EA has today formally revealed EA Sports WRC, a new series officially licensed by the FIA World Rally Championship.
EA Sports WRC is developed by veteran UK racing studio Codemasters, the team behind the Colin McRae and Dirt Rally series, and arrives on PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X and S, and PC on November 3, 2023 (or October 31, 2023 for players who pre-order).
“EA Sports WRC is the purest form of motorsport where every stage is a fight against the clock, the terrain, and yourself,” said Codemasters senior creative director Ross Gowing. “This is the rally game we’ve always wanted to make, combining our studio’s deep knowledge and expertise with the power of the official WRC license representing the pinnacle of rally motorsport. The game’s new engine has enabled us to push rally to the edge of what’s deemed possible, and the additional features, including Builder and Moments, give players even more ways to interact with the sport they love.”
This is rally.#EASPORTSWRC is coming on November 3 🎮
— EA SPORTS WRC (@EASPORTSWRC) September 5, 2023
According to Codemasters, EA Sports WRC retains the Dirt Rally series’ physics, but a switch to Unreal Engine will reportedly mean “longer, more detailed stages than previously possible”. EA Sports WRC includes 18 official FIA World Rally Championship locations (the Central Europe Rally will be available as a post-launch update) and over 600km of stages. 10 current WRC, WRC2, and Junior WRC vehicles feature alongside an additional 68 other iconic rally cars drawn from the sport’s 60-year history. It will also come with a ‘Builder’ mode, which lets players “select the chassis, body shells, and all-important mechanical parts before customising the interior and exterior, finally personalising with the livery editor”.
32-player, cross-platform multiplayer is also on the cards, as well as daily “Moments”, which let players “relive pivotal scenarios from the 2023 season alongside classic events from the sport’s archives”.
Codemasters secured the official WRC licence way back in June 2020, although its exclusive five-year deal was not due to commence until this year. Codemasters itself was acquired by EA just over six months later. In the meantime, Kylotonn and publisher BigBen Interactive maintained the licence in a tenure that culminated with 2022’s impressive WRC Generations.
Codemasters’ last rally game with any official WRC partnership was 2002’s Colin McRae Rally 3, which featured rally cars from the then-current 2002 WRC season. Since then the licence spent some time as a PlayStation exclusive at fellow UK racing outfit Evolution Studios (which was shuttered by Sony in early 2016), before jumping to Milestone in 2010 and then Kylotonn in 2015.
EA Sports WRC joins the successful F1 series as a second major motorsport under the EA Sports banner.
Luke is a Senior Editor on the IGN reviews team. You can chat to him on Twitter @MrLukeReilly.