What’s Next for Codemasters Formula 1 Series?

2016 saw a big step made by the Codemasters studio for that years Formula 1 game, providing the best career mode experience to date and giving fans of the sport the game they had so desperately craved in 2015.

2017 saw another step up, with an even more expanded career mode and the return of the popular classic cars section, now integrated into the main career mode. This perhaps made it one of the best Formula 1 games of all time. Which begs the question: what’s next for Codemasters and the series?

The company has produced the official Formula 1 game ever since 2009 (yes, we are including that awful Wii release) and despite some bumps in the road, it seems to be on a firm upward trajectory with every new version. 2015 provided great visuals and fantastic single player wheel-to-wheel action but the online experience was buggy, and terrible.

The lack of a career mode and game modes in general left it as a ‘what might have been’ kind of release, but that was fully rectified in F1 2016 which saw career mode return in the biggest possible way with focused R&D development. Players could take Manor to world title glory, or lead Mercedes charge then try and hold off the opposition in the coming season. It really felt like you were living the life of an F1 driver!

F1 2017 expanded on that with the huge R&D upgrade tree, classic cars from 1988 onwards and, of course, the chance to drive the sports new, faster-than-ever monsters. Codemasters have perhaps now reached the pinnacle in terms of game development for Formula 1. So where do they go from here?

Well the company no doubt will be looking to renew its license, and Liberty Media’s takeover of the sport may just open up more potential avenues for future releases. We saw a glimpse of what could be down when F1 2016 featured unique driver numbers and a personalized avatar for the player, which they would see on the podium after a race, celebrating success or glumly exiting the car after an average showing.

Classic cars also returned this year in a big way, with 12 machines playable in either quick races, online or the integrated career mode invitational events. Various championship modes such as sprint racing or European series championships were added to expand the game even more.

Topping all this is going to take some doing. One potential avenue is to include a past season in the game that is lives long in the memory of fans. It could be the 2003 battle between Michael Schumacher, Kimi Raikkonen or Juan Pablo Montoya, or even as recent as 2012. Whilst that season already has its own game, bringing it onto nextgen gaming would be a brilliant way to relive one of the sports best ever years.

Perhaps, the answer is to just build on what we already have, year after year, to make that experience that bit more personal and evocative and to keep players wanting more. Whatever happens, Codemasters have now delivered on the promise they have held for the last few years. Where they go next is going undoubtedly to be both exciting, and interesting.

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