GAMERS may soon have the opportunity to whirl around a virtual Mount Warning and speed through cyber Murwillumbah if an upcoming racing simulator adapts Repco Rally Australia.
Recently announced video game WRC: FIA World Rally Championship will feature tracks and vehicles from the WRC, and they may be looking to include the locally held Rally Australia.
A separate game, Gran Turismo 5, may also include the Australian leg of the championship after developers secured the rights to the WRC tracks and vehicles several months ago.
Repco Rally Australia was held throughout the Tweed and Kyogle shires in September.
Rally Australia chairman Alan Evans yesterday said he hoped gamers would be able to see the familiar sites of Kingscliff, Murwillumbah and surrounding areas when WRC: FIA World Rally Championship is released later this year.
“I’m aware of the game and I’m certain Repco Rally Australia is set to be included,” Mr Evans said.
“As far as I’m aware they are looking at footage from all the races from last year to construct the stages.
“The past games have sold amazingly and it would be great to see how realistic the area can be reproduced in a video game.”
No Rally Group secretary Andrea Vickers said a WRC video game would serve the environment better than the September event did.
“It’s cheaper, less dangerous and much more environmentally sound than the real thing, and they (WRC) pay for it themselves instead of hitting up New South Wales taxpayers,” Ms Vickers said.
“A virtual rally through Tweed and Kyogle is a great idea. WRC, stick to the LCD and don’t come back.
“Rally officials would probably play the discredited ‘regional exposure’ card again on this one, but it’s hard to imagine global teenagers hassling their parents to come here and look at the little mountain that popped up in the background while they were trying to overtake Dani Sordo.”
Ms Vickers suggested gamers would get more enjoyment on a game based on claims of rock-throwing at Byrrill Creek, which led to the cancellation of the stage.
“It’s more likely players would get a kick out of running down ninja protesters on the Byrrill Creek stage.
“That kind of violence would be art imitating life.”
The incident is still before the courts.
The title is being developed by Italian studio Black Bean Games.
It will be available on Sony’s PlayStation 3, Microsoft’s Xbox 360 consoles and PC.
There is no definite release date set.
Meanwhile, PlayStation 3 exclusive game Gran Turismo 5 developers are tight lipped over Rally Australia’s inclusion in the upcoming title.
Japanese developers Polyphony Digital said the game is set to include more than 950 cars and 20 courses with 70 variations.
PlayStation spokesman Tom Hutley was yesterday unable to confirm the Tweed’s appearance in the popular upcoming video game.
“At this stage nothing has been announced from the developers,” Mr Hutley said.
Gran Turismo 5 is currently scheduled for a March release.
WRC promoter North One Sport CEO Simon Long promised gamers the most realistic rally game ever in WRC: FIA World Rally Championship.
“The official game will engage a whole new audience for the sport and we’re tremendously excited at the opportunities to grow our fan base and the profile of the WRC,” Mr Long said.
“It provides a powerful touch point for us in which to showcase the WRC to consumers.”
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