Less than a week after it was first rumored, ESPN is now confirming that Activision will publish the next NASCAR game. The company will reportedly distribute the game, the license for which is actually held by its developer, Eutechnyx. The exclusive multiyear deal will see the Big Mutha Truckers and Ferrari Challenge shop make several NASCAR titles.
According to ESPN, NASCAR went with Britain-based Eutechnyx because it is a specialty racing studio. The sports network also said Eutechnyx's relatively small size will allow the stock-car racing league to be more integrally involved in the game's development.
Ed Martin, Eutechnyx's executive North American vice president, explained the reason why NASCAR chose to award the license directly to a developer. He said that toward the end of its licensing deal with Electronic Arts, where Martin helped run the racing series, "EA, quite frankly, lost interest in NASCAR. They had the exclusive license, so they no longer needed to put all their resources into it. They outsourced everything and the [series] languished."
NASCAR 2011: The Game will arrive in February 2011 for the PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, and Wii. That would put it in stores around the time of the Daytona 500, which will open the 2011 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series on February 20.
[UPDATE] Activision has now formally announced the game, which will have over 22 real-world tracks. It will also support up to 16 players and have an experience system which will unlock cars, decals, and sponsors in career mode.