Rumor: Joy Ride a Natal launch title, “a bigger, richer game than before”

Joy Ride, the free-to-play Xbox Live Arcade title announced at last year’s E3, has recently gone AWOL. Its game page has been removed and Microsoft is giving non-specific responses to inquiries as to what fate the game has suffered.

“A senior retail source” of CVG‘s appears to have some answers though.

The Big Park-developed racer, originally expected in late 2009, is now apparently a launch title for Project Natal. The game has been “completely reworked” for motion controls, the deep throat says, and its free-to-play model ditched.

“The hope for us is that it will be a boxed release – we’re still in the dark on that one – but it’s definitely for Natal and will definitely be here for launch,” the source says. “We’ve been told it will no longer be free to play, but that it’s been completely reworked into a bigger, richer game than before.”

“They’re putting the final touches to it now. The biggest thing for us is that it just works with Natal’s racing controls. We’re reliably informed it’s very intuitive.”

The game is expected to be re-revealed during Microsoft’s Natal-centric press gathering next Sunday, June 13.