The news that The 90's Arcade Racer is coming to the Wii U eShop courtesy of Nicalis has pretty much made our week — this colourful love letter to Sega's arcade racers is shaping up to be one of our most eagerly-awaited download releases of 2013.
We spoke to the game's creator Antonis Pelekanos — also known as Pelikan13 — about its inception, inspiration and development.
Nintendo Life: What inspired you to start work on The 90's Arcade Racer?
Antonis Pelekanos: It's simply a game that I would like to see made, a game that I would love to play and a project that could be completed even if it stayed a one-man project.
NL: How long has it taken you to get the game to its current state?
AP: It's been about four months full time. I had also done some work prior to that in my free time, so I would say around five months in total.
NL: What are your favourite arcade racing titles?
AP: Sega Rally, Scud Race, Daytona USA and Indy 500.
NL: You clearly have a lot of love for Sega's output. Do you miss the Sega of the past, a company which would create a constant stream of amazing racers? Do you think Sega can ever get back to that stage?
AP: I certainly hope so, I grew up being a big Sega fan and nothing would make me happier. Although their output is not what it used to be I think they have produced some great games this generation. I really enjoyed Sega Rally Revo, I thought it did a lot of things right but unfortunately it was terribly underrated. It was so sad to see Sega Racing Studio close down. I was so excited when the studio was announced and it got me thinking of future possibilities like a proper Daytona sequel, but it wasn’t meant to be. Maybe it was the market that has changed.
NL: The arcade scene has dwindled somewhat over the past decade. Do you think arcades will ever become popular again?
AP: I think arcades can survive and offer great experiences but I don’t think we will see the old glory days again. No one is pushing technology in the arcades like they used to and it’s understandable; the home is the main market now.
NL: What are your thoughts on the Wii U? Do you think it's a good platform for developers?
AP: I can only speak for the Wii U as an owner and a gamer and I have to say it’s a console that has changed my gaming habits. I really like the off-TV play and it’s something I want to include in the final version of the game. Overall I think it’s a fantastic console and it will do great when more exclusives start coming out. Nintendo exclusives first as always, but let’s hope third parties follow as well.
NL: When can we expect to see the Wii U version of The 90's Arcade Racer? Is it being developed alongside the other editions?
AP: The plan is to release the game in late 2013, alongside the other versions.
NL: How do you plan to make use of the Wii U GamePad controller's screen?
AP: It’s very early to confirm anything as several features are being considered. A few ideas include using it as a steering wheel, a rear view mirror and of course off-TV play.
NL: Will the game feature any local or online multiplayer options on Wii U?
AP: I can’t confirm either right now, but believe me it’s something I would really like to see happen on Wii U.
NL: The 90's Arcade Racer has clearly been a labour of love for you. When it's finished, what will your next project be?
AP: I have many ideas, but for now I can only concentrate on making this game the best it can be.