After the news that Dead Rising 3 was originally slated for the Xbox 360, Ubisoft, in an interview with Digital Trends, revealed The Crew was not originally slated for the Xbox One or Play Station 4. According to Ivory Tower‘s creative director, Julian Gerighty, “This game started over four years ago. The game hasn’t changed, its just taken that long to get it working and working as well as we want it to be working. All of the concepts that we have here are concepts that the team has been working on for the last 10 years. The massive open world that’s shared with hundreds of other players? That’s something that the team did for Test Drive Unlimited [in 2006], which was ahead of its time.”
Gerighty considers The Crew to be “the console’s take on the MMO”, and indicated that the game went through several engine and idea itinerations before it became what it is now. “It happened about a year and a half ago, where we realized we can push this a little bit further, we can push the personalization of the world, the non-procedural nature of the world, a little bit further if we do it on Xbox One and PS4,” Gerighty said to Digital Foundry. “So our Miami is radically different from our New York, which is normal but it takes a lot of work to get it to that level of quality. And that’s only possible on this next-generation.”
As compared to most racing titles, Forza, Gran Turismo, or Need for Speed, The Crew isn’t nearly so obvious to indicate it is indeed a racing title. This was done on purpose according to Gerighty. “It’s two things. One, it’s a reference to the multiplayer side of things and the fact that you’re gathering your different friends to form a crew with you. That’s the whole spirit [of the game]: driving as a multiplayer team. It’s the crew. But it’s also about the single player story, which you can play cooperatively, where you’re going from area to area, from city to city, and you have to recruit a crew of people who are going to supply you with the power-ups. That is your crew. So story-wise there’s a crew; just like in Fast & Furious, you have a crew of people getting together. The story is written by the writer for Red Dead Redemption [and] we’ve got a writer for GTA on the game. What I say is, it’s not Shakespeare, but it’s a fun story to play through.”
Gerighty also acknowledged that entering the racing genre with a new IP is indeed tough, with him saying “Forza? Incredible game. Need for Speed? Incredible game. But they’re very different games.” As such, Gerighty is confident that The Crew can stand out on its own and deliver its own unique experience.
The goal here is to make a really fun game
“The goal here is to make a really fun game, it’s to make the game that we’re passionate about. We’re gearheads. I’ve got a kid, I don’t need to play twitch when I play. I want to relax, so there’s exploration. The street racing is for those guys that want a little more adrenaline. The circuit racing is for a little bit more simulation-style gameplay. But it’s all fun.You can teleport your car. We’re not married to reality in a way that we’re going to stop you from fast-traveling if you want to fast-travel. We’re not going to force you to drive from New York to Los Angeles unless you really want to, or unless that’s the mission. All of this is, how do we make the game fun first? And I think that’s the major difference.”