KartRider: Drift – Interview with Nexon on new cross-platform racing game

It has been quite some time since Nexon launched a PC title, and we were genuinely surprised when KartRider: Drift was announced at the Xbox event, X019. A cross-platform kart racer developed using Unreal Engine 4 for Xbox One and PC platforms, the Closed Beta was fun and casual. We find out more details about the game from the team at Nexon!

North America and Europe: http://kartrider.nexon.net/en/

All other regions: https://www.kartdrift.com/

Q: The KartRider games have experienced huge popularity in Asia for the past 15 years. Were there any reasons the same did not happen globally?

For newcomers to the franchise, it can be hard to explain the elements that make the franchise stand out from other kart racing games. It thus became important to find a way to take what made the franchise so successful and then build upon that to create a truly unique play experience for KartRider: Drift. Because the franchise was so popular and successful, there was also the need to do any launch for Western audiences “right.” Both of these things, of course, take time.

Q: How many racers are available at the start in KartRider: Drift? Do they each have unique traits?

We’ll have a variety of racers each with their own distinct personalities and designs. You’ll of course be able to customize them throughout your career, so many of those unique traits are yours! The customization will let fans really make their racers their own, but as these are strictly cosmetic and don’t impact the game, that means that the competition remains pure.

Q: Players should be unfamiliar with the cast of KartRider: Drift. Could you do a brief introduction to this colourful and wacky bunch of characters?

Sure! We have an awesome cast of characters returning for KartRider: Drift, that will undoubtedly be recognized by longtime fans of the franchise: Dao, Bazzi, the blue and red racers you might’ve seen in our promotional images, as well as Brodi. There’s also a couple of easter eggs players familiar with the MapleStory franchise may have noticed from the announcement trailer, which will be coming to the game post-launch. We’ll also have seasonal content updates, so you can expect new additions to our roster.

Q: What was the pivotal point when the team decided to develop KartRider: Drift?

I enjoy watching the KartRider League’s esports matches and make sure to watch especially when there’s a final. I always thought it would be exciting to present the popular KartRider on a global stage, and then I was given the opportunity to develop a sequel. This is how we came to develop KartRider: Drift, keeping in mind the keywords “global, e-sports, cross-platform play” that I’ve always admired.

Q: Was cross-platform functionality with Xbox One always part of development? Was mobile ever considered?

Cross-platform is a big part of KartRider: Drift, and always has been. We think cross-play is an awesome feature that helps bridge communities together, regardless of region and platform, so being able to push that for KartRider: Drift has been great. As for mobile, we’re always looking for ways to bring our games to the platform, so we may consider it for the future.

Q: The inevitable must be asked. What about PlayStation gamers?

Right now, we only have plans to develop KartRider: Drift on Xbox One. But we’re open to the possibility and reviewing all the options!

Q: Compared to other kart racing games, what are some of the more unique features which KartRider: Drift offer?

Speed Mode is the standout in KartRider: Drift. In other kart racers, wins sometimes rely on the luck of the draw. In Speed Mode, your victories rely on how masterfully you drive and drift along the track, resulting in some incredibly satisfying wins! But of course, we have something for everyone, giving racers different mode options to try depending on their preference.

In KartRider: Drift, players can also use different tools to customize their characters in the game with unique skins and karts. Expressing yourself cosmetically is equally important to expressing yourself skillfully, so we’re making sure players have more control over customization to express their unique personality.

Q: Latency is obviously an issue for game genres such as racing. Is there any technical wizardry done behind the scenes to optimize this aspect?

What’s vital to the matching system along with skill level is latency. The matching system actually measures the latency of the players, and creates a player pool based on this. It’s designed to find players with a similar skill level within that pool. In order to resolve such latency issues, we plan to build a server mesh that covers the entire world.

Q: Are there any controller wheels currently compatible with the game?

As of now, we’re focusing on heightening the completion level of the controller operations. If there’s a controller wheel players prefer, we would love to hear their feedback in order to actively reflect it.

Q: Is the same business model being used for both platforms?

Yes, both are Free-to-Play!

Q: What kind of items can players expect to find in the cash item shop?

We’re not ready to talk about this just yet, but we’ll have more details in the near future. Stay tuned.

Q: Finally, to end the interview, any parting words for the gamers out there?

We just hope everyone has fun playing KartRider: Drift when it launches! We’ve been working hard to bring it to new platforms, so we’re very excited that players around the world will now enjoy this amazing game worldwide. We encourage everyone to follow us on social media (@KartRiderDrift) for the latest updates, and announcements.

Thank you so much for your time!