Hi everyone, it is with a heavy heart that I come to you with some difficult news. Tomorrow marks my last day in the Codies Racing Studio as I am moving overseas with my family to embark on new adventures.
It has been an incredible decade working on DiRT and there have been so many great moments that I couldn’t possibly list them all here but there have been some real highlights along the way, so by way of reflection here are some of my favourite memories of the last 10 years:
Launch events over the years have taken a few different forms but launching the incredible DiRT 3 at the huge event at Battersea and the surprise launch of DiRT Rally into early access were both amazing in their own ways. I’ll never forget the buzz in the studio as we sent the tweet and pushed the button on Steam sending DiRT Rally into the wild with nothing but a 10 minute warning.
I guess that leads me neatly onto the DiRT Shows. They started as a way of giving people something to watch while they downloaded the latest update on DiRT Rally but turned into so much more. Regardless of their production values they were always a huge amount of fun to do and hopefully they were as fun and informative to watch.
I’ve travelled all over the world thanks to DiRT, whether that has been on press activities or working in partnership with the FIA World Rallycross championship. Every trip has been an amazing experience and despite most involving really long hours, a lot of hard work (and sometimes running out of fuel on a French autoroute) there has always been room to party. Without a doubt the biggest highlights have come courtesy of the Magic Weekend at Holjes where one night we may have ended up in a hunter’s cabin, eating moose salami and wondering when we were all going to end up next on the menu.
One of the most amazing things I’ve done during the last 10 years has been to jump into the co driver’s seat and actually experience competitive rallying from inside the car. This wouldn’t have been possible without Jon Tucker, who took me under his wing and helped me find my feet starting in 12 car navigation rallies in Devon, through our first event in Wales to competing in bigger BTRDA gravel events such as the Malcolm Wilson and Somerset rallies.
Since competing with Jon I’ve also jumped into the car with Luke Harvey, one of our most passionate community members as he embarked on his competitive rally career. Every event was a real challenge including a pretty heavy crash but it opened my eyes to so many hidden aspects of the sport. I firmly believe that through the work we did on DiRT Rally we managed to capture those aspects better than ever before; although we spared you from simulating the experience of waiting in the forest for 5 hours while your car gets recovered.
Suffice to say that taking the franchise through its many evolutions, working with incredibly talented developers and publishers and striving to give you, our fans, the best rally game on the planet has been a labour of love and one I am going to remember for as long as I live.
There is never a good time to move on but I want you all to know that the future of DiRT is in great hands. Not only is the studio still full of experienced talent who have been responsible for making DiRT the franchise it is today but we also have exciting new team members who are joining the studio and bringing their passion and enthusiasm to the franchise. On top of this Codies are continuing to work with Rally and Rallycross experts such as Ryan Champion and Oliver Solberg, as well as members of the DiRT community and racing fans around the world to ensure that wherever DiRT goes next, it is the best it possibly can be.
This all started for me in 1998, sat in my university bedsit taking it in turns to run stages on Colin McRae Rally with my friends. I was a fan of the series then and now I am going to get to enjoy the next DiRT as a fan again, I may even chip in on the forums every now and then.
Thank you for being the most passionate community and playing DiRT for all these years. It has been an honour and a pleasure to be part of it all.
Keep it lit!