KartRider: Drift just raced through its second Closed Beta across PC and Xbox One. The first one was a great success, and hopefully, the second beta was just as informative and helpful for the team at Nexon as well as fun for players. 

I had the chance to get some of my burning questions about the game and its upcoming release answered by KartRider: Drift’s Executive Director, Hoon Park.

The last time I wrote about KartRider: Drift it was late 2019 and obviously, the idea of a global pandemic wasn’t on anyone’s minds. So I had to do a pulse check on the Nexon team before getting into any bigger questions first.  

Dylan: How has everyone been coping with COVID-19 and has that affected development in a significant way? 

Hoon: The team has been doing very well and are eager to review the player feedback from the second Closed Beta – it’s always an exciting time to see hard work pay off! The team have adjusted well to the changes made for COVID-19 with everyone continuing to work from home. The development has not been impacted in a significant way and the team was still able to deliver a fantastic build for the second Closed Beta.

Vroom vroom in my bath tub - image captured from KartRider: Drift Closed Beta 2

Vroom vroom in my bath tub – image captured from KartRider: Drift Closed Beta 2

Dylan: What were some of the key things the team learned from the beta in December and how was player response? 

Hoon: The first Closed Beta for KartRider: Drift was successful and we were able to obtain a great amount of feedback from our players to continue to improve gameplay, especially as we introduced cross-platform for Xbox One X and PC for global players. The overall player response was very positive. Players already familiar with the KartRider franchise were excited to jump into the revamped game and play with their friends worldwide across platforms. Since then there were several improvements implemented to the second Closed Beta including in-game physics, improved UX, HUD, sound improvement, voice chat, and the addition of wraps allowing playing to further customize their karts. We’re excited to hear additional feedback from players. 

All of these additions to the second Closed Beta did make for an overall more customizable experience. Having skins and an assortment of unlocks is just a given in any free-to-play game and the selection of skins, emotes and kart customization on show in the second Closed Beta was bringing a lot more personality to the game.  

The best vehicle in the beta - image captured from KartRider: Drift Closed Beta 2

The best vehicle in the beta – image captured from KartRider: Drift Closed Beta 2

Dylan: Since the reveal at Inside Xbox in November last year have you seen a spike in interest from Western audiences towards KartRider: Drift? Particularly when it comes to the Xbox version.  

Hoon: We have seen a lot of players who are familiar with the KartRider franchise from past iterations. There has been a nostalgia factor among those players eager to see the game expand onto consoles through the Xbox One. In the West, we have also seen new player interest arise after the first test who have returned for the second Closed Beta and are looking forward to the launch. 

The Inside Xbox show is the first time I had personally heard of the franchise and I was instantly intrigued. Unfortunately for those that don’t have a PC or Xbox they’ve been unable to try out the game, so I had to ask…

 Dylan: Are you able to comment on how exclusive that Xbox deal is? Would there ever be a chance of seeing KartRider: Drift on both PlayStation and Nintendo consoles?

Hoon: KartRider: Drift is currently available on Xbox One, including Xbox One X, Nexon Launcher and Steam. We’re open to the possibility of bringing KartRider: Drift to other platforms down the line.

I love hearing this because not only do I hope the game ends up on all the major platforms, but I’d also love to see cross-play implemented. 

A battle pass of content was in the beta called “Premium Lane'“ - image captured from KartRider: Drift Closed Beta 2

A battle pass of content was in the beta called “Premium Lane’“ – image captured from KartRider: Drift Closed Beta 2

Even ahead of playing the second Closed Beta I had been thinking about KartRider: Drift’s potential for DLC partnerships with other brands. You see games like Fortnite and Rocket League team up for exclusive events and skins, so why not KartRider: Drift

Dylan: Could you see Nexon partnering with other brands to bring in paid DLC costumes and/or decals for karts based upon other game, tv or movie series? 

Hoon: While there are no current plans to partner with existing IP’s in the game, We’re open to the possibility of the idea later down the line. KartRider: Drift’s extensive customisation options certainly lend themselves to this kind of activity, but there are no plans at the moment. 

 Dylan: What is one new feature in the second closed beta that you were most excited about hearing players get their hands on? 

Hoon: The second Closed Beta that went live on June 3 introduced the wrap system allowing players to further customize their karts. We saw many players truly making their karts their own as they detailed their karts with different decals and pops of colour creating different designs. It was also great to see many players selecting the new character, Diz as their main racer. Many of the players are already looking forward to the next time they can race again!

Thank you to Hoon Park for answering my questions and I hope you and the team got some valuable information out of this recent Closed Beta.

KartRider: Drift is scheduled to release on PC and Xbox One sometime in 2020.