Zynga Gives CSR Racing 2 An Augmented Reality Punch

Zynga Gives CSR Racing 2 An Augmented Reality Punch
Image Source: Zynga (screenshot)

CSR Racing 2 (CSR2) is already the most popular mobile racing game, but Zynga aims to get it even higher. Today the game maker announced an augmented reality feature for the racing game that allows players to bring “their dream car garage to life like never before.”

What CSR Racing 2 AR mode does

Zynga has used Apple’s ARKit to add new capabilities to the game, and thus, the game is exclusively available for the iPhone and iPad with iOS 11. The new feature also allows players to interact with their vehicle collection within real-world environments. Using the CSR2 AR mode, players can even scale their vehicle to showroom specs and places and re-positioning it in a real-world environment. They can also share their model in a life-like scale on social media.

That’s not all. Using the CSR2 AR Mode, you can even take a picture of you standing next to the car and also share it on social media.

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In a press release, Julian Widdows, vice president of games for CSR2 said, “Stunning visual fidelity, unparalleled vehicle authenticity and genre-defining levels of customization are the cornerstones of CSR2.”

Zynga’s NaturalMotion studio team designed very detailed models of the cars. However, these details are not clearly visible while playing the game or even while inspecting the cars in the garage in 3D. The new AR feature, however, lets you see all the details as it allows you to zoom in on parts, look inside and even notice details like stitching on the seat, notes VentureBeat.

“We didn’t realize that the details were this rich,” Zynga CEO Frank Gibeau tells GamesBeat. “People are having fun show [sic] their friends a picture of their new Ferrari in their own driveways. It moved from a gimmick to something that really enhanced the CSR Racing 2 gameplay experience.”

CSR2 AR Mode is being offered for free to ensure that fans engage more with the game, the CEO said.

Solid foundation made it easier

Due to the fact that the cars in the game were originally designed with accurate details, packaging them in AR mode needed “no additional art work,” says Pocketgamer. If it has not been the case, the cost of coming up with an AR mode would have been very high. This could be one major reason why such a feature would not be available in other mobile racing games.

However, this does not mean that coming up with an AR mode for CSR2 was easy. Though there is no information on how long it took for NaturalMotion to develop it, according to Pocketgamer, the company did send a team to work directly with Apple’s ARKit team. This ensured that players get the best possible experience.

CSR Racing 2 is from NaturalMotion, which Zynga acquired in 2014. Gibeau called the game a break-out hit while talking to GamesBeat a few months ago.

At 9:54 a.m. EST, Zynga shares were up 0.64% at $3.93. Year to date, the stock is up almost 53%, while in the last month, it is up by over 2%.

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