Racing game veterans Codemasters’ beloved series, Colin McRae Rally (now known as Dirt) is regarded as one of the finest rally racing series ever made. However, there is unrest amongst the loyal as fans who eagerly purchased the recently released Colin McRae Rally on Steam.
Colin McRae Rally was released on July 30 on Steam, and was assumed by many fans of the series to be a PC-centric HD remake of the 1998 PlayStation 1 classic which was well received and had the exact same title. Indeed, the official trailer of this new version advertises it with taglines such as “The legend returns” among other things.
Having the same title as a 16 year old classic, being remastered in HD and being touted as the return of a legend heavily suggests that this is indeed a remake of 1998’s Colin McRae Rally, right? Wrong.
As it turns out, there is another Colin McRae Rally out there, this one a 2013 Android/iOS game that is “based on content from the 90 percent Metacritic rated Colin McRae Rally 2.0.” This mobile game, unlike the original, received tepid reviews, attaining a 69 score from professional reviewers on Metacritic. The CMR released on Steam a few days ago is in fact a port of this mobile game, and not a remastering of the 1998 classic.
Being a mobile game, this version of CMR lacks many features from the original, such as car customization, a number of stages and cars, and a lack off control and menu optimizations for the PC.
Predictably, fans who forked out $6.99 for this game are livid. The Steam forum for Colin McRae Rally are filled with topics warning others not to buy it or expressing outrage at being misled. The official trailer on YouTube has amassed 101 dislikes compared to 81 likes, and the Metacritic page of the original mobile game now has a horrifying 1.3 score from users.
Codemasters have since then updated the game’s description on Steam to emphasize that this game “features all the tracks and cars from last year’s top selling mobile title with THIRTY amazing rally stages with a combined distance of over 130km.”
Still, the damage to the wallets of those who already purchased the game is done and it is unlikely that Valve will be handing out refunds over this mess.
UPDATE 8/5/2014: Codemasters have since responded to outcry from fans with the following statement:
At Codemasters, we care about our customers and pride ourselves on listening to our community. We understand that some people who bought Colin McRae Rally on Steam are upset and feel that it isn’t the game they thought it would be. We have now updated the product description for clarification. Furthermore, as an act of good faith, we have worked with Valve to enable anyone that bought the game to claim a refund. The ability to refund will be available until the 19th August. To process a refund, please go to your account transactions page and you will see a “Refund” button for Colin McRae Rally. We hope this goes some way to restoring any lost faith and thank you as always, for your continued support.