This year's Trackmania will offer stripped-down racing for free
Though serious racers'll need to pay up
Ubisoft's summer of racing might've been postponed, but now we know how much Trackmania's high-speed stunts will cost you. As it turns out, nothing. If you just want to set some hot times on limited tracks this year's Trackmania is completely free to play. But if you're looking for more revs in Trackmania's engine, Ubisoft Nadeo have outlined a three-tiered annual subscription model for the July release.
Previous Trackmanias have dabbled in standalone modular releases (your Canyon, Valley, Stadium and the like), with a brief foray into free-to-play with Trackmania Nations Forever. This year's Trackmania (simply titled, well, that) is instead opting for a tiered subscription model, ranging from limited free access to annual paid memberships.
Sorry, not a subscription. "It’s more like a sport club license model," Nadeo reckons, explaining the model in a blog post this week. "If you want to compete or practice regularly, a federation helps to organize the competitions, maintain the infrastructures, and you buy a license in return. It’s the same in Trackmania."
This year's Trackmania, then, is launching with three membership options. Free Starter Access will let you race solo or online on "quarterly renewed official campaigns" try other player's creations on the Arcade, and let you save one custom track in the map editor. At $10, a year of Standard Access expands that with a fuller range of community tracks and full editor access, while granting entry to daily competitions and a "Track of the Day" selection.
Club Access, at $30 a year (or three years for $60), opens the door to a range of player clubs - offering skin customization, special campaigns, online rooms, training tracks and bespoke competitions. Going for Club also lets you into Nadeo's esports offerings, letting you jump into the Open Grand League or attempt to qualify for the Trackmania Grand League.
Without knowing more about the wider structure of Trackmania, it's hard to tell which tier I'd pick if I just wanted to hop into a weird custom server tracked by awful dubstep remixes and an MMO's worth of clunky UI addons - if that'll be an option at all. I'm also curious whether Nadeo will ever brach back out into other locations. Releases like Canyon and Lagoon brought a wild mix of new handling models, track tiles and vistas to the fray, but it seemed like the community quickly abandoned new settings for the comfort of Stadium.
Once set to race off this month, Trackmania is now due to launch on July 1st