With GTRevival, most of the team of the original GTR series are developing an exciting new title. Here is what we know about the upcoming sim so far.
Aiming to build on the spirit of the GTR series, GTRevival looks to buck the current sim racing trends. Instead of focusing on a popular modern series or category, the majority of the cars shown thus far are almost 20 years old. Fans of GTR and GTR2 should be all too familiar with the GT1 beasts of the early 2000s – and many seem to look forward to them, too.
As info on the sim has been released in snippets on Twitter, different newsletters or the Straight4 website, we have assembled an overview over what we know about GTRevival so far. We will keep updating this article so you have all the facts in one place – so be sure to check back frequently!
Last updated: October 20th, 2023
Straight4 Studios – The Team
Most of the team of Straight4 has worked together before. CEO Ian Bell managed to get the gang back together, with the majority of the former SimBin team being on the GTRevival project again. Additionally, several familiar faces from Slightly Mad Studios and the Project CARS series are on board. These are the key players:
- Henrique Alves (Online Platform Developer)
- Doug Arnao (Lead Handling Designer)
- Prof. Stephen Baysted (Audio & Music Director)
- Ian Bell (CEO, Studio Lead)
- Martino Cesaratto (AI Lead)
- Ben Collins (Driving Consultant)
- Ivo Franic (Lead Vehicle Artist)
- Jan Frischkorn (Art Manager)
- Jonathan Marier (Creative Video Director)
- Austin Ogonoski (Game Design Director)
- David Rezac (Lead Environment Artist)
- Ash Robertson (UI & Brand Design Lead)
- Henrik Roos (Handling Consultant)
- AJ Weber (Director Physics & Simulation)
- Tim Wheatley (Head Of Licensing & Community Management)
Straight4 has struck a partnership agreement with Automobilista 2 developer Reiza Studios to help development of GTRevival. The aim of the deal is for both parties to profit from the experience of the respective other.
Just like the first two Project CARS titles, GTRevival should be aided by a crowdfunding campaing, which is planned for the future. The program will be called WMD3 (World of Mass Development), allowing the community to invest into the game and later get a cut of its profits.
When will GTRevival release?
Straight4 Studios aims for a Q4 2024 release. Bell has added a “when it’s done” answer in a Twitter thread recently, stating that the studio does not want to release the title in an undercooked state.
GTRevival will be on PC, but console versions have also been hinted at. For the release, Straight4 has secured a publishing deal with Plaion.
Which cars are in GTRevival?
- BMW M3 GTR GT2 E46
- Chrysler Viper GTS-R
- Ferrari 550 Maranello GTS
- Ferrari 296 GT3
- Jaguar XJR-9
- Lister Storm GT
- Nissan R89C
- Porsche 962C
Additionally, the very first screenshots of GTRevival showed an Audi R8 LMS GT3 Evo II. The only GT3 vehicle shown thus far, Bell stated that the R8 was primarily a test mule and might not feature in the game. Similarly, the Ferrari 296 GT3 only appears in a single screenshot thus far, but has not been mentioned otherwise.
The current list of cars hints at a revival of the roster of the FIA GT series from circa 2003 to 2004, which GTR and GTR2 portrayed. While the BMW M3 GTR did not compete in the championship, it did race in the 2004 Spa 24 Hours, which were part of FIA GT at the time. It is worth mentioning that only the Lister has been officially confirmed thus far.
Whether or not the trio of Group C cars is going to feature in GTRevival as well is not quite clear yet, either. Originally introduced as “eye candy”, they have since been in several more screenshots. All three cars were present in Project CARS 2 that parts of the team developed.
More historic content could be on its way, too. Straight4 has held multiple polls as part of their newsletters, asking the community what they would like to see on the content front. Choices included late-1990s BTCC touring cars and the 1973 World Sportscar Championship – which would be a daunting task just for the Targa Florio, which was still on the calendar that year.
- Interlagos (Autodromo José Carlos Pace)
- Lime Rock Park
Bell has not shown many circuits yet, but the trio of tracks is an interesting one. The very first GTRevival screenshots showed Interlagos, with Straight4 confirming Lime Rock Park and Sebring later on via their newsletter.
Sticking to the FIA GT Championship of the early 2000s, sim racers could also expect the likes of Spa-Francorchamps, Monza and Hockenheim. Additionally, lesser-known locations such as Enna Pergusa, Anderstorp or Zhuhai might also appear. We hope that their historically accurate versions would be included should they make the cut.
Additionally, Creative Video Director Jonathan Marier took a trip to Mont-Tremblant in the summer of 2023. This could hint at the inclusion of the iconic Canadian circuit in GTRevival as well.
What engine will GTRevival use?
Straight4 Studios is building GTRevival on Unreal Engine 5. The in-game screenshots show that the results are indeed very presentable, even when not using the best settings for visuals. Bell showed a screenshot of a Lister Storm GT in the Lime Rock pitlane on a cloudy day using “non-ultra settings”.
However, Unreal Engine is only providing the graphics. Straight4 is developing their own solutions for audio, physics, Force Feedback and “the rest”, as per Bell. At the same time, the team is also adjusting the graphics engine to their needs.
AI Engineers & Commentary
AI and sim racing go hand in hand, but mostly for on-track reasons. GTRevival aims to change this with AI-driven race engineers and commentary teams. While the latter may be a side not to most players, a demonstration of concept showed the impressive capabilities of the system, with commentators sounding lifelike even without any pre-recorded lines.
The AI race engineer should be more interesting to most. They can be talked to and respond like a human engineer would, adding another level of immersion. It could also mean less fiddling with menus to set up pit stops and setup changes. Just like the commentary team, the engineer sounded very lifelike in a demonstration of concept video.
These developments have led to AI expert Peter Gentsch coming aboard as an investor into Straight4 Studios. The German brings along enormous amounts of insight and knowledge into generative AI and how to use it.
Will GTRevival support modding?
Enthusiasts of community creations will be happy to hear that GTRevival will indeed support modding. Bell stated that “we see modding as an integral and vital dynamic of this new sim, and we have an entire department dedicated to ensring GTRevival will be the most moddable platform we’ve ever delivered“.
Will GTRevival have a Career Mode?
Yes, and quite an in-depth one, if Straight4’s plans come to fruition. “I can confirm that our career mode is something… let’s say nostalgic and leave it at that“, stated Bell. The Studio Lead hinted at the return of features like the racing school found in GTR2 and other elements “that have just fallen through the cracks through the years for no good reason at all“.
There may be a brand new approach to Career Mode, too. Game Design Director Austin Ogonoski is looking into the possibilities of an AI-based story being generated individually for each player. An example for how this could be achieved is the introduction of a personal assistant at the start of Career Mode. That assistant is then asking for info, statements, and more time and time again to construct a biography where basically anything is possible.
This means that this synthesized approach could also lead to more realistic scenarios compared to some of the over-the-top story modes of current racing games. Plus, it would add a level of gamification to the world of sim racing that could be enormously engaging.
With the singleplayer side of GTRevival taken care of, the online multiplayer will not receive any less attention. In fact, Straight4 aims to implement an online competition system to rival that of iRacing. An ambitious project, but helpful for any sim, as the resurgence of rFactor 2 since the implementation of its Online Race Control proves.
What are you most excited for in GTRevival? Let us know on Twitter @OverTake_gg or in the comments below!