TE: The first paid-for downloadable content will become available next month, including a selection of new cars. There's one everyone is particularly excited about. So who had the original idea for the Jansen 88 Special, the flying DeLorean?
PL: We didn't want to just offer more cars; we wanted to offer cars that people really wanted to drive. But I can't really pin the idea on any one person, since we work as a team.
TE: Does hovering change the handling?
PL: It doesn't really change the handling, but it changes the way you think about things - when you see yourself flying off a jump with fire trails behind you, it's pretty incredible. It feels really different.
TE: You're also launching a whole new area in February: Big Surf Island. Does it contain things that would usually have gone into a sequel?
PL: I suppose we've designed the island a lot like if we were doing a traditional sequel. You look at the product and try and learn from everything you did during that process and try and make something better. So we've taken everything we know people love about Paradise City and tried to make one special place where all that stuff is. Basically, if you see it, you can drive it. It's not as physically big as other places on the map, but in terms of actual driveable acreage it's probably an awful lot bigger. There's a lot more verticality, as you might have seen from the screenshots.
TE: After a year of free updates, you're now moving to paid-for DLC. What were some of the factors that went into that decision?
PL: A lot of things, really. This year, we've been spending a lot of time working with our community to keep offering them new experiences and we felt that it was the right time to offer paid-for content. With Big Surf Island, we're doing everything we would do if we were doing a sequel. I think we're offering people a lot of gameplay and value-for-money.
TE: How much will the DLC cost?
PL: The price point is yet to be announced. But we're really pleased with the reaction we've had. I think people can see we've given a lot over the Year of Paradise and it's been quite surprising along the way ... people have said they would have paid for the bikes. So there hasn't been a backlash. The response from people I've come into contact with is that they're happy. We haven't had any hate mail.