Lesquin, 12 April 2021.
As the next chapter of the official video game of the FIA World Rally Championship is about to start, NACON and development studio KT Racing are proud to provide a recap of “WRC 9” and the various events organised for the official rally simulator.
NACON who has become a key player in racing games publishing over the last few years will make additional surprises and announcements in the upcoming days.
Over the last six months, over 33 million special stages have been raced by WRC 9 players. That’s a total of 221 million kilometres, or going around the world 5,500 times!
The Nordic countries seem to inspire drivers, as Finland and Sweden occupied the top and third positions in the rankings of the most played rallies. We should also highlight the high position of Rally Japan, which was fifth in the rankings.
This rally, which had not been included in the Championship since 2011, was one of the new rallies included in WRC 9.
Of particular note is that racing wheels were used for 68% of the special stages raced on the PC, which speaks about the game’s immersion. WRC 9 is definitely the ultimate motorsports simulator for thrill-seeking fans! Players using a controller on PlayStation®5 were also treated to an immersive experience thanks to the work done by KT Racing to make use of the haptic features of the DualSenseTM controller, which was also roundly praised by the press.
eSports has been central to the WRC’s official game since 2016. In partnership with Toyota GAZOO Racing, the sixth season of the eSports WRC Championship is in full swing! The first five rounds have all been won by Sami-Joe05, who has also set a new record for the competition. The young Lebanese player, who is also a go-kart champion, has already been voted the season’s Most Valuable Player (MVP) in 2020.
He leads Nexl, the French world champion who won in both 2017 and 2019. While the competition was tight between the two drivers in the first four rounds (0.110s difference in Argentina after 12m 42s of racing in three consecutive special stages!), Sami-Joe05 ultimately widened the gap in the fifth round in New Zealand with nearly 5 seconds and a 38-point lead over his rival.
But there are still nine races and lots of chances for a complete reversal of fortunes! As a reminder, the winner will win a Toyota GR Yaris.
WRC 9 is more than just a motorsports simulator: it is also a springboard for the careers of future rally drivers through the FIA Rally Star programme. Open to all players between the ages of 17 and 26, this programme gives the most promising drivers the opportunity to take part in the FIA’s training and coaching programme.
Over 75,000 special stages have been contested, and the first three drivers to qualify for intercontinental finals have been identified. Like the eSports competition, FIA Rally Star on WRC 9 is a gruelling battle that goes down to the wire: Alejandro “Billy Cherokee” Aroca (Spain, qualified in the first phase) was only 0.018s ahead of Luc Fournier (France, qualified in the second phase)!
Ultimately, seven finalists, including one female driver, will be able to start their international driving career before trying to move up to the FIA Junior WRC and thus turning their virtual experience into reality!
With WRC 9, the passionate developers of the French studio KT Racing have pulled out all the stops to once again meet the high expectations of rally fans looking for tougher challenges and heightened realism. With an enhanced career mode and many technical improvements, players are thrust into the heart of the new FIA World Rally Championship season with all the highlights of the yearly calendar and much more:
14 environments, over 110 special stages, 3 new rallies (Japan, New Zealand, Kenya), and the new special stages in the Finland and Portugal rallies released as post-launch patches on consoles
Over 50 official teams and their livery from the WRC, WRC 2, WRC 3 and Junior WRC
Over 15 legendary cars that have shaped the history of the WRC
An all-new Clubs mode for creating custom championships
WRC 9 is available on Nintendo Switch™, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, PlayStation®4, PlayStation®5 and PC via the Epic Games Store.
NACON is a company of the BIGBEN Group founded in 2019 to optimize its know-how through strong synergies in the video game market. By bringing together its 11 development studios, the publishing of AA video games, the design and distribution of premium gaming devices, NACON focuses 20 years of expertise at the service of players.
This new unified business unit strengthens NACON’s position in the market and enables it to innovate by creating new unique competitive advantages. https://corporate.nacongaming.com/
Created in 2006, Kylotonn is one the most important French video game development studios, also known under KT Racing label. Specialized in motorsports and official developer of the WRC FIA World Rally Championship series and Isle of Man Tourist Trophy, the company is internationally recognized for its know-how and for the passion of its teams.
With more than 110 employees as of today in Paris and Lyon, Kylotonn has developed more than 25 titles distributed by major publishers. Kylotonn has forged itself a strong technological expertise thanks to the real-time 3D engine KT Engine that the company owns. At the forefront of the video game industry, this technology is also used within R&D partnerships on autonomous vehicle projects in the automotive industry.
Since 2018, NACON, one of Europe’s leading video game publishers, holds a 100% stake in the company. Kylotonn is member of the French National Developers Federation (Syndicat National du Jeu Vidéo) and Capital Games. The company is supported by BPI, IFCIC and the Ministry of Higher Education, Research and Innovation. For more information, visit www.kylotonn.com.
About WRC Promoter GmbH
WRC Promoter GmbH is responsible for all commercial aspects of the FIA World Rally Championship, including TV production and the marketing of global media and sponsorship rights.
The Promoter also has responsibility to increase the field of participants and to propose the venues that form the FIA WRC calendar. The World Rally Championship is the FIA’s premium rally series.
WRC showcases authentic motorsport, high performance cars and the world’s best drivers competing in dramatic surroundings ranging from the ice and snow of Scandinavia to the blistering heat of Italy in mid-summer. Established in its current format in 1973, WRC participants battle for the drivers’ and manufacturers’ world titles at 12 rallies spanning four continents. Additional championship information can be found at www.wrc.com.
Jonas “O.J” Ek
The Gaming Ground
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