Listen to this article:
Following the reveal of their 2022 Q4 results last month, rFactor 2 developers Motorsport Games have moved on from their previous CEO.
Image credit: Motorsport Games
After a period of some turmoil, Motorsport Games has terminated the employment of their previous CEO Dmitry Kozko, effective as of 19 April 2023. In his place, Stephen Hood will take up the mantel of Motorsport Games CEO, returning to the company after just over a year. Kozko will remain involved with the company as a director.
In a statement provided to the United States Securities and Exchange Commission, Motorsport Games outlined their reasoning for taking this step.
The board of directors, while noting Mr. Kozko’s significant efforts and achievements, especially in fund raising, for the Company, concluded that Mr. Hood’s extensive prior knowledge of the Company and its products and extensive experience in game development would be a better fit for the Company in its games’ development stage.
Hood served as the president of Motorsport Games from April 2019 to January 2022. Beforehand, he worked as a director of 704 Games, the developers behind the NASCAR Heat games, and as a Creative Director and Chief Game Designer for Codemasters.
A Rocky Road
Late last year, Motorsport Games underwent significant changes to the composition of its upper management. Several members of the board of directors resigned their posts within the company shortly before it was due to reveal its Q3 results.
More recently, MSG’s Q4 results revealed a 54% decrease in revenue compared to the previous year’s fourth quarter, a fall from $8.2 million to $3.8 million. However, a reduction to the financial outlay with regards to sales and marketing, as well as development, meant that the net loss fell from $7 million in Q4 2021 to $4.8 million in Q4 2022.
Despite this reduction to the net loss figures, the company stated that “we do not believe we have sufficient cash on hand to fund our operations for the remainder of 2023, and that additional funding will be required in order to continue operations.”
In my opinion, a shakeup at the top of Motorsport Games makes perfect sense. Given Mr. Kozko’s cited strengths being “especially in fund raising”, combined with the poor state of MSG’s balance sheets, it is evident that the current approach was not conducive to the company’s long-term success.
As such, I also believe it is a sensible step to maintain Mr. Kozko as a director of the company, so that he may “assist the board of directors and the management of the Company with fundraising”.
On a similar note, the decision to bring back Mr. Hood makes a good deal of sense. His background and experience with game development may well lead to better quality products. Given the public reception to Motorsport Games’ NASCAR 21: Ignition, which sits at a shocking 26% approval rating on Steam, it is essential that the company focuses on quality.
Motorsport Games’ own statements regarding its future aren’t promising, and nor is the fact that the development budget was reduced in an effort to balance the books. However, we can at least hope that this is a step in the right direction for the company and therefore for sim racing as a whole.
What are your thoughts on Motorsport Games’ future? Tell us on Twitter at @OverTake_gg or in the comments down below!