Metropolis Street Racer

From Sega Retro


MetropolisStreetRacer title.png
Metropolis Street Racer
System(s): Sega Dreamcast
Peripherals supported: Jump Pack, Dreamcast Modem, Race Controller, Visual Memory Unit, Dreamcast VGA Box
Genre: Racing

Number of players: 1-8
Release Date RRP Code
Sega Dreamcast
$44.99More...[1] 51012
Sega Dreamcast
£39.99More...[2] MK-51022-50
Sega Dreamcast
?F MK-51022-50
Sega Dreamcast
DM 99,-More...[3] MK-51022-50
Sega Dreamcast
?Ptas MK-51022-50
Sega Dreamcast
?PTE$ STJS22399
Sega Dreamcast
$89.95More...[4] ?

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Metropolis Street Racer, known as Metropolis during development and frequently listed simply as MSR, is a racing game developed by Bizarre Creations for the Sega Dreamcast. Highly praised at the time of release, MSR was often considered to be the Dreamcast's answer to the PlayStation's Gran Turismo racing series, as it has over 250 circuits (set in real-world locations) and numerous officially licensed cars.



MSR's origins date back to 1997 when Sega's Kats Sato was tasked with finding out who had developed the PlayStation games Formula 1 and Formula 1 Championship Edition for Sony Computer Entertainment. Reportedly Sato purposely pulled the power cable at a display at E3 1996 to see the game's intoductory creditsMore...[5], and, upon discovering the team was Bizarre Creations, a meeting was arranged with Kazutoshi Miyake in an attempt to get the team to produce games for Sega instead.

Sega initially wanted the team to work on Sega Saturn titles, but the plea was rebuffedMore...[5]. Bizarre Creation's head, Martyn Chudley, however kept in contact, and was won over when Sega demonstrated a prototype Dreamcast (then codenamed Dural)More...[5]. Bizarre weren't keen on the original proposal to create more Formula One games, but agreed to make a "serious city-based game with real cars"More...[6].

MSR entered production while the console was still being developedMore...[7], which led to numerous engine revisions as the Dreamcast SDKs maturedMore...[8]

Metropolis Street Racer had an extremely rocky development cycle, being announced well in advance of the Dreamcast's Western launch and repeatedly missing deadlines over the course of a year. It was reportedly the first Dreamcast project to be started in the United KingdomMore...[9].

While initially aimed at the Dreamcast European launch date (1999-09-28 as it was then)More...[7], the game did not materialise fully until November 2000, at a time when Dreamcast sales were on the decline. Development on a Japanese release was started but never completed.

Thirty hours of real-life footage from the streets of London, Tokyo and San Francisco were captured in order to create accurate representations of the host citiesMore...[6]More...[7], as well as 32,000More...[7]More...[6]-35,000 photographsMore...[10]. Initially the team wanted to let players drive down every street, but to maintain the same level of accuracy across the experience, the task proved too dauntingMore...[8]. Some of these roads are partially modelled in the final game, but are blocked off by invisible walls.

The cars in Metropolis Street Racer are officially licensed and are designed around real specifications supplied by manufacturersMore...[11]. The use of licensed cars, however, meant that none of the vehicles were allowed to be deformableMore...[8]. The physics model is mostly accurate, but the handling was slightly adjusted to make the game more funMore...[11].

Richard Jacques who had at this point composed many soundtracks for Sega, provided the audio for the game. He recorded car revving noises at a "motor industry research centre" (whose location was not disclosed through fears of tipping off rival developers)More...[12].

Associate producer Jose Aller borrowed Kats Sato's Fiat without his knowledge to obtain engine sounds for the game, taking it up to 140mph on a test circuitMore...[13].


Metropolis Street Racer originally launched in PAL regions with a number of bugs, so much so that the game was recalled and Sega felt the need to issue replacement discs (the later North American version is the bug-fixed version, although not all the bugs were actually fixed). A replay option, included in review copies of the game, was scrapped at the last minute due to time restraints.

