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SBK X Superbike World Championship

Game Director Michele Celetti talks about bringing newcomers to superbike racing

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At the same time we didn't want to let down that fan base because they are the core fan base that buys the game every year and they want improvements, they want perfect riders and bikes. So adding the arcade mode opens the opportunity for everyone to play a great racing game, a great bike game and maybe we'll see interaction between the two worlds because let's say someone buys the game because they've tried it and found it very interesting, very appealing, because of its arcade mode.

Maybe later on he tries the simulation mode; it's already there, you don't have to buy another game because it's already in the box. Simulation has several steps of hardness as well, which is fun. And vice versa, maybe a simulation addicted player tries the arcade mode and finds it very interesting as a way to take a break between online sessions lets say. So I think this year we have a real opportunity to catch a broader audience.

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Tell us about the range of bikes on offer in the game, have you kept it to top end racing bikes exclusively?
At the top end you have you have small, high spec bikes that are highly worked for the track. Then comes the super sport bikes that are 0.6 litres, they're still very track oriented.

The superstock are almost road bikes because they have no slick tyres they have very limited things you can do on the engine, on the brakes so they are almost road bikes without certain details. So it's a wide array of bikes.

What kind of techniques are available and adaptable in the full simulation mode?
In the full simulation you can have control over, obviously, the accelerator, the brake - front and rear because it's very important to adjust the direction to have them separately.

You can work on the weight of your rider being more front or rear positioned, you can have manual gears and in full simulation it's very important to have a feel of the suspension and the track and to gain the momentum right.

For example, in the chicanes you have to understand where to prepare the next corner, anticipating the weight shift and the steering shift because you can really feel the weight of the bike. So you have to be aggressive and prepared and know the track.

If you understand and know how a real bike behaves, you are a step forward from someone who doesn't really know. We had a real superbike racer who came to play the game several times and gave us feedback. He was really really good from the start and was really really amazing. In the past years I remember we had Bayliss playing the game and he was really amazing too. And if they can feel something like in the real thing then it's a good start.

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What would you say the differences are between a car racing game and a bike racing game when it comes to development?
You are targeting different kinds of people, they pay attention to different details.

For example, bike lovers appreciate not only the bikes but the riders, the position, the way they act on the bike, the way they move, so a problem that virtually doesn't exist in a car racing game explodes in a bike racing game.
There's almost twice as much to look at.

What's been your biggest achievement making this game?
Making a game that will fit a really broad audience and not disappointing anyone who has followed us in the previous editions. There's something for everyone whether they want an arcade mode or a simulation and it's a really good package overall.

Any difficulties?
Lots of difficulties! From my point of view, since I've been the game director, managing all the people involved, taking account of all the ideas, it's been a real job because we have so many game modes so many bikes so many assets, it's been really hard to find a good balance between all the features all the game modes the arcade and simulation we didn't want to give the impression that it was a simulation game with an arcade mode added or vice versa. So a really hard task was to keep the game balanced until the end.

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