Le Mans Ultimate Sold “More In 36 Hours Than We Projected For 10 Days”

Le Mans Ultimate Sold “More In 36 Hours Than We Projected For 10 Days”.jpg
Studio 397’s simulation has sold over 55,000 copies within the first 10 days, according to Motorsport Games CEO Stephen Hood.

Images: Motorsport Games/Studio 397

Like when Rocky is on the ropes but finds the energy to come back to beat Ivan Drago in Rocky IV (spoiler, sorry, it has been nearly 40 years), Motorsport Games is reporting sales “above forecasts” for Le Mans Ultimate, marking the beginning of what it hops is a fightback.

The beleaguered racing game developer released the PC early access title in February, with the Studio 397-developed simulation building upon its existing platform, rFactor 2, to create an official 24 Hours of Le Mans and FIA World Endurance Championship simulation.

Development continues apace, with several hotfixes and two major patches released so far. Touted features such as virtual reality, championship mode and asynchronous co-op remain absent but are expected later alongside 2024-season content in some form.

With the sale of the NASCAR licence to iRacing last year, the cessation of the BTCC agreement and the closure of the IndyCar game project, Studio 397 is Motorsport Games’ last remaining development team. It seems like the early signs are positive for the outfit.

“Within the first 36 hours of release into early access, Le Mans Ultimate sold as many units as we had projected from the opening 10 days,” said Motorsport Games Chief Executive Officer, Stephen Hood during its Q4 and full-year 2023 earnings call, 1st April 2024.

“It's gone on to continually sell above expectations and we have revised internal forecasted sales numbers to account for this higher-than-expected update.

“We had anticipated, with a strong tailwind, selling 18,000 copies in the opening 10 days. In reality, the reception was so strong that we sold more than 55,000 copies.

“This title is our springboard for a vision we have been working towards for the last several months, which we believe signifies a turning point in the recent history of our company.”

Le Mans Ultimate sales figures.jpg

Pre-Le Mans Ultimate Figures​


The financial report and earnings call are related to figures only for Q3 2023 and the full 2023 financial year, ending 31st December.

Therefore, Motorsport Games was spending to develop Le Mans Ultimate, but not receiving revenue from the title, which will not be reported on until the Q1 2024 report expected later this year.

As a result, the numbers are dim, with the same stark liquidity warning that has been published innumerably over the past two years:

“...The Company does not believe it has sufficient liquidity to fund its operations for the remainder of 2024 and that additional funding will be required in order to continue operations.”

It is to be expected at this point, and while the challenges remain, this itself is not breaking news or alarm-bell sounding. Especially considering this is, to reiterate, referencing a time before the Le Mans Ultimate launch.

The interim Chief Financial Officer at Motorsport Games was able to provide some insight into more recent ongoings.

“In the grand scheme of things, [Le Mans Ultimate early access] has not gotten us out of the need to get more funding, it helps a bit,” said Stanley Beckley on today’s (1st April) earnings call.

“We have some relief there, but that is very short-term in nature, as I think we're still under a liquidity crunch, we still manage expenses and our cash as much as we can.

“We had $1.7m cash in hand at the end of December, and as of Friday (29th March 2024) we had about $1.3m.

“But it does look promising, like Stephen alluded to, as relates to the initial inception we've received from the release of the game.”

During 2023 its average monthly cash burn was $1.1m, but as quoted above, Le Mans Ultimate has stemmed that flow somewhat to an average of ~$133,333 per month in 2024.

Le Mans Ultimate projections sales 2024.jpg

The Year Ahead​

As OverTake has previously reported, Le Mans Ultimate is set to receive at the very least some, if not all, of the 2024-season content, aping the real world.

There is also the potential option for European and Asian Le Mans Series representation, provided the team “walk before we run.”

“We are now pushing ahead with continual development of the title throughout the remainder of this year, planning to bring exciting new content and features to the Le Mans Ultimate experience, as well as complimentary services,” said Hood on the same earnings call.

“The focus for the year ahead is to continue building the positive momentum around our recent game release with new updates, additional services through RaceControl [the ranked online multiplayer platform within Le Mans Ultimate and rFactor 2] and downloadable content.”

No estimate was provided as to when the next set of bug fixes or new features are scheduled for release. However, a hint was provided as to when the next big marketing push for the title will be...

24 Hours of Le Mans Promotion In June​

Le Mans Ultimate was first shown in a playable form at the sold-out 2023 24 Hours of Le Mans race in France, so it is perhaps not surprising that it plans to be present once again later this year.

According to Hood, this will be used to formally announce the return of its sim racing competition for later in the year, the Le Mans Virtual Series:

“We believe [the 24 Hours of Le Mans] will be another opportunity for increased visibility and sales for Le Mans ultimate, as well as the perfect launch pad for our anticipated reveal around the future of Le Mans Virtual Series, one of the world's most watched racing esports events of the last few years.

“The ACO and Le Mans have been supporting us with additional advertising at the track [during WEC rounds] and we have a great presence at [the] Le Mans [event]. So, there are some real benefits to this joint venture, which I think will certainly add fuel to the fire in terms of marketing and visibility, which we intend to capitalise upon.”

The 2024 24 Hours of Le Mans runs between 12th and 16th June – are you planning on making the trip? Let us know in the comments below, or via X: @OverTake_gg.
About author
Thomas Harrison-Lord
A sim racing, motorsport and automotive journalist. Credits include Autosport Magazine, Motorsport.com, RaceDepartment, Overtake, Traxion and TheSixthAxis.

