If you take away Mario Kart then the racing genre would be in "dire" straits indeed, says Black Rock's Tony Beckwith.
Their upcoming Split/Second hopes to be "new and inventive" enough to re-inject some life. Gamers play a TV show race driver who can uses explosive effects to remove competitors.
"If you look at the sales figures, the racing genre is in many respects dying out – take Mario Kart out of the equation and the category is in a dire way. I think this genre is ripe for something new and inventive to give it a kick start," said Black Rock head Beckwith, speaking with Develop.
"We’re all fans of street racing here, but as a genre it is relatively stale – the evolution is only coming from how you customise cars, which can only serve to remove you from the action – I think Split/Second will do the opposite," added game director Nick Baynes.
The game puts emphasis on minding your environment and not necessarily the lines you're meant to be driving along, accompanied by a minimalist HUD display.
The development has been "a huge transfer of ideas, which is a little different from other productions where the different coding, art and design teams can be ghettoised and ordered to just shut up and get on with it," adds technical director David Jefferies.
Split/Second is being released on Xbox 360, PS3 and PC next year. Can Disney's UK studio pull off a fresh and inventive spin?