Frontier Developments today announced that they've landed a license to make several years of Formula One management games, with the first launching for the 2022 season. They're the studio behind the gentle management of Planet Zoo and Planet Coaster [pictured above -obvs ed.] as well as the spacemurders of Elite: Dangerous, and isn't F1 really just about pleasing crowds with colourful beetles built of space-age technology? The exact shape of these games is a mystery for now, as Frontier were announcing the license not any particular game. But it's a management game so, y'know, managing teams and that.
"We are delighted to announce this multi-year licence deal with F1," Frontier CEO David Braben said in today's announcement. "F1 is one of the most popular global sporting franchises in the world, and we believe the combination of the F1 brand together with our extensive experience in management games will deliver fantastic game experiences to a wide and varied audience around the world."
Frontier plan to make four F1 management games, released annually, for PC and consoles.
I assume they'll do the usual management stuff. Run a breeding scheme producing health cars with diverse genetic stock. Put more salt into petrol tanks so cars get thirstier and need to take more pit stops. Hiring mascots to stand around the track and entertain drivers. Designing tracks scary enough to thrill drivers but not dangerous enough to launch them into orbit. Stopping dinosaurs from breaking containment. You know, management game stuff.
We are curiously lacking big(ish)-budget racing management games on PC. Sega had a crack a few years back with Motorsport Manager but, unlike Football Manager, have not kept that rolling. Landing the F1 license is quite the coup for Frontier. They don't have much experience in the area but they do now have the biggest name.
It seems F1 is not the mysterious new license Frontier had boasted about landing last year, so they still have another mystery up their sleeve. Today's announcement talks about "the signing of the F1 Licence and the IP licence previously announced in March 2019" as separate things, so... who knows what that is? Me, I do. I am still confident that Frontier are making either Batmanager or Warhammer 40,000: Golden Throneland.