Bad news, IndyCar iRacing drivers. The service will lose its licencing deal with the American open wheel series, which means no more Indy 500 Special Event.
Image credit: iRacing.com
On the iRacing forums, the developers have confirmed that after 31 December 2022, the landscape on iRacing will change, at least when it comes to IndyCar. In a statement on the site, iRacing developers have stated that IndyCar have signed an exclusivity deal with another studio which will go into effect heading into 2023.
They claimed there were still ongoing discussions as to how they could still permit the usage of the licenced content heading into the future.
What Does This Mean?
First of all, to those who believe this means any and all IndyCar-related content will be disappearing from iRacing, don’t panic. Cars like the Dallara IR18, DW12 and IR-05 as well as tracks like the Indianapolis Motor Speedway are not going anywhere. What it does mean though is a loss of officially sanctioned events.
The iRacing Special Events calendar will be without the Indy 500 for the first time in 13 years, which will be a huge loss to the community. One of the highlights of the sim racing community’s year, which a huge portion of IndyCar fans would follow and even participate in across many splits.
The loss of this event ties in to a bigger problem in this ever growing world of sim racing. Another major event that used to occupy a slot on the iRacing Special Events schedule was the 24 hours of Le Mans, which was last held in 2020 the week after the Le Mans 24 Virtual event.
The ACO and Motorsport Games gained exclusive licencing to it, and what was once an event open to all players has now become like the real 24 hours. A private club only for professional drivers.
Which Studio has the Licence?
Many people within the IndyCar and sim racing space have reason to believe that Motorsport Games now have sole IndyCar licencing, since they promised a standalone game for console and PC next year. However, a lot of others believe the IndyCar/MSG partnership may have ended and there’s a lot of chatter amongst the community that the exclusivity deal is with Reiza Studios.
The Brazilian developers are the ones responsible for the Automobilista games. Nothing has been made official yet so until it’s confirmed, we can’t say. Ultimately, whether it’s Motorsport Games or Reiza Studios, one thing shouldn’t be lost on them and that is the need for these major community events that are open to any player.
EDIT 22/12/2022: Reiza Studios released a statement confirming they have no agreement with IndyCar, who themselves have also released a statement confirming their strengthened partnership with Motorsport Games.
The licencing expiration seems to ripple over into non-IndyCar sanctioned events using the IR18, DW12 and IR-05. All-in-all, a sad situation for those who want to actually race the cars in official competition.
Any hope of salvaging the usage of any official IndyCar-themed content hinges upon the discussions between iRacing and IndyCar themselves.
What do you make of iRacing losing its IndyCar licence? Tell us on Twitter at @OverTake_gg or in the comments down below!