The exciting new edition, which will contain iconic rallies in Kenya, New Zealand and Japan from the 2020 WRC calendar, will be launched initially on current platforms. It will become available for new consoles at a later date to be confirmed.
WRC 9 brings added realism for gamers and will thrust the WRC into the forefront of new technology. It is the first rally game to be announced for the new-generation Xbox Series X and PlayStation5 platforms.
WRC Promoter, which owns the commercial rights to the FIA World Rally Championship, has also confirmed WRC 10 and WRC 11 after extending its licensing agreement with game publisher Nacon and development studio KT Racing until 2022.
WRC Promoter managing director Oliver Ciesla said the new game would establish WRC at the cutting edge of gaming expertise.
“The introduction of new-generation gaming consoles is a wonderfully exciting step and we’re delighted WRC 9 will be the first rally game to become available to gamers on such platforms,” he said.
“WRC 9 now also features the tough gravel special stages at Kenya’s iconic Safari Rally, beautiful flowing roads on New Zealand’s North Island and challenging asphalt tests from Japan.”
Gamers can select from more than 400km of roads from all 13 scheduled rounds of the 2020 season, incorporating all the WRC’s legendary stages.
They include classic locations such as Rallye Monte-Carlo’s famous Col de Turini, the stunning rocky landscape of El Condor in Argentina and the mighty jumps of Ruuhimäki in Finland.
Breathtaking World Rally Cars from all three WRC manufacturer teams – Hyundai Motorsport, M-Sport Ford and Toyota Gazoo Racing are included in 2020 liveries.
Players can don the race boots of more than 50 drivers, headlined by reigning world champion Ott Tänak, six-time title-winner Sébastien Ogier, Thierry Neuville and early season stars Elfyn Evans and Kalle Rovanperä.
A wide selection of competitors from the WRC 2 and WRC 3 support categories, including Mads Østberg, Nikolay Gryazin, Ole Christian Veiby and Adrien Fourmaux are available, along with Junior WRC contenders.
Fans of retro WRC can turn back the clock with more than 15 classic bonus cars that have left an indelible mark on the sport’s history.
The career mode in WRC 8 was lauded as one of the best in any motorsport game. It has been improved further in WRC 9, with enhanced gameplay mechanics, new opportunities to upgrade gamers’ teams, a wider variety of events and a stronger link to what real-world WRC teams are doing throughout the season.
Developers have focused on areas such as suspension, braking and weight transfer to take authenticity to new levels by faithfully reproducing a car’s responsiveness on all surfaces and conditions in the real WRC. A special focus on sound provides deeper immersion.
“WRC 9 will capture the adventure and challenges posed by the real-life FIA World Rally Championship in an ever-more realistic fashion, thanks to significant upgrades by Nacon and KT Racing,” added Ciesla.
“It also paves the way for further ground-breaking development in WRC 10 and WRC 11 over the next two seasons as we continue to provide the opportunity for gamers to step into their heroes’ shoes.”
WRC 9 will initially be available on Xbox One, PlayStation4 and PC from the Epic Games Store, and at a later date on Nintendo Switch. More details about release timing for Xbox Series X and PlayStation5, will be announced in the coming months.