It’s not every day that our loves for gaming and cycling converge, but with the release of the Tour de France 2022 and Pro Cycling Manager 2022 games on Xbox, PlayStation and PC, that love gets to reach all-new heights. It’s the Nacon and Cyanide Studios teams who are behind the annual editions and so we reached out to see if we could find out more about what goes in to the development of these cycling games.
Hi. Please could you introduce yourself. What is your role at Cyanide and in the development of Tour de France 22?
Hello, I’m Johan Correard, the Community Manager of the Studio, working directly with the team and focusing on the technical part, directly linking with the community.
So, sell it to us. Why should gamers be interested in Tour de France 2022?
TDF 21 was already considered by the players as a success and we were able to work closely with the community to refine and improve what is coming this year, including more uncertainties on races with falls and injuries, along with more realistic AI that are capable of surprises.
Each and every year a couple of games are released – the Tour de France on console and then a PC specific, Pro Cycling Manager. Could you explain the difference between the games and why they are marketed as separate titles. Do you ever foresee a time when the TDF title and that of Pro Cycling Manager come together in one blockbuster game?
These are two very different games as we see on other popular sports. The objectives of the players and the emotions are not the same between race strategy and intense effort in TDF or flawless management of a team and perfect organization in PCM.
We’re big cycling fans and have always found the Tour de France yearly release to be of interest. But how do you cater for the non-fans? Do you feel there’s enough in the game to draw in those who know little about cycling in general?
We are aware that the game is a niche game, however, the ease of access with the gameplay and the proximity to real-world events allow us to reach a new generation of players as well as older ones.
It’s obvious that Le Tour is the grandest of all Grand Tours, but what about the others that make up the cycling season – the Giro d’Italia and La Vuelta? Will players find those, or any other Classics, replicated in Tour de France 2022?
For several years other races have been included in the game such as Paris-Nice, Critérium du Dauphiné or Paris Roubaix, and many great regional specificities can be identified by players once in game. This year, a new classic inspired by Milan Sanremo will allow players to race on the Poggio, and to bring more immersion during races with cobbled sections, we have added a new “vibration” feature. You will never experience the Arenberg gap in the same way with all the interface rumbling!
The Tour de France series has always had additional Challenge modes to partake in away from the lengthy races. What is included this time around in TDF 22?
This year a new mode is available: Race of the Moment. Every week (and even more often during the Tour de France), we will offer a new race that is available for a limited time. During this period, players will have to get the best ranking on the leaderboard. All players will have the same team and will have to aim for the same classification: the overall classification, the mountain classification or other Tour de France classifications. Depending on your final ranking on the leaderboard, you will earn points that will lead to monthly and yearly leaderboards.
Could you talk to us about team and rider licences. Will all the big names be front and centre from launch and how have you gone about ensuring that rider values replicate those of the real world?
We follow and receive data from riders and teams during the year and we make sure to stick as closely as possible to the latest performances before the game is released. This a day-to-day process, and we look closely at the result all along the year.
How have you recreated the route of this year’s Tour de France in-game? Will the player have the opportunity to follow the real world Tour and be able to spot specific landmarks, climbs and the like?
Every year, one of the big focuses of our teams is to recreate the official Tour with its specific stages. We do our best by taking into account the scale of the races to include as many monuments and emblematic landmarks of these stages as possible.
Crashes are a massive part of pro cycling, whether that be as the bunch contracts mid-race, or as the intensity rises in a stage sprint. Will incidents like these be a part of TDF 22?
You can now decide whether or not to activate race incidents and their consequences. If you activate them (for you and your opponents or only for your opponents), you can choose their frequency and the consequences, which vary according to the severity: more or less loss of power or even abandonment.
Visually and not an awful lot has changed in the franchise over the years. What extra has been introduced this year?
Material is always modeled from year to year, including the Trek bicycle for Team trek-Segafredo, KTM bicycle for Team B&B Hotel KTM, Bontager helmet of the Trek-Segafredo team, and Limar helmet of team Astana. Every year, the dev team and the licencing team are working to have the official material updated.
Apart from the odd “Allez Allez Allez” from the crowd, audio in cycling is fairly slight. What has been added to the audio side of this year’s title to allow the player to become fully immersed?
Comments are added every year to match the routes of the TDF but, indeed, some have remained for many years, and have become memes of the “Attaque de marlou” community! We would feel a little bit guilty to deprive our community of these audio tracks that have marked them for generations!
Away from the cycling, there’s always been a bit of team management in place. Have there been any amendments or changes to that system?
It’s not the heart of the game on TDF, but like every year the game’s menus and UI have been reworked to make it as clear and pleasant as possible.
Both TDF 22 and PCM 22 will release on June 9th, nearly a month ahead of the real-world event. Will you be using the time post-launch to drop any patches, perhaps to ensure all riders partaking in the Tour are well represented in-game?
Patches are released every year for TDF and PCM, which is constantly patched and improved during the year, often until the next game is released.
And finally, if there was one dream addition that you could add to future editions of the Tour de France game, what would it be?
The Cochonou truck of course! There are a lot of things we would love to add. We work each year on what is most important to us and the community, as each development phase begins with meetings with our teams and our community, to determine what will be feasible for the next edition.
Huge thanks go out to Johan for taking the time to answer our questions.
We’re currently hands-on with Tour de France 2022 and Pro Cycling Manager 2022 in order to review and check out the differences between the games. Stay tuned for our thoughts very soon.
You can grab Tour de France 2022 for yourself on Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S (download it from the Xbox Store), PS4, PS5 and PC from June 9th 2022. Pro Cycling Manager 2022 is on PC (Steam) come the same day.