Beyond the evergreen casual titles, the majority of video games tend to sell strongly in their first few weeks before slowly disappearing from the charts and subsequently the shelves.
Over the last few years, publishers have found they can sustain interest in their titles with downloadable content packs, and that these can provide a new wave of sales on the High Street.
Now Codemasters is doing the same thing in order to give a new lease of life to one of its most popular racing games – Race Driver: GRID.
As a brand new retail SKU, Race Driver: GRID Reloaded is set to further the stunning success of the original 2008 racer, which garnered widespread critical acclaim and more than a few awards to its name (see Track Record).
The BAFTA-winning title now returns to the PS3 with a much more attractive price point and more content than ever before. Reloaded features not only a copy of the original GRID, but also codes that unlock more than £10 worth of downloadable content.
“Race Driver: GRID won multiple awards at launch and since its May 2008 launch has remained a defining racing game,” says Codemasters’ brand manager Edward Newby-Robson.
“We’re delighted to add extra value and introduce brand new content on its premium Platinum release that reinvigorates the title and adds ten new cars and a new track to the game for the first time.”
Consumers will be given access to the two DLC bundles: the Prestige and 8-Ball packs, both of which add new vehicles, settings and locations. While the 8-Ball pack is already available online, the Prestige pack will debut alongside Reloaded for consumers that already own GRID.
Central to the Prestige pack is the famous and beautifully recreated Australian Bathurst circuit, as well as ten of the world’s hottest cars.
Players will be able to get behind the wheel of the Ferrari F430, the Bugatti Veyron and Ferrarri F575 GTC, as well as other vehicles from Mercedes McLaren, Lotus, Lamborghini, Mazda, Honda and Jaguar.
Meanwhile, the 8-Ball pack adds eight high-performance racers to the game’s roster, including the McLaren F1 GTR, TVR Cerbera Speed 12 and Pontiac Firebird Trans AM.
The DLC also expands on GRID’s existing multiplayer modes, with two new events that can be used on any of the game’s original circuits.
Given the original game’s impressive success, Race Driver: GRID Reloaded faces a tougher challenge that rival re-released racers.
Codemasters is hoping that the quality of the game will continue to draw in racing fans just as it did back in 2008, and the additional content will lure back those who have missed out on the first release or traded their copy in.
Launching in May 2008, GRID debuted at No.2 in the ELSPA GfK Chart-Track All Formats Top 40 – only beaten to the top spot by the sales behemoth that was Rockstar’s Grand Theft Auto IV.
The game continued to sell well in the following months, thanks to a dedicated marketing campaign that included a premium TV spot airing before the Champions League Final – at the time, the publisher’s biggest ever TV spend ever.
Race Driver: GRID was even chosen to spearhead the publisher’s efforts as it moved into the Japanese market, becoming the first game to be formally released under the Codemasters brand in the region.
With this legacy to uphold, Codemasters will be supporting GRID Reloaded as it hits retail next week and racing fans are expected to snap it up thanks to its enticing additional content and attractive price point.
In the two years since its original release, Race Driver: GRID has racked up an impressive number of awards and accolades that prove why the new edition should be a strong seller:
– Winner of the 2009 BAFTA Sports Award
– Best Racing Game 2008, Yahoo! Games
– Best Racing Game 2008, VGChartz.com
– Racing Game of the Year, Areagames.de
– Best Driving Game/Best Graphics, LucidLan.com
– Best DS and Xbox 360 Racing/Driving Game 2008, IGN
– Editor’s Choice Award 2008, IGN
– Driving Game of the Year, PC Format
– Gold Award, Famitsu
– A Game of the Year, The Guardian
– No.10 in Edge’s Top 30 Games of 2008
– One of the Top 12 Games of Christmas 2008, Rock Paper Shotgun