It’s been a long wait for Test Drive Unlimited Solar Crown. Nacon’s open-world racer was announced back in 2020, but we still don’t have a firm release date. For the past few months, Nacon has been releasing monthly newsletters sharing gameplay details, giving fans hope that the final release is in sight. But with no newsletter in June and continued silence from Nacon, alarm bells started to ring.
Unfortunately, it looks like our fears have been realised: Test Drive Unlimited Solar Crown has seemingly been delayed yet again.
Update: As well as revealing the first gameplay footage, the TDU Connect presentation confirmed that Test Drive Unlimited Solar Crown is set to release in early 2024, confirming a delay. A closed beta was also announced starting later this month.
Test Drive Unlimited Solar Crown targeting February/March 2024
In a financial report posted by Nacon, Test Drive Unlimited Solar Crown is listed as releasing in Q1 2024 with a February or March 2024 release window. Notably, however, Nacon and KT Racing have not officially announced a delay yet. Curiously, the listing also incorrectly lists PS4 and Xbox One as platforms after the last-generation versions were cancelled.
This isn’t the first time TDUSC has been delayed. Originally, the open-world racer was set to arrive in September 2022 before being delayed to late 2023. It now looks like TDUSC is still on track to release in the 2023 financial year ending in March 2024, but will no longer launch later this year.
At the time of writing, the official Test Drive website says TDUSC will be "available in 2023."
We have reached out to Nacon for confirmation and will update this post if we hear back.
Why does Test Drive Unlimited Solar Crown keep getting delayed?
Another delay is a huge blow to fans anticipating the return of Test Drive Unlimited, but it’s not hugely surprising. On the other hand, KT Racing was seemingly close to the finish line. A recent report by News in France indicates that the game is “finished” and in the “fine-tuning” stage.
“After six years of development, the game is finished and the teams are in the process of fine-tuning it,” Nacon's Alain Falc told the publication, adding that KT Racing plans to support TDUSC with free and paid DLC for “between five and ten years.”
With a massive open world set in Hong Kong Island, TDUSC is an ambitious title for KT Racing, which is a relatively small studio with no prior experience making open-world racers. Since TDU has a dedicated fanbase and has been dormant since 2006, it needs to make a strong comeback and be as polished as possible.
“We want to show a very good and beautiful game,” creative director Alain Jarniou told us in an interview with KT Racing.
“We don’t want to go too fast and deceive fans. I’m very excited to give a new Test Drive Unlimited to the community. But I want it to be a true Test Drive Unlimited experience. We’re taking the time we need to make the best game possible."
What’s frustrating fans is the lack of clear communication from Nacon and KT Racing. This has improved since the monthly newsletters revealed new details about the dealerships, Hong Kong Island, and the Solar Crown Hotel, but we’ve yet to see any representative gameplay and still don’t have a firm release date.
On the bright side, a 2024 release will give TDUSC a better chance of succeeding. The second half of 2023 is overcrowded with major racing game releases like Forza Motorsport and The Crew Motorfest. Nacon likely wants to avoid direct competition with The Crew Motorfest, which is also open world.
As for when we’re likely to see gameplay, TDUSC is usually one of the headline games shown in Nacon’s online Connect shows. Nacon Connect usually airs in early July, but Nacon hasn’t announced when it will air yet. The last Connect show aired in March, so the next one could air later this year.
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