Ian Bell Promises “Complete Game Changing” Concept for GTR Revival; New Website Launched

Effusive studio head Ian Bell has been commenting on Twitter again about his current racing game project, promising a patentable “complete game changing” concept for the title while also launching a refreshed website for Straight4 Studios.

It’s been just under a month since we’ve had an update on GTR Revival, but the latest burst from Bell is considerably more secretive than usual, while still having the regular hype-building energy.

According to the ex-Slightly Mad Studios chief, one member of staff has come up with an idea so radical that it not only provides a game-changing twist on the sim-racing genre but that S4S is seeking to patent it before it makes it into the game as a finished product.

While patents for technology and techniques involved in video game hardware is pretty standard fare these days, patenting video game concepts is a strange and tricky world — but not completely out of the ordinary.

Among the better-known examples of video game patents is the Nemesis system of Middle Earth: Shadow of Mordor (and its sequel, Shadow of War). This gameplay mechanism sees some of your procedurally generated enemies gain names, skills, rank, and notoriety from gameplay actions — such as killing the player — to create completely new experiences on each play-through for every player.

More infamous is Crazy Taxi’s overhead directional arrow indicator, which lead to a legal battle between Sega and Bell’s former employer EA over similarities in the latter’s The Simpsons: Road Rage.

Unsurprisingly, considering that Bell classes the idea as a game-changer and a unique selling point for GTR Revival, there’s little other information to go on. Quite what it will be will no doubt be a source of much speculation over the coming months — although he further cautions that it might not make it into the game for release, but would be provided free of charge later if that was the case.

Bell’s other activity this week is also intriguing. Firstly, he added his own voice to the pile of those saying his previous game, Project CARS 3, shouldn’t have been called that.

The name rankled with many fans who felt PC3 was not really a successor to PC2 thanks to the simplification of systems like tire degradation and the absence of pit stops. Bell seems to agree, claiming that he was pushing for “Project CARS Sideways” to hint the change of direction, but that he was over-ruled following the Codemasters buyout.

Speaking of name changes, there’s been a subtle rebrand of the development studio behind GTR Revival — a second in three months. It’s now called Straight4 Studios, rather than Straight4 Games, with its old social accounts (bar LinkedIn). There’s also a brand new website, at the same URL, which features an on-site News section — or you can sign up for the monthly newsletter.

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