Secret meetings held with several studios to find best-suited developer

Project Gotham Racing revival underway

Microsoft is in talks with several European independent studios to bring the Project Gotham Racing series back to the Xbox 360, Develop can reveal.

A trusted source told Develop that Microsoft remains undecided on which studio to hand the project to.

Project Gotham became a multi-million-selling series when it was steered by Liverpool-based studio Bizarre Creations, though the developer’s involvement ceased in 2007.

Turn-10 has for a number of months been considered the most likely candidate to develop future Project Gotham titles. The Microsoft-owned studio has, with the help of extensive outsourcing, developed three successful Forza racing games.

Yet Microsoft’s hunt for a studio partner suggests the project will not be brought in-house.

Bizarre Creations was acquired by Activision in 2007 – a deal which saw its IP scatter across the industry. Sega holds IP rights to action-shooter The Club, while EA owns Boom Boom Rocket. Bizarre retains the Geometry Wars rights while Microsoft owns Project Gotham and all its assets.

Project Gotham Racing, the spiritual successor to Metropolis Street Racer, had bolstered the original Xbox’s launch line-up along with fellow blockbuster Halo. The series went from cult-hit status to global fame, and became a key product in Microsoft’s seminal online service, Live.

Shane Kim, the former boss of Microsoft Game Studios, said in 2008 that Project Gotham Racing would return at some stage.

In 2005 Bill Gates described Project Gotham as his favourite video game.

Develop has contacted Microsoft for comment.

[Image, Project Gotham Racing 4, used for illustrative purposes]

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