Ubisoft is targeting a "back to school" release for upcoming online racer The Crew, suggesting it could be due to launch around August or September this year.

The date was hinted at in a Q&A document provided to VideoGamer.com on the back of our latest hands-on preview, in which developer Ivory Tower said "The Crew is planned for a release 'back to school' 2014".

The game had originally been due to release earlier this year, but was pushed back to improve vehicle handling, optimise the game engine and enhance the online infrastructure.

"So first we've been giving a lot of attention to the car's handling," Ivory Tower said explaining the reasons for the game's delay. "From steering to weight management, we did our best to offer the most realistic, yet fun, driving experience on every terrain. The result is a whole new set of options to customise your driving experience. You can now go from the simpler arcade sensations to hardcore driving simulation in a few seconds at any time.

"Another aspect we've been focusing on since the game got delayed is its overall look. We never compromised on the open world aspect but returns we got from our E3 and GamesCom demos were that the graphics could still be improved. We've been listening to those feedbacks and took the time to fully optimise the graphic engine, in order to deliver a truly next-gen experience not only in terms of scope but also in terms of graphic quality.

"Then there were opportunities to get extra licensor deals," Ivory Tower continued. "We know that at the core of every driving game are the cars. The vehicles the players are using should not only feel real but be real and that's been a big part of our work lately.

"And finally we've been working on the online infrastructure of the game. As we realised the amount of players that were enthusiastic about the game, we identified the need for a much stronger infrastructure. We've spent the past couple of month working on that aspect, testing our servers throughout multiple processes.

"We know several fans might have been disappointed by this delay but our philosophy is to deliver the best game possible when it is ready. Fortunately, Ubisoft's policy is the same in that regard and with their support, we agreed on delivering the best driving experience of this next-generation of consoles."

The game is expected to launch on Xbox One, PS4 and PC simultaneously.

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