Asphalt Legends Unite Asset

How Asphalt Legends Unite is Steering its Players into a New Age of Arcade Racing

The latest entry in the Asphalt series, Asphalt 9: Legends, is getting ready to release its first ever expansion, Asphalt Legends Unite, bringing with it a whole new world for its drivers to play in.

Once launched, it will replace Asphalt 9: Legends on digital storefronts while allowing existing players to easily upgrade to the newest version and continue their progress. It will also open doors to all players worldwide with cross-play support, and offer some major upgrades under the hood with an improved game engine, UI, and garage, as well as introducing some highly requested features like a new co-op game mode and an increase to the garage level cap.

We had a chance to catch up with Asphalt’s Game Manager Ignacio Marin who took us on a drive through all of the exiting things that are coming your way once Asphalt Legends Unite launches on Xbox and Windows on July 17, 2024.

What is Asphalt Legends Unite?

Asphalt Legends Unite is not only our first expansion to Asphalt 9: Legends, but it’s also a massive change in mentality,” explains Marin. “Unite is a statement for us, as it not only signifies all our player bases uniting and finally playing together, but it also opens a world of possibilities that we want to take our time to explore. Whether it’s the chance to play with your friends, no matter the platform, or the range of esports possibilities available, Asphalt Legends Unite is a huge change for the franchise moving forward.”

These game-shifting changes are brought in by the inclusion of cross-play, a first for the Asphalt series, that will allow all players to finally race each other, no matter where they choose to play.

“The launch itself is also just the start for us,” continues Marin. “Our team has been hard at work for over a year, not only working on the new features but also adapting how we work together to ensure they can bring their vision to reality. We already have a series of new features and updates we’re currently working on, aside from our usual Season Events calendar, which we will continue to release throughout the year.”

Asphalt Legends Unite Asset

Cross-Platform Play, a First for the Series

“Cross-play has been both our most requested feature and our worst kept secret,” Marin jokingly admits. “We’ve been working on it for over a year now, as it not only involves our largest technical update since release, but a big step up on how teams need to work together.”

Until now, each version of the game was siloed depending on what platform players used, with some versions also having their own independent seasonal calendar.

“All the teams are hard at work to ensure all platforms are on a similar starting point and ready for the launch of Asphalt Legends Unite, while also making sure our players have a smooth ride when cross-play arrives.” shares Marin. “We’re excited to see our players finally race together, and the new gameplay opportunities it will open for us.”

Play with the World

“The opportunities brought by cross-play are endless” explains Marin. “It immediately brings a whole new layer of new opponents into the competition, as they can face each other globally now, and new horizons to explore both from a game and esports perspective. “

Asphalt Legends Unite will launch with a new co-op mode, in which groups of players face each other, one team taking the role of law enforcement and the other of a team of Syndicate Drivers trying to make their escape. You’ll have to team up to chase down the opposition or to make your escape in a daring new mode.

“Our new game mode brings a whole new way of experiencing the game,” says Marin. “It’s the first chance players will have to play together instead of against each other, and we’re already hard at work on a new Friends list and Private Lobby features. Shout out to our Asphalt Content Creators, who have both inspired us and helped us test Private Lobbies this past year!”

“Esports is also something we want to expand on.” continues Marin. “This new open ecosystem will provide us with both new opportunities and challenges to explore, such as global competitions, platform or control-mode specific tournaments, and other potential formats. We’re already in discussions with some new and exciting partners to explore new racing opportunities for our most dedicated players. One thing is for certain: we’ll be bringing back live stage finals in a big way this year, so stay tuned for more news!”

Asphalt Legends Unite Asset

New Partnership – Formula E

“We’re so happy it’s back!” Marin exclaims. “Formula E are doing some really interesting and cool things for the racing world, and we’re excited to collaborate with them once more and to run events alongside their real-world races.”

Asphalt is collaborating with Formula E once more on a series of events, starting March 28, and coinciding with their own races in Tokyo, Portland, and London!

 “We’ve already been lucky enough to collaborate together on a really exclusive event in the past, where a few lucky players got a chance to race with a Formula E car in Asphalt,” Marin says. This time around, everyone will get a chance to get behind the wheel, and they will also get to add the car to their garage collection!”

The first Formula E time-limited event will arrive just in time for Formula E’s Tokyo race on March 28, followed by a second event starting June 27 aligned with the Portland race and a final event on July 18, two days before the London Formula E race. Race attendees at these three events will also be able to play the event in Asphalt Legends Unite at the gaming arena set up by Formula E.

Upgrades under the hood

“We don’t call it an expansion lightly,” begins Marin. “Asphalt Legends Unite is a brand-new start for us and I think it shows the moment players launch the game.”

Marin refers to the complete overhaul of the Asphalt experience players will face once logging into Asphalt Legends Unite, which apart from featuring an upgraded game engine, also sports a new UI and player garage.

“The game has never looked better, I’m pretty amazed with the results.” confides Marin. “It’s been a true team effort to bring this together, and the game really benefits from it. The dynamic lighting and effects add a new layer of realism, and the art direction comes together for a fresh experience. And it couldn’t come at a better time, as the new night track we’ll be releasing looks spectacular with the new lights.”

“Also, we had to give our players what they wanted, and have completely reworked the garage, giving everyone a brand-new space to display their garage collections with gigantic LED displays creating a very modern setup.” continues Marin. “And yes, improving our garage also means expanding our maximum Garage Level cap. Our players have been asking us to do so, and we’re happy to announce that they will be able to expand their legend to new heights.”

“And last but not least, we also took some time to entirely rework the main User Interface of the game.” explains Marin. “With our increased presence on consoles, we wanted to make sure our menus and overall experience was more accessible to all, and in particular, introduce optimization aimed at better controller navigation, while also throwing a new aesthetic to celebrate the new expansion.”

Asphalt Legends Unite Asset

Only in 1st gear

“We’ve only just begun to rev up.” explains Marin. “The launch of Asphalt Legends Unite will help us set the starting point, with all our players finally on the same starting line. And we plan to continue accelerating through the year with new feature updates.”

“It’s still too early to get into any sort of details,” Marin teases. “But you can expect more news on future plans once we’ve launched. One step at a time! In the meantime, you should join our community as we’ll be sharing more in-depth looks into our expansion in our Road to Unite series.”

Thanks again Asphalt’s Game Manager Ignacio Marin for taking the time to answer some of our questions. Look for Asphalt Legends Unite, the expansion to Asphalt 9: Legends, to launch on July 17, 2024, for Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, and Windows.