This trade spotlight looks at Codemasters' Grid 2, a sequel to the BAFTA-winning Race Driver: Grid.
We detail the in-game features, history, instore and online exclusives as well as the marketing plan for the game.
Codemasters senior brand manager Edd Newby-Robson tells MCV why expectations are high for Grid 2.
Grid 2 is released on May 31st.
- Grid 2 is the sequel to the BAFTA winning Codemasters title Race Driver: Grid and is powered by an enhanced version of Codemasters’ EGO technology.
- New to this title is Truefeel handling, a mechanic that removes the need for assists and allows players to experience a more realistic handling system.
- Grid 2 now gives players the chance to take on LiveRoutes tracks. These deny racers the chance to see what is around corners, making for fair, but unpredictable driving.
- In the games career mode, gamers take centre stage in a new type of motorsport: the World Series Racing. Racers start their career in the US with clubs like New Union and Trans America Pacers before expanding into Europe and Asia.
- The multiplayer side of the game features opportunities for progression and customisation as players can now upgrade vehicles both above and below the hood.
- Players can also take to the track online in the Global Challenge mode and thanks to RaceNet, consumers can follow the progress of rivals, manage Global Challenge achievements and establish RaceNet followers.
Starting life as part of Codemasters’ TOCA Touring Car game series, the Race Driver franchise was established with TOCA Race Driver in 2002. Sequels followed in 2004 and 2006 before the series made a handheld debut with Race Driver: Create & Race in 2007. Race Driver: Grid hit retail in 2008 and won a BAFTA before becoming one of the most successful games in Codemasters’ history.
A pre-order Race Day edition is available from Amazon. This special pack gives players the exclusive Dallara IndyCar and the IndyCar Pace car, the Nissan GT-R SpecV road car, five routes at the YAS Marina Circuit as well as a special online event.
A Brands Hatch Limited Edition of Grid 2 is exclusive to GAME and features the Brands Hatch GP and Racing Circuit routes, two new cars, exclusive online events, RaceNet rewards and a discount in the car upgrades store.
The Grid 2 advertising campaign is focusing on bringing the visuals of the game to the forefront.
“It’s edgy, cinematic, bold and inspirational. We have unashamedly consistently focused on our key art as the lead, iconic image of Grid 2 and together with our tagline, ‘Don’t follow, Lead’, we are tapping into emotional driver in all of our target consumers,” says Hayley Holland (right), brand director at Codemasters.
“That’s the deep-rooted need to compete and win. The need to be the very best.”
Holland adds: “The game looks simply stunning. It showcases what our development team is capable of, a racing game experience that defines ‘pure quality’. Therefore, our global placement strategy is to focus on ‘moving media’ as much as possible – video placement, pre-rolls
online and so on. We are letting the game speak for itself.”
The marketing campaign for Codemasters’ Grid 2 will be the firm’s biggest ever in the UK and the campaign will also target tablet and smartphone users, a first for the company.
A partnership with Esso stores will see the game feature in a ‘text-to- win’ Rockstar promotion and Grid 2 is also going to appear in upcoming Virgin Media TV ads.
The original BAFTA-winning Race Driver: Grid was one of the most successful games in Codemasters
history so we have high expectations for its sequel, which launches almost exactly five years later to the week and is already receiving very high praise from the press and community who have got hands on with the game.
Grid 2 delivers a best in class racing experience with the heritage of Codemasters Racing Studio behind it. The fan feedback has shown it’s hotly anticipated by racing gamers who have been waiting five years for the return of the franchise – roll on May 31st.