The official BTCC game is canceled: TOCA, the rights holder to the popular British touring car series, has terminated the licensing agreement with Motorsport Games.
Even though sim racers had been looking forward to an official BTCC game, there had been serious doubts about it seeing the light of day. Initially announced for 2022, the game was most recently delayed to 2024. Now, it is officially canceled altogether, according to a TOCA statement.
The organizer of the BTCC chose to terminate the licensing agreement with Motorsport Games. This comes just a few days after news broke that MSG would reduce its workforce by 40%.
It is with regret that TOCA now advise that it has been forced to terminate that agreement forthwith, due to ongoing fundamental breaches of the agreement by Motorsport Games. Having been given sufficient latitude to rectify those contractual breaches, unfortunately Motorsport Games has failed to do so.TOCA statement on canceling the BTCC licensing agreement with Motorsport Games
BTCC Game Canceled: “We share the frustration”
Furthermore, TOCA argues that it made this decision “to protect the reputation and intellectual property of the BTCC, including those of its participants and partners.” The organization admits that “this news will come as a huge disappointment to our hundreds of thousands of fans, many of whom were eagerly anticipating the release of a new BTCC game… and we verys much share that frustration, due to Motorsport Games being unable to fulfil its contractual commitments.“
However, there is official BTCC content under the MSG roof. rFactor 2 has seen the introduction of cars and tracks step-by-step since the start of the agreement with TOCA in 2020. The sim now features the full grids of the 2021 to 2023 seasons. Additionally, most of the circuits on the calendar are there as well.
What’s next for IndyCar and Le Mans Ultimate?
The BTCC license is not the first that is not under Motorsport Games’ roof anymore. Recently, the company sold its NASCAR license to iRacing. The company is going to produce a standalone game of the popular stock car series. IndyCar still has an agreement with MSG, although the open-wheel series game’s future is uncertain, too. Whether the series is next to pull the plug remains to be seen now that the BTCC game is canceled.
However, Mike Straw of Insider Gaming claims he has been told that the IndyCar game’s staff has been laid off by MSG. This would likely mean that the title is not going to see the light of day either. Straw had reported that Motorsport Games could lose the NASCAR license as early as August – iRacing bought the license not even two months later.
The IndyCar game was scheduled for launch in 2024, and recently, a trailer had emerged. It would appear that the game was quite far along in development. Could another entity purchase all assets?
IndyCar “in communication” with MSG
IndyCar themselves have not announced how they are going to handle the situation. Penske Entertainment (the owners of the series) CEO Mark Miles told racer.com that “we are in regular communication with Motorsport Games to get the information that we need to decide what’s best for us going forward.” No decision has been reached yet, according to Miles.
As a result, it appears that all of Motorsport Games’ eggs are in the baskets of rFactor 2 and the upcoming Le Mans Ultimate. rF2‘s player numbers have recently increased after the additon of a new competitive online system. WEC fans eagerly await LMU by the end of 2023.
What are your thoughts on the BTCC game being canceled? Let us know on Twitter @OverTake_gg or in the comments below!