Despite initially high expectations, MSR sold 101,757 units in the U.S. through January 2003 according to NPD Group. In the UK 13,297 were sold in the week ending November 4th, 2000 according to Chart-Track. In Germany it debuted at number one in Media Control's November 2000 Dreamcast chart. Martyn Chudley described releasing the game exclusively on the Dreamcast at this time was like "The Beatles exclusively selling The White Album on Mars". £1 million of Bizarre Creations' own money went into the project, and although the team was happy to port the game to the PlayStation 2, management at Sega declined the offer.

Bizarre Creations would use what they learned through Metropolis Street Racer to create their line of Project Gotham Racing games for the Xbox/Xbox 360 which are seen as a spiritual successors.

Production credits

Bizarre Creations Ltd.
  • Managing Director: Martyn Chudley
  • Business Director: Sarah Dixon
  • Technical Director: Walter Lynsdale
  • Design, Structure and Frontend: Martyn Chudley
  • Technical Coding: Roger Perkins
  • Engine and Dynamics Coding: Walter Lynsdale
  • Tools and Effects Coding: Phil Snape
  • AI Coding: Dave Al-Daini
  • Sound Coding: Jonathan Amor
  • 3D modelling and Textures (Tokyo): Jon Dugdale, Paul Spencer
  • 3D modelling and Textures (San Francisco): Matt Sharatt, Glen Griffiths
  • 3D modelling and Textures (Tokyo): Julie McGurren, Derek Chapman
  • Car Modelling: Steve Heaney
  • Car and City Textures: Lee Carter
  • Frontend Artwork and City Textures: Gren Atherton
  • Senior Producer: Brian Woodhouse
  • Associate Producer: Peter Wallace
  • Production Support: Glynn Williams
  • Bizarre PR: Sarah Dixon
  • Office Management: Michelle Langton
Quality Assurance
  • QA Manager: Ged Talbot
  • QA: Kevin Reilly
Sega Europe, Ltd.
Product Department
Marketing Support
Sega Of America Product Development
  • Localization Producer: Howard Gipson
  • Supervising Producer: Jason Kuo
  • Lead Tester: Benji Galvez
  • Assistant Lead Testers: Shawn Dobbins, Robert Reich
  • Localization Manager: Osamu Shibamiya
  • Testers: Gabrielle Brown, Jason Jensen, Steven Jee, Devin Tomcik, Jason Mercer, Todd Slepian, Rafael Meza, John Saito, Eric Ling, Joseph Amper, Derek Wong, Aaron Poser, Walter Kim, Daniel Airey, Shaheed Khan, JR Villatuya, Raymond Kwan, David Taleg, Chester Lee, Michael Jones, Joseph Mora
Source: US manualMedia:Metropolis Street Racer DC US Manual.pdf[14]

Magazine articles

Main article: Metropolis Street Racer/Magazine articles.

Promotional material

DrivingGames DC FR PrintAdvert.jpg

FR print advert

ODCM US 10.pdfODCM US 10.pdf

Print advert in Official Dreamcast Magazine (US) #10: "Holiday 2000" (2000-11-28)
also published in:

ODM UK 12.pdfODM UK 12.pdf

Print advert in Official Dreamcast Magazine (UK) #12: "October 2000" (2000-xx-xx)

MAN!AC DE 2000-12.pdf

Print advert in MAN!AC (DE) #2000-12: "12/2000" (2000-11-02)
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Print advert in Neo Plus (PL) #30: "Marzec 2001" (2001-xx-xx)


Physical scans

Sega Retro Average 
Publication Score Source
94 More...[16]
100 More...[17]
90 More...[18]
92 More...[19]
80 More...[20]
Sega Dreamcast
Based on
8 reviews

Dreamcast, US
MSR US backcover.jpgMSR DC US Box Front.jpg
Metropolis Street Racer DC US Manual.pdf
Dreamcast, EU
MSR DC EU Box Back.jpgMSR DC EU Box Front.jpg
MSR DC EU Disc.jpg
Dreamcast, EU (White Label)

MSR DC EU Disc White.jpg