Test Drive Unlimited Solar Crown “already working on” solution for the end

Thomas Harrison-Lord
As players are no longer able to play The Crew (2014), an always-online game now with its servers switched off, the creators of Test Drive Unlimited Solar Crown are keen to avoid a similar circumstance.
Test Drive Unlimited Solar Crown “already working on” solution for end-of-life support

When Test Drive Unlimited Solar Crown releases this September, it will take elements from a duo of predecessors and bring them kicking and screaming in 2024.

From the outset, it is a massively multiplayer online experience with no offline progression.

“Test Drive Unlimited Solar Crown will not be about you looking at some players… [like] there is a fake player over there like a ‘drivatar’ of someone you know,” explains Solar Crown Game Director Guillaume Guinet to Traxion.

“No, Test Drive will be about socialising. Meeting people. Sharing with people.

“Something I love to do every time, and I was doing this the past 10 to 12 evenings, I put GPS on a random player and I just follow them. We are just driving together, following, in Hong Kong Island. Not one driving game is bringing that to the market, only Test Drive.

“You would change the experience offline. All of the game is designed to be online.”

That’s all very well, but there remain several voices denigrating the title for its always-online structure.

Until it is released, and proven to work, it is right to be sceptical.

Yet, online features and performance are not the only reasons to be concerned.

Two months ago, Ubisoft switched off the servers to its popular open-world driving MMO The Crew. Granted, player numbers had likely dwindled, and two sequels had hit the market in subsequent years, so I don’t think there was a need or huge desire to play the 2014 original.

It is more the precedent set. If the inaugural game in the series could be rendered unplayable forever, naturally The Crew 2 and The Crew Motorfest will go the same way eventually.

Conversely, Sony’s Polyphony Digital recently removed online functionality from Gran Turismo Sport – but before doing so, it released a new patch to allow for offline single-player progression.

Test Drive Unlimited Solar Crown car dealer, Porsche Taycan

So, when Nacon and KT Racing announced its MMO driving game is releasing soon, the game’s social media feeds were flooded with requests to plan ahead.

“We are working on finding a solution to it,” says Guinet when quizzed about end-of-life support.

“We don’t want people to buy the game and [then we] quit and it’s over for them.

“We don’t expect to shut down the service for now. But we are already working on it.

“We have our solution for now, but maybe people will have an idea about it and we will look at these. I think it’s something [we can] create with the community.”

These plans will not come into effect until several years from now, depending on Solar Crown’s active player numbers.

Test Drive Unlimited Solar Crown car dealer, inside, Porsche

“It’s a game that is going to live for years,” explains Guinet

“It depends, of course, on how many people are playing. But if people are playing for a very long time, Test Drive is going to live for a very long time.

“We are already working on different things for the year ahead. 

“For now we are polishing the game and doing everything we have to do for the different consoles. But some people are already working on future updates.

“You cannot imagine how massive we are going to be in the next year. I think maybe I haven’t seen a game give as many things to players as a service game.”

You can listen to or watch the full interview with Guinet on the Traxion YouTube, Spotify and Apple Podcast feeds.

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