Codemasters have announced their intention to focus on driving games, even going as far as to far as to create a new division: Codemasters Racing as part of the change. While Codemasters will remain the parent company, Codemasters Racing will handle their three main driving franchises – Dirt, Grid and the official F1 games.

Dirt: Showdown will also be the first compatible game (though backwards compatibility is apparently possible) with Codemasters Racing’s new RaceNet hub, which will offer exclusive online content to further the lifespan of all your favourite Codies racing games.

In our demonstration, we were shown one of the potential challenges in Dirt: Showdown – drain an oil tanker full of fuel, neatly tying in with the dockside setting of the new Hoonigan mode . Racing collaboratively with other gamers, this scenario involves participants simply bombing around until they cumulatively exhaust a certain amount of fuel, with everyone taking part offered a reward, in the form of new cars, avatars and other TBC goodies.

A simple but demonstrative example of the way Codemasters Racing believe RaceNet will help increase the longevity of their games. It also helps that unlike certain, not-to-be named services, it will remain free and optional to sign up for.

As the oldest independent games producers in the UK, the survival of Codemasters, and its evolution into a world-beating racing company, is one to be savoured. I for one remember them bossing the mid 90s with their innovative Micro Machines series, and am glad that they are once again back on the summit, producing great games, content and above all, experiences that will surely rev the engines of racer fans worldwide.