Le Mans Ultimate Player Count Surges After Le Mans 24 Hours Finish

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Image: Motorsport Games / Studio 397
Player counts for sim racing titles usually rise after updates. They did on June 10 for Le Mans Ultimate - but did increase even more after the actual 2024 24 Hours of Le Mans.

The hype for the 2024 24 Hours of Le Mans was undeniable: 23 entries in the Hypercar class alone, a qualifying that promised close racing, the prospect of rain mixing things up - fans seemed to be in for a treat. And they were, as the 92nd running of the endurance race had it all, including multiple cars still in the running for overall victory just a few hours from the end.

It would seem that this spilled over to the virtual Circuit de La Sarthe as well. Le Mans Ultimate is the official simulation of the WEC, and while it does not have the full 2024 grid yet, it does feature the 2024 liveries for the Hypercars that are already in the game since its June 10 update - and the BMW M Hybrid V8 that made its WEC debut this season, including the Le Mans-only Art Car livery.

The update was received well in general, and it did boost the player numbers. While LMU had usually peaked at around 500 concurrent players daily ahead of the update, the daily peaks never fell below 1.200 since the patch was released. However, the player number graph has another sharp increase on June 16 - right after the checkered flag flew in Le Mans.

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Image: steamcharts.com

From Watching Le Mans To Driving It Virtually​

It would appear that plenty of sim racers switched off their TVs and wanted to scratch the itch of throwing around their favorite Hypercars at the virtual version of Le Mans after an exciting race, with multiple online events set at the track available.

Indeed, compared to the days before, the game peaked at 2.043 concurrent players at 16:00 UTC, two hours after the real race had ended. The last time it had exceeded 2.000 concurrent players was in March, following a peak of 4.691 players on release in February.

Of course, this is still significantly lower than Assetto Corsa Competizione, for instance (as both titles focus on a specific type of racing instead of featuring many different ones). Interestingly, the ACC numbers shot up after the release of the Nürburgring-Nordschleife on April, the player peak doubling compared to the days before - but around the real-life Nürburgring 24h, the numbers remained relatively stable between about 5.000 and 6.500 concurrent players.

Could this translate to more awareness for the game? At least on the German broadcast on Eurosport, there was no mention of LMU, and the on-track ad banners highlighted Forza Motorsport (which also saw a slight increase immediately after Le Mans) instead. However, considering the big interest by fans at the LMU hands-on tents at the European rounds, the demand for a dedicated WEC game might be bigger than initially assumed.

The question is whether or not LMU can keep the player numbers up until the next big update.

Did the 2024 24 Hours of Le Mans make you hop in the rig for some laps in LMU following the checkered flag as well? Let us know on Twitter @OverTake_gg or in the comments below!
About author
Yannik Haustein
Lifelong motorsport enthusiast and sim racing aficionado, walking racing history encyclopedia.

Sim racing editor, streamer and one half of the SimRacing Buddies podcast (warning, German!).

Heel & Toe Gang 4 life :D

Comments

I'm one of these, taking a bit of break from AMS2 which is my usual sim. Note that the fps tanks and AI struggles if you go for max grid on Le Mans (full Hypercars+LMP2+GTE), so I tested with just Hypercars.
Other than that, when you are not into technical problems or configuring the sim to your liking, the actual driving experience and immersion are very good. Le Mans is beautifully modeled.
 
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It's such an awesome game. Just remember the first 2 laps with cold tires will feel like you're in the rain on slicks (which is authentic according to the drivers, who have complained that it's like driving on black ice). Don't judge it by 2 warm-up laps, which is unfortunately what some people seem to do.

rF2 + modern graphics + actually works = LMU
 
Simracing has significantly increased in popularity in the last 5 years and it seems as though expectations differ as to what is ultimately a compelling title depending on the individual.

I guess I'm one of those "no frills" simracers. If it drives good and it feels good, I'm racing on the title and putting up with the rest of its shortcomings. If you feel like this is you, LMU is absolutely worth it.
 
I was one of them, to try the new patch.
  • Could not get into a race at Sebring, crash to desktop (did not have the issue in previous versions, posted new bug reports, 1 week ago not yet addressed/acknowledged).
  • Could not get into a race at Spa, crash to desktop (did not have the issue in previous versions, posted new bug reports, 1 week ago not yet addressed/acknowledged).
  • Could not drive the new BMW (seat position does not move backward enough for my FOV, issue was escalated since February for several cars, posted new feature request). Expect this to be an issue for future paid content.
  • Tried to see if any of my bugs reported back in february were addressed (checking them one by one took about 2 hours of playtime), nope.
  • Posted updates in my unadressed bugs (about 15 threads) on the forums and got told to stop reporting issues when patch note did not addressed them (got a ban warning for potential spam).
  • Uninstalled, moved on.
 
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I was one of them, to try the new patch.
  • Could not get into a race at Sebring, crash to desktop (did not have the issue in previous versions, posted new bug reports).
  • Could not get into a race at Spa, crash to desktop (did not have the issue in previous versions, posted new bug reports).

Checking file integrity in Steam would have likely fixed that.
Had that issue with Spa and that check fixed it.
 
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I jumped into this as well after not using it for a while to do some online races. They updated the start procedure but its not exactly a change for the better at this moment, it leads to big pileups and drivethrus if you try to avoid the pileup.
 
