Stefano Zanaboni, Lead Game Designer of MotoGP™23. This new chapter in the franchise is special for several reasons, and among them, there’s the hard work put into the renewed Career: I think it better embodies the essence of MotoGP™23 as a game for everyone – together with the Neural Aid System, whose advanced and fine-tuned AI support system will help beginners to learn the ropes of driving. Let’s see what I’m talking about!
Approachable. Emergent. Dynamic.
These three words perfectly summarize the overall experience from the beginning of the Career to the end. You will start from the final part of a Moto3™ championship as a newcomer, the rookie who will forge his own path throughout the entire MotoGP™ world. We chose to set this as your starting point because by driving simpler bikes to master compared to MotoGP™ ones, you’ll be able to get familiar with the new mechanics of this edition. This Debut Season will decide your future: you can either stay in Moto3™ if your performance does not live up to expectations, move up to Moto2™ if you do well enough, or even go big and be called to race in MotoGP™. It’s up to you: as a completionist, you might want to challenge every possible rival in every category; if you’re eager to race side by side with the MotoGP™ legends instead, then you have to work hard at it and prove you’re worth.
Once your Debut Season ends, well, this is where the real fun begins. Every choice matters, that’s why we decided to add the so-called Turning Points until the very end of the Career. They are key decision-making moments in the game that affect your career throughout every single Chapter: while you can see a chapter as the big picture with a mid-long-term objective to complete, Turning Points are the main beats that forge your entire path and determine a variety of scenarios you can find yourselves in.
Don’t underestimate them, because even though the main Turning Points will show up at the end of each chapter, every decision you make during the career counts and can lead to a different outcome: the bike you choose to ride, the power-ups you want to implement on it, how you behave with other riders through social interactions… Step by step, chapter by chapter, the choices you make will shape you as a rider in one way or another. The career could be very different for every player because of these decisions.
Let’s make an example by using the Debut Season. As I said, it’s a common prologue for all players: a very brief chapter in which you’re tasked to finish ahead of Ryusei Yamanaka within the penultimate GP of the season. If you’re successful, the game offers you a specific Turning Point – challenge the Moto3™ World Champion Diogo Moreira, and beat him. By doing so, you will earn the attention of the MotoGP™ teams. Your results speak for themselves: you are a promising rider worthy of the MotoGP™ category. So, from the Moto3™ you can jump directly into MotoGP™, race side by side with the bests, and try to be the next World Champion.
But what happens if you can’t beat Yamanaka first? You still don’t have what it takes to be promoted to MotoGP™, but your efforts have been acknowledged nonetheless. Thus, the game will give you a similar Turning Point as before but not against Diogo Moreira: the challenge will be simpler and if you win it you’ll get the chance to pass to the Moto2™ category. You didn’t go big but you’ve still made a step forward in your climb to the top. This is your very first Turning Point, and throughout your career you’ll experience different ones, each with equally different results.
You noticed that I mentioned social interactions, yes? We wanted not only for the game to be emergent and dynamic, but also to add a sense of responsibility. Social interactions couldn’t be a more modern topic: what you say, how you say it, and how you behave have consequences. This happens in MotoGP™23 too, because rivalries can arise precisely from how you behave toward other riders. Are you the sassy type? Then expect your on-track rivals to be more aggressive, trying to outdo you and conquer the first position at any cost. On the contrary, being more accommodating gives you some space during the races, but remember that the other riders are there to compete. They won’t be too aggressive but will still try to outperform you and win.
These are what we call short-term consequences. There will also be long-term consequences, determined by your reputation, which, in turn, depends on your social interactions: having a bad reputation means it’ll be difficult for you to be hired by a specific manufacturer. On the other hand, having a good reputation can lead you to receive a bit of a “discount” when you want to join a manufacturer. Since you need a certain amount of reputation to join a manufacturer, being nice could be a good idea.
In terms of dynamism, having a good reputation is crucial as it affects not only the way other riders react but also the goals assigned to the players by the team. And beware: failing to achieve them could lead you to dismissal at the end of the season!
This is only the surface of where social interactions could lead you, but I’m sure I gave you an idea of how it works. Along with the Turning Points, they keep the storytelling dynamic, fluid, and full of surprises. Our goal with MotoGP™23’s emerging career is to shift players’ focus from team manager to rider, in order to give you a different point of view compared to the past.
But that’s not all. To add more realism, there are now only two spots available in each manufacturer. To prove your worth and secure one of those spots, you must compete with the official riders and take their place. For example, to become a teammate at Ducati, you must first prove yourselves at satellite teams like Team Gresini MotoGP™ Pramac Racing, or VR46 Racing. If you want to switch manufacturer, you still have to catch their attention and demonstrate your value to them. However, keep in mind that even if you’re a legend in MotoGP™, not every team will be interested in signing you. As I mentioned before, your relationship with a specific manufacturer, which is influenced by your interactions with its riders, will determine how challenging it will be to secure a contract with them.
Another example of emerging dynamics is that of newly entered teams, like GasGas Factory Racing, setting achievable goals to enter the top 15. If you manage to get in the top 10 before the Summer Break, a Turning Point is proposed where you can earn the same bike development as KTM’s official team, provided you continue to perform well in the next races. Regarding bike development, in every team there are only two individuals responsible for developing the bike: the first rider and the leader manufacturer. As a second rider, you’ll rely on their decisions at least until you can surpass them and take their positions: becoming a first rider and eventually the leader manufacturer will be among your goals.
Let’s delve deeper into this with another example. You’re part of Team Gresini as the second rider: you are faced with the choice between two bikes, type A and type B. They’re different but nobody asked you if you wanted one area of a bike to be more developed than the others. As a second rider, you can only choose a bike that others supervised for you in terms of development. That’s why you need to become the first rider, to supervise at least one bike’s development. Then you will have the opportunity to customize your bike according to your preferences, as long as you have the necessary development packs (which you earn race by race). Being a first rider is good, for sure, but we all know that there is ultimately only one seat we want: the seat of the leader manufacturer, none other than Pecco Bagnaia.
Being a leader manufacturer means that you can supervise both type A and type B bikes. Climbing the internal hierarchies and taking charge of the team’s technical development during tests is another Turning Point the game offers. In the manufacturer’s hierarchical structure, you can be the second or first rider, but the ultimate goal is to become the leader manufacturer and have the authority to make decisions regarding both bikes. You might want type A to be more powerful and type B to have a better chassis because you heard that Yamaha is one step ahead on this – and it’s not good for you. Keeping an eye on the other teams becomes crucial in your quest for success.
I’m sure you’ve figured it out by now. The technical development also applies to AI-managed teams, whose bikes start with basic parameters and progress as technical development advances. This progression can lead to unpredictable consequences for the classifications each season. Opponents will change their performances every time, depending on the bikes they are racing with and how they fared in the previous season. These changes will impact the hierarchies within their teams, resulting in each season being different from the others. There’s a lot to keep an eye on during your career, so be sure not to rest on your laurels!
A DIFFERENT APPROACH
To sum it up, MotoGP™23 offers you the opportunity to pursue a more vertical approach by climbing the internal hierarchies within a single manufacturer, allowing you to customize both of the bikes. Alternatively, you can opt for a horizontal approach by transitioning from team to team. The choice is yours. There’s no single path to becoming a MotoGP™ legend. Despite starting from a common point such as the Debut Season, each player’s journey can be entirely unique. This diversity was our goal during the game’s development, and we can’t wait to see how you’ll forge your own path. See you on track on June 8, on PC and consoles!