Interview with Manfred Linzner, CEO of Shin’en and lead developer for FAST Racing Neo

FAST: Racing Neo is an upcoming futuristic racer game for the Nintendo WiiU, developed by Shin’en a small independent studio from Germany. After my last interview “Hatred is Okay” with Destructive Creations I thought that my 2nd interview for this website should be about a very different game, and personally I am a big fan of games like WipeOut, Rollcage and F-Zero so it was?? awesome to get the opportunity to learn more about FAST: Racing Neo.

MAYBE the one game that will make me buy a Nintendo Wii U finally.



Hello Mr. Manfred Linzner. First of all can you introduce yourself and your team at Shin’en a bit?

Shin’en is doing console and handheld games since 1999. So far we released nearly 30 games for different platforms. I’m CEO of Shin’en and lead developer for FAST Racing Neo

How many people are working on Fast Racing Neo?

Around five people.

Your company Shin’en has an extensive history developing games for Nintendo systems, is this a coincidence or are you preferring to develop for Nintendo in general?

We have a very good relationship to Nintendo and love many of their 1st Party games. Nintendo always released new and interesting hardware when we were looking for new challenges. Also we like to create games for a broad audience that is interested in high quality games, and this is a perfect match with Nintendo players.

FAST: Racing Neo, questions regarding the game and its contents

The game has been in development since 2013 and was first announced to be released in 2014. but then got delayed. ???Were there any difficulties in development that lead to this delay????

We worked on three different projects at that time (Nano Asssault Neo-X, Art of Balance and FAST Racing Neo). Therefore we decided it’s better to postpone FAST Racing Neo to 2015 because we didn’t wanted to rush the game. We wanted to give it the perfect polish it deserved and also wanted to try different new ideas.

How many tracks will there be in Fast Racing Neo?

We will announce all tracks and vehicles at a later date.


According to reviews, FAST: Racing League was an incredibly good game for the Nintendo Wii, but was also very overlooked. In a conversation with a Nintendo Fan who bought a ton of Wii games he called the game a “hidden gem” on the Wii.

The game was released at an unfortunate time. The Wii sales declined and not many people were aware of WiiWare at all. The games still sold nicely, compared to games released at the same time on WiiWare. So we knew there was quite some interest from the core users.


How successful was the first game for you / Shin’en?

As any game we ever released on Nintendo platforms it was a commercial success for us. The sales were on par with Jett Rocket and Art of Balance, two other gems on WiiWare from Shin’en.


I did not play FAST: Racing League (Released in 2011 as a WiiWare Game) on the Wii myself, however FAST: Racing Neo reminds me a lot of the WipeOut series on first sight and also a bit of F-Zero.

What would you as the developer say are the biggest differences to those two racing series in FAST: Racing Neo?

Most people know only these two great futuristic racing games. So it’s just right and normal they compare FRN with these games. First of all FRN plays very differently. It’s all about amazing speed and phase switching. It was also very important for us that players get quickly a good feeling for the vehicles.

We tried to make the game very accessible from start while still hard to master in higher leagues.


I watched videos of FAST: Racing League and I liked the soundtrack a lot. As a fan of videogame music, I am interested about if the soundtrack in FAST: Racing Neo will be similar to FAST: Racing League. Will the soundtrack be available separately as well????

For the music in FRN we tried a fresh style. We wanted something that could sound like from an 2015 Arcade Game. We really love how the music developed for the game. We plan to release the soundtrack at a later date.


FAST: Racing League had no online modes, will online multiplayer be supported in Fast Racing Neo?

FRN features online racing with up to 8 players.


What type of game modes will be in the game? Will there be any special
Multiplayer ones?

We will reveal all game modes at a later time.


Can you give us a more specific release date and estimate the costs of the game?

The release date is not yet set.


Are there any plans to possibly release FAST: Racing Neo to any other systems or will it stay exclusive to the Nintendo Wii U?

We currently have no plans to bring FRN to another system. However, i think a futuristic racer on a new handheld would be great.


Is there any DLC planned for the game?

We want to release all content we created at launch of the game.



Additional Personal Questions not related to FAST Racing Neo


I believe you have released some of the graphically most impressive games for systems like the Game Boy Advance. As well as this, I would call Iridion II one of the best Arcade Shoot’em Ups of its kind ever. Will we ever see an official third game of the series? :-)

We don’t have the rights to the Iridion brand so i don’t think there will be new games in that series.


