Virgin and Kuju Rev Up

Lotus Group lends technical support in groundbreaking deal.

Posted by Staff
Virgin Interactive and the Lotus Group have joined forces for the development of the ultimate next generation racing game, Lotus Challenge for PlayStation 2, X-Box and PC.

Developed by racing simulation specialist Kuju, the project is being closely overseen by technicians and engineers within the Lotus Group to ensure Lotus Challenge will offer a true representation of the firm's legendary car range. A full selection of Lotus vehicles will be implemented in the final game, including its Formula One and sports models, with Lotus staff working closely with Kuju to ensure each handles identically to its real-life counterpart.

In addition to exhaustive single and two-player modes, Lotus Challenge will also boast a number of features designed to showcase the power of the Lotus range. The power of the new wave of home systems has allowed Kuju to recreate some of the world's most well known cities in incredible detail, thus allowing the player to test drive Lotus cars within recognisable locations. A secondary 'Stunt' mode has also been implemented wherein the cars are put through their paces within a hazard-filled movie set environment.

The close relationship between Virgin Interactive and the Lotus Group will ensure Lotus Challenge becomes the first major driving title across the new wave of consoles and sets new standards for PC racing games. The development of the game has also helped Clive Chapman, son of the Lotus Group's founder, to fulfil a long-standing dream when he took a Lotus Type 79 F1 car for a spin as Kuju recorded sound effects for the game!

"Working closely with the technical talent behind the world famous Lotus brand will ensure that Lotus Challenge is the racing game by which all others will be judged," commented Virgin Interactive COO, Sean Brennan. "Virgin has long since been associated with the very biggest companies during its enviable history of triple-A titles, and our close relationship with the Lotus Group is further proof of this. Such partnerships will be the way ahead for the racing genre as games grow ever more realistic and we are proud to be at the forefront of such an advancement."

Lotus Challenge is released for PlayStation 2 and PC in 2001, with an X-Box version to follow.