Driveclub director Paul Rustchynsky says the game was delayed in order to get its unique social features just right.
In a post on PlayStation Blog, Rustchynsky wrote that the game’s dynamic menu – which he claims has never been seen before in a game of this ilk – was the feature Evolution Studios really wanted to nail down.
“The dynamic menu is key to how much fun you’re going to get out of the game because it is the glue that connects you to everyone else in the Driveclub community,” he wrote.
“Whenever you fire up the game; between every race you play, and when you log in to Driveclub on your phone or tablet, the dynamic menu has to be slick to ensure your experience is seamlessly connected. Essentially it’s where you discover what to play, and who to play with.
“It’s also absolutely vital to our ambition of growing a vibrant network of millions of connected clubs, who all share the excitement of driving amazing cars together.
“Whether they play just to have fun, or to complete every challenge and beat their rivals in every race, it’s this connected community who will keep the game fresh and enjoyable well after launch, so it makes sense for the connectivity to be perfect.”
While some staff worked on the menu, the rest of Evolution looked to improve the game’s visuals, audio, physics, and social aspects, wrote Rustchynsky.
He also admitted it had been a "long and hard winter".
“Thanks again to everybody for your continued support; it really is a huge source of inspiration for the team,” he wrote.
“We appreciate that there’s a lot of anticipation and excitement for everything that Driveclub promises to be, so we hope that you understand why we won’t compromise on quality to rush it to you.”
The director also told VG24/7 that getting the game to run smoothly at 1080p and 30 frames per second allowed the most detailed cars yet seen in a racing title.
“It’s allowed us to create some of the biggest tracks you will ever see in a racing game, with the most visually-dense environments, as well as a full global illumination system which allows us to make time of day, where shadows are cast, full-on reflections,” he said.
The game’s free PlayStation Plus version gives players access to all features both online and offline, but only 10 cars and five tracks (with 11 distinct variants).
“We wanted to make sure we could have a vast number of people playing the game on day one, to allow people to create connections between one another, form clubs, send challenges and so on,” said Rustchynsky.
“The PlayStation Plus edition is still the same. You’ll have full multiplayer access, be able to send challenges, create clubs – the only thing you’re going to be limited on is content, so that’s cars and tracks.”
Free post-launch content was a certainty, he added.
“It’s something we want to keep the Driveclub community active with, so month-on-month you’ll see new cars and new tracks added to the experience, so whether you’re a Blu-Ray player of PlayStation Plus edition player, you’ll be able to continue the experience. But there will of course be additional paid-for content as well, which will be release afterwards.”
DriveClub will be available from October 8 for PlayStation 4.