Test Drive Unlimited Solar Crown Delayed, Requires Online Connection

Test Drive Unlimited Solar Crown delayed, requires online connection

Test Drive Unlimited Solar Crown delayed, requires online connection

Nacon Connect 2024 delivered a new Test Drive Unlimited Solar Crown trailer showcasing off-roading in Hong Kong Island. Unfortunately, what the trailer didn’t provide was a release date, with Nacon saying the open-world racer will arrive in 2024.

In a newsletter update, KT Racing has provided new insight into the game’s current state of development. Unfortunately, it looks like TDUSC’s release date has been pushed back once again.

Test Drive Unlimited Solar Crown delayed again?

First announced in 2020, Solar Crown was originally due to be released in September 2022, before suffering several delays. After being delayed to 2023, TDUSC was pushed back to “early 2024.” Recently, a Nacon financial report listed Solar Crown with a Q4 2023 FY release, suggesting it will arrive by 31 March 2024.

However, the latest newsletter update suggests that Solar Crown has suffered yet another delay.

Test Drive Unlimited Solar Crown delayed
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“We also know that you want a launch date, and we understand your eagerness. We share your eagerness. Although a launch date has been considered several times, we want to take the time needed to ensure that your experience of Test Drive Unlimited Solar Crown is as smooth, stable and fun as can be.”

“Many of you have already pointed this out to us: take the time to release a game that matches your expectations. That's why we're working flat out on several aspects, including the stability of the server infrastructure and optimising the game's performance.

"When we feel like these two areas are stable, we'll be delighted to share the long-awaited launch date with you, then cross the finish line and start our long adventure together.”

KT Racing: "We have made significant progress in recent months"

Despite this, Solar Crown is getting closer to the finish line. KT Racing says the team has made “significant progress in recent months” and “most of TDU's gameplay has been implemented and is currently being finalised.”

However, “there are lots of big challenges that the development team is working on.” For example, creating Hong Kong Island at 1:1 has taken three years, while the detailed car models take up to four months to model.

Test Drive Unlimited Solar Crown delay
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KT Racing didn’t estimate a release window, but Solar Crown is still set to release sometime in 2024. Judging from the current development stage, it could be released in the summer at the earliest or possibly in the autumn around September. Given the scope of the game, we won’t be surprised if it slips into 2025 at this rate. Nacon usually holds a second Connect event in July, so we may get a firm release date then. 

As a consolation, KT Racing is hosting a third closed beta soon allowing players to test the game early. The third test phase promises to be "bigger in scope and in larger territories."

Test Drive Unlimited Solar Crown delay
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The delays are frustrating, but KT Racing is being transparent with players to the studio’s credit. Solar Crown is an ambitious game and KT Racing is an AA team that doesn’t have the budget or resources of AAA games like Gran Turismo and Forza.

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As the first TDU game in 13 years, it’s an important release for KT Racing – a buggy launch would be disastrous and could write off the series for good.

On the other hand, we’re surprised to see the studio dividing resources into the Endurance Motorsport Series and MXGP games announced at Nacon Connect rather than focusing on releasing Solar Crown.

The delay isn’t the only disappointing news either.

Test Drive Solar Crown will require an online connection

The newsletter goes on to confirm that Solar Crown will require an online connection to play.

“The Solar Hotel and clan HQs were also created as living areas and meeting places. For various reasons, these social features require an infrastructure that is constantly connected to online databases: leaderboards, races, inventories, moderation, live events, anti-cheat measures, and the overall game experience. An internet connection is therefore required to play TDUSC.”

Test Drive Unlimited Solar Crown delay
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A required internet connection is common in online-focused like The Crew Motorfest. While it makes sense given that the social features are a core part of Solar Crown, the first two TDU games didn’t require an online connection.

Frustratingly, it means Solar Crown will be unplayable during server downtime. It also raises the concern that the game will be inaccessible after the servers are permanently shut down in the future, like The Crew, unless the game gets an offline patch like Gran Turismo Sport.

Are you disappointed about Solar Crown being delayed and requiring an online connection? Let us know in the comments below.

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