Riders Republic – A Roaring Racing Riot | Developer Interview

Described by Ubisoft as “a massive multiplayer community”, Riders Republic is an avalanche of diverse activities that have you shredding the snow, mud and dirt in real time with up to 50 friends and friends-to-be alike!

The Ubisoft Forward show at E3 2021 gave fans a deep-dive look at a brand new gameplay trailer. They also shared that long-awaited updated release date after the game was delayed at the start of this year.

Ahead of the showcase, I spoke with Creative Director Igor Manceau about the project and what fans can expect from this extreme sports title.

What Makes Riders Republic Different From Games Like Descenders?

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The first thing some gamers thought when the first trailer for Riders Republic dropped was that it looked similar to an extreme downhill mountain biking game called Descenders. Both games have high-octane, adrenaline-fuelled gameplay that’s bound to get you pumped.

Described by Manceau, Riders Republic is a ‘playground’ and “the social element is the key thing that makes a difference”.

“Riders Republic is a playground. Like the environment, the basis of the whole game is what really makes it special. It’s an open-world which, in a word, will enjoy the whole game within that set environment. And it’s massive… I think it makes it stand apart.

The social element is a very similar key element that makes it really different… It’s social by definition, but also really exciting, exhilarating and hopefully fun’.

Riders Republic can be played with up to 50 players at a time, which is bound to lead to a competitive and exhilarating experience.

Whilst Riders Republic has bikes, we also saw skis, snowboards, wingsuits and rocket wings. This constantly evolving and surprising open world is packed with other riders, meaning every play experience will have something new and thrilling for you to try.

What Learnings Have You Taken From Steep To Make Riders Republic Better?

Credit: Ubisoft

If the name Igor Monceau sounds familiar to you, it’s for a good reason. He was one of the Directors of Ubisoft Annecy’s first game – Steep. Released in 2013, this Winter extreme sports game was met with decent reviews across the boards. Fans loved the fun open-world, but weren’t huge on the lack of direction.

If you’ve ever played Steep, you might remember that the game placed a huge emphasis on online multiplayer. You could compete in various different Winter-themed challenges with people online. Whilst the always-online approach was rejected by critics, Monceau is confident that Riders Republic has it right. He claims that the game is “much more fun when you get a chance to play with friends”.

Taking a look at the gameplay trailer, it’s hard to deny that. What is particularly impressive is the fact that all content is playable with other players. There are a variety of modes to choose from, including Versus, Free For All and, my personal favourite, 6v6 Tricks Battles, which sounds a little bit like Splatoon with snowboards. All these modes are accessible from the ‘vibrant heart’ and ‘social hub’ of the game – the Riders Ridge.

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Monceau spoke abundantly about the community learnings he’d taken from Steep. Even though the team loved what they made with Steep, they ‘wanted to expand the terrain’.

On the topic of fan feedback, I asked how important it was when it comes to developing a game. Riders Republic has been live in a technical test prior to tonight’s announcement, proving just how much Ubisoft Annecy cares about fan feedback.

Monceau says that ‘fan feedback is really important at all stages of the development process, even more when live”. With continuous updates and content over the next year, this certainly fills us with hope that Riders Republic will be a game that responds and is directly influenced by its community.

How Do You Approach Accessibility When It Comes To Your Game

Credit: Ubisoft

It’s always nice to find a developer that shares our passion for accessibility in gaming. Ubisoft commits to supporting some features and Riders Republic sounds

Note that this isn’t a full list, rather a selection of accessibility options we can expect from Riders Republic:

  • Colourblind-friendly options
  • Text to speech for navigating menus
  • Speech to text, a system that translates and writes messages from other players

When I asked about difficulty options, Monceau said that “we want riders republic to be easier to grasp and more accessible”. He elaborated: ‘you can remap everything… The trick system can have full manual and automatic mode’. In Automatic Mode, the game will land your trick without making you fall, whilst Manual Mode gives you full control over your character. This consideration is always something we like to see in gaming!

What are you most proud of with the game?

Credit: Ubisoft

What was striking speaking with Monceau was the sheer amount of passion in his eyes when speaking about Riders Republic. It’s a feeling that is hard to get across in words. But I truly believed it when he said that he felt “lucky and proud to have had a chance to create a game that is fresh and fun and non-violent.”

With a wide variety of modes for you and your friends to enjoy, it sounds like Riders Republic will have something for everyone!

Riders Republic will be available for next-gen consoles, current-gen consoles, and PC on September 2nd 2021. If you’re looking to .

Featured Image Credit: Ubisoft