Let me say this again in case one of you post… There is NO REASON period. Start handling your affairs properly or expect sales to be low and NOBODY wants to lose their jobs in this market where whole companies are going to start disappearing. Start respecting your consumers interests.

  25. The only reason the cost for the gamne licence is so high is so the FOM can keep Bernie’s bank manager happy.

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