Eutechnyx blames a "lack of retail space" for the absence of a PC version of the recently announced NASCAR The Game 2011 but promises good news for PC racers in the future.
You may have noticed that yesterday's announcement of a new NASCAR racing game listed versions for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and Wii, but made no mention of a release for the PC. The reason is simple: There's not going to be one. The more specific explanation for why that is, however, is a little less clear.
"The lack of retail space for PC currently means it's tough to justify the costs of development for traditional distribution," Eutechnyx's Dave Thompson told VG247. "Nevertheless, we have something up our sleeves that should satisfy the legions of dedicated PC racers - watch this space."
It makes sense at first blush. Game retailers are focused on consoles these days and anyone who's poked his head into a GameStop or EB recently can tell you that PC titles just don't get the shelf space they used to. But the concern with "traditional distribution" is a bit confusing because digital distribution is well-established as a viable method of getting games out to the public. Thompson, in fact, actually confirmed that digital will figure prominently in the future of the franchise.
"DLC is certainly a key part of what we have planned for the NASCAR franchise, due to the fact that the series constantly evolves during each season and we want to keep the fans totally up to date with the real sport," he said. "Be prepared to see some pretty deep integration on this front over the coming years."
I'm not sure how much water the "tight shelf space" explanation holds when, if I can say this without engendering too many stereotypes, a game like NASCAR 2011 will probably be a lot more popular in the enormous aisles of Wal-Mart than in the cramped confines of a specialty retailer. Maybe Eutechnyx had a digital PC release planned from the start and nothing was said about it because it falls outside the distribution agreement the company has with Activision? Whatever the case, PCs have traditionally been the platform of choice for hardcore sim fans and if Eutechnyx wants to reach that audience, it'd be wise to ensure that whatever it has up its sleeve comes with a mouse and keyboard attached.