What are some of your favourite games from the past and today? What was the last video game you bought and played?

Journey is a great game and Warioland 2 was near perfect. Last game i bought and played was ‘A Link to the Past’ on Wii U Virtual Console.


Thanks a lot for this interview @ Manfred Linzner and as well for releasing games with a focus on a high quality and without DLC. I wish more developers?? would think like that.


Thanks for reading the interview, I hope it is informative for you, greets Reinhold Hoffmann from and

  • andrelol3

    The interviewer looks like a huge Nintendo hater who doesn’t really WTF he is talking.

    Starting an article with “oh yeah, finnaly a game will make me buy a Wii U” is just not right. It just makes you look like a douchebag right off the bat. Specially when you’re talking about a console with some of the best games of recent memory like Bayonetta 2, Smash Bros, Mario Kart 8, Pikmin 3, Donkey Kong TP, Wonderful 101, Fatal Frame 5, etc.

    And you’re saying Fast Racing Neo is the first game you think is worth buying on the console? C’mon, really, man? REALLY?

    W know you’re not gonna buy a Wii U anyways, you’re just using a cliche phrase to make the Wii U look like a console with no games worth playing.

    Then you come up saying “Fast Racing League” on the Wii was “overlooked”… I mean, WHAT? Fast Racing League was one of the most (if not the most) popular game on WiiWare. I remember Shinen saying a few years that the demo have been download over 1 million times. Did your source for amazing info was that one guy who said the game as hidden gem? C’mon, and you’re trying to do journalistic work? No wonder Shinen had to correct you twice there saying that the game did sold well.

    • Riobux

      To be fair to the interviewer really about FAST: Racing Neo making the WiiU worth buying for him, the game that made me feel like the 3DS was a worthy buy wasn’t a Nintendo published game. In fact, it was a game that did atrociously in Japan. Different people have different boats with different things floating them, so to decide that because it wasn’t a typically loved game that may justify a console purchase it must be a hateful comment seems really odd. I believe it is more he just hasn’t found the one game that hooks him for the system, as most just don’t appeal to him. Similar to how I’m sure some hit classic games are just not your cup of tea, which is fine really.

      With regards to Reinhold being wrong about FAST: Racing League being overlooked, Shin’en seems to say it sold well considering when it was released. That it “was released at an unfortunate time. The Wii sales declined and not many people were aware of WiiWare at all. The games still sold nicely, compared to games released at the same time on WiiWare. So we knew there was quite some interest from the core users.” That’s not a correction, but more just saying “well, all things considering really, we did do well”. I admit I do not know the statistics myself, and would be curious on your source of Shin’en saying FAST: Racing League did well.

      By the way, “commercial success” pretty much means it hit the goal expected, which can mean breaking even or just a small profit. It is a lot more loose of a term than it likely seems.

    • R.Hoffmann

      Starting an article with “oh yeah, finnaly a game will make me buy a Wii U” is just not right.


    • Samuel David Coley

      Maybe he doesn’t think the current lineup is enough. Some people may not be interested in DK or Wonderful 101.

      • R.Hoffmann

        Actually I am interested in both games, especially DKC Tropical Freeze and also Hyrule Warriors, but the thing is..I don’t want to buy a console for around 5-10 games, that’s more a principle thing and to be honest, also a money thing. I am not rich, this website is a pure hobby thing without any ads as you could see. I can’t justify it for myself to spend some hundred bucks for a hardware that would gain dust the most of the time because it does not have many games I care about.

        I bought the PS4 in February, subscibed to PS+ and played through 6 of the “free” games since than and had a lot of fun with those. The console also had the most fighting games (my favourite game genre) and just gets the biggest variation and number of games I care for. I hope the NX might be a game-changer for Nintendo but it looks like they lost a ton of possible third party developers in the last years.

  • Scoobie


    Although I already read most of this on Nintendo everything.
    They post pretty much every single bit of Nintendo related news, regardless of how inconsequential it is. Atleast they gave you a shout out.

    • R.Hoffmann

      I contacted NintendoLife about my interview and after they published the key information given through the interview a lot of other websites catched the news as well. It was fun seeing a few thousand people coming from websites all over the world all of a sudden.

      Am trying to steer this website into a direction with more unique content and less gaming news reblogging, there are way too many sites that report basically the same already.

      Would be cool to see your face here sometimes!