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Checking file integrity in Steam would have likely fixed that.
Oh I did all of that, note as well it was a fresh install but in addition I also did a cleaning of user data folder including their respective cbash and shader folders, resintall of nvidia driver including a shader cash clean up, reinstalled audio and controller drivers, ran multiple integrity check on my drives. And also cross-checked facts on the forum with other people affected by the same bug. Then tried all of the above after friday night patch. Any other smart suggestion ?
 
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Oh I did all of that, note as well it was a fresh install but in addition I also did a cleaning of user data folder including their respective cbash and shader folders, resintall of nvidia driver including a shader cash clean up, reinstalled audio and controller drivers, ran multiple integrity check on my drives. And also cross-checked facts on the forum with other people affected by the same bug. Then tried all of the above after friday night patch. Any other smart suggestion ?
Move along to another game until you dont have those issues.
 
After the race I jumped immediately into Ferrari n. 50 (I'm italian..) but I admit drive an Hy to the limit is very very hard, expecially breaking moment.
Excactly my problem with the hypercars in LMU: The braking! Either I‘m locking up or braking way to early to get a „fast“ laptime in. I can‘t get my head around a good braking technique for these cars. Is this realistic? I don‘t know, but in the Le Mans onboards last Saturday it looked like the drivers are able to apply maximum brake-pressure for a long time without locking up the wheels.
 
OverTake
Premium
Excactly my problem with the hypercars in LMU: The braking! Either I‘m locking up or braking way to early to get a „fast“ laptime in. I can‘t get my head around a good braking technique for these cars. Is this realistic? I don‘t know, but in the Le Mans onboards last Saturday it looked like the drivers are able to apply maximum brake-pressure for a long time without locking up the wheels.
The charge of your battery is also an important element to this. If it is full, you are more likely to lock up as the recuperation process seems to be very much incorporated in the way these cars brake. It's a bit of a balancing act with the hybrid system, essentially, you don't want it to be empty (especially not on the LMDh cars as they need it to get moving after a pit stop again) but also don't want it to be full heading into a big braking zone.

We did a guide on this shortly after LMU released into Early Access - maybe that helps!

Plus, theres the lack of ABS, so learning to modulate the brakes is important as well - not an easy task. You can trail brake into the corners with them to a degree, but it's easy to either lock up or spin out if you overdo it.
 
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It's not like these cars require a degree in engineering to understand how they work ! :geek:
 
Oh I did all of that, note as well it was a fresh install but in addition I also did a cleaning of user data folder including their respective cbash and shader folders, resintall of nvidia driver including a shader cash clean up, reinstalled audio and controller drivers, ran multiple integrity check on my drives. And also cross-checked facts on the forum with other people affected by the same bug. Then tried all of the above after friday night patch. Any other smart suggestion ?

I suppose you already did it, but if not, try creating a new profile by deleting (or renaming) the settings.json file.
 
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I bought it on release day. He tried about 10 races. After several failures and premature termination of the plant, image jamming with what I think is a high-end PC, I didn't turn it on anymore. And I won't turn it on until there is a dedicated server and custom painting of skins for the league competition.
 
My silent plan was starting to finally install my investment in LMU.
(the simmer here who spends 10 times more on sims and sim software than sim hardware)

Instead, I have spent long night hours the past week putting together my very own favorite classic Le Mans meeting in AC - as an invitational, but with plenty of opportunities for close competition and excitement with the optimization of the tools that now exist for AI and AIW optimization , CSP performance optimization for a whopping +70 car grids of unique car modeling from a multitude of different mods, even more fine tuning of the weather planner, learning the Crew Chief various legendary names And then I went even further away from my decades of purist setting and mixed with several teams from the past weekend. And then in one, protracted stroke of 8 hours at 3 x speed, just as the real world Le Mans adrenaline was still at its highest during podium celebrations.

AC solely because of the rich possibilities with content and a basic good FFB. But ofc miss realistic wet race tyre response and more things here, using a sim of which purpose initially was not for this.

I haven't been able to keep up with LMU at all, but maybe I will next weekend. For me, it's just important to have 100% functioning offline content with a convincing AI performance and of course a save button, where you can really live out your dream. And then, of course, licenses for the entire 2024 grid. It has to be the basics, so I'll probably keep my pile of nice-to-have wishes back here.

But yes, the recent sales figures is definitely a 24-hour effect, so to say,,.
 
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The charge of your battery is also an important element to this. If it is full, you are more likely to lock up as the recuperation process seems to be very much incorporated in the way these cars brake. It's a bit of a balancing act with the hybrid system, essentially, you don't want it to be empty (especially not on the LMDh cars as they need it to get moving after a pit stop again) but also don't want it to be full heading into a big braking zone.

We did a guide on this shortly after LMU released into Early Access - maybe that helps!

Plus, theres the lack of ABS, so learning to modulate the brakes is important as well - not an easy task. You can trail brake into the corners with them to a degree, but it's easy to either lock up or spin out if you overdo it.
Thank you! I already read the article before and I always check that the electric energy is in the correct window. Still I got the problem that I lock up the car under braking a lot (the back of the car overtakes me everytime, so front lock-up I believe?). Maybe it‘s my Pedals (Asetek Forte)? I would love to try out different pedals.
 

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