Update 18/11/2021: Zwift’s Neokyo area has opened today. Check out our full story going over each route in the new area, including details on elevation and distance.
Zwift has announced Neokyo, a new rideable area coming to its Makuri Islands virtual world.
Revealed as part of a wide-ranging presentation detailing new content coming to Zwift this season, Neokyo is a cityscape map inspired by bustling Japanese cities like Tokyo, which recently hosted the 2020 Olympics Games.
Launching in November 2021 (the precise date is still to be confirmed), Zwift says it will be teasing more information about Neokyo in the coming weeks, ahead of the full launch.
According to Zwift, Neokyo almost doubles the number of rideable roads in the Makuri Islands virtual world.
The terrain is said to be “fast and flat”, contrasting the countryside roads of the Yumezi map (the other rideable area of Zwift’s Makuri Islands virtual world), to which it is connected.
Neokyo features a “permanight” (permanent-night) lighting style, with colourful neon-lit buildings and features, further contrasting it against the bright daylight of Yumezi.
Zwift confirmed Neokyo is part of its continuing efforts to expand the Makuri Islands, the game’s second hub world, sitting alongside Watopia (its original and largest virtual world).
It also reaffirmed more rideable areas would be coming to the Makuri Islands in the future, though didn’t give any more details on what or when to expect further expansions.
This season on Zwift
In addition to announcing Neokyo, Zwift also detailed some of the other updates it will be making to the virtual indoor cycling app in the coming months.
New Zwift home screen
A key function of the updated home screen will be to promote social activities (such as events, races and group rides or workouts), and make it quicker to find something social and engaging.
Zwift said the new home screen would be launched on a phased basis, with a limited number of Zwifters getting early access this year, before a full rollout to all users in “early 2022”.
Continuing the social theme, Zwift has decided to open up the creation of clubs to all users in the game.
Following on from the success of Meetups, Zwift is allowing users even more control over organising events and group rides through the new Clubs feature.
Zwift acknowledges that the large community of ride leaders and event organisers the platform has built up in recent years has played a key role in its success (Zwift says around 50,000 community events have taken place in the past 12 months), and understandably sees this as an important area for future growth.
Clubs will initially be released before the end of the year (no specific date was given) on a limited basis, with only Level 20+ riders (or Level 10+ runners) able to create a club, though Zwift users of all levels will be able to join a club.
Initially, club organisers will be able to create private club events, with club workouts coming in the future.
Similar to the updated home screen, Clubs will be launched on a phased basis. Limited groups of Zwifters will be given early access this year, with a full release expected in “early 2022”.