Comments

Please put the rear spoiler to that Peugeot!!! This game is really good, even in this stage. The emotion that you get in any race is amazing. Good job! But keep working, and don't be leasy... you have one shoot to show us that the company cares costumers. I will be watching you guys! ;)
There is a planned 2024 update with the updated 9X8 and the other new Hybrids like the Lamborghini and the two new tracks not included in the 2023 WEC schedule. Some are assuming this will be free and others ((like ME!)) expect it to be DLC.
I would ASSUME most of the negative reviews of LMU are from users who are unfamiliar with rF2 and how it, & thus LMU, works. I cannot tell you how many posts we have seen where users want features from other sims that have never been included in ISI/S397 titles.
 
There is a planned 2024 update with the updated 9X8 and the other new Hybrids like the Lamborghini and the two new tracks not included in the 2023 WEC schedule. Some are assuming this will be free and others ((like ME!)) expect it to be DLC.
I would ASSUME most of the negative reviews of LMU are from users who are unfamiliar with rF2 and how it, & thus LMU, works. I cannot tell you how many posts we have seen where users want features from other sims that have never been included in ISI/S397 titles.
But VR was included and that's one of the most wanted features now. Initially they announced it with VR and at the last moment they removed it. Not its unclear if MSAA will ever be added, without that it won't be usable.
 
But VR was included and that's one of the most wanted features now. Initially they announced it with VR and at the last moment they removed it. Not its unclear if MSAA will ever be added, without that it won't be usable.

I think it's very clear that S397 are working on VR to make it more usable than rF2's VR is... Which whilst competent is not as cutting edge as other options...

Then LMU will have another boom...

Just like when they add private servers... Another boom...
 
I think it's very clear that S397 are working on VR to make it more usable than rF2's VR is... Which whilst competent is not as cutting edge as other options...

Then LMU will have another boom...

Just like when they add private servers... Another boom...
True but I was just replying to what davehenrie stated.
 
True but I was just replying to what davehenrie stated.

Well I believe they're correct in their assumptions... So I focused on the VR part of your comment...

LMU is for me the best working sim in a heavy development phase right now...

The fact it's in early access is due to the lack of full support for VR and private servers... And it's slow UI... Which to me has been a minor issue in comparison with some of the other issues in sim racing titles...
 
True but I was just replying to what davehenrie stated.
I was commenting on content rather than features, since I was responding to a post about the updated 9X8. Lots still to add in the coding department, like VR, driver swaps etc etc.
It is common sense that they wouldn't release 2024 until the 9X8 broke cover, so now that is out of the way, we can assume...ASSUME...the 2024 season will be released some time just prior to the 24hr of Le Mans. 2.5 GTP cars, 8 different LMGT3 cars, 4 new tracks, any wagers on cost?(plus all the assorted liveries)
 
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If they cared about getting people to play their game and not so much about money. They could have made more. I predict the game to be dead by Christmas. I knew the player base would fall off, but not this quickly.
 
If they cared about getting people to play their game and not so much about money. They could have made more. I predict the game to be dead by Christmas. I knew the player base would fall off, but not this quickly.

Could have made more? May you explain this please?

To the topic:
It does not look so bad in my opinion. The game is good, we are still ahead of the "full release" and there will be some pushs coming at Le Mans and the Virtual Le Mans + new content.

If S397 will get this into a well defined state and MSG can find someone who will adapt it properloy on the consoles (like the ACC versions e.g.) they will sell a lot of copies. I'm pretty sure. I know a bunch of console players who are eagerly waiting for an announcment.
 
I was commenting on content rather than features, since I was responding to a post about the updated 9X8. Lots still to add in the coding department, like VR, driver swaps etc etc.
It is common sense that they wouldn't release 2024 until the 9X8 broke cover, so now that is out of the way, we can assume...ASSUME...the 2024 season will be released some time just prior to the 24hr of Le Mans. 2.5 GTP cars, 8 different LMGT3 cars, 2 tracks, any wagers on cost?(plus all the assorted liveries)
Why is everyone missing that we get four new tracks with the 2024 season? :p
 
If they cared about getting people to play their game and not so much about money. They could have made more. I predict the game to be dead by Christmas. I knew the player base would fall off, but not this quickly.
True
 

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Do you know how long it took ACC to get the playernumbers that LMU is having right now? - 18 months. For AC1 it took even longer than that to stabilize it's playernumbers. We aren't even two months into EA and people call it doomsday while LMU propably had the most successfull EA start of all current sim racing titles. To say that there is alot of potential would be an understatement considering the big interest for sportscar racing and how WEC has dragged in alot of manufacturers and VIPs like Rossi. The real boom is yet to come if people like him win Le Mans. We are just at the start of this and if the joint venture of MSG/S397 and the ACO doesn't completely f*ck up everything there is alot of money on the table.

There have been rather big releases by other sim racing companies that sure took the attention of the players. First iRacing released their big rain update, now the Nordschleife for ACC. And I am pretty sure that there will be other releases like AC2 coming up that will drag players away again. And considering that summer is ahead I don't see the player numbers rising anytime soon because people usualy spend less time infront of their PC. Now they will have time to flesh out the game and develop the 2024 content. If all works well, I see the player numbers rising maybe during Le Mans weekend and by the end of the year again at best. I guess the Le Mans weekend and Christmas are their big milestones now.
 
Do you know how long it took ACC to get the playernumbers that LMU is having right now?
Your statement made me curious, as when we see the present numbers of average daily players of ACC, even before the Nordsclheife release, it is hard to remember how it was back then.

All we can wish for, is that LMU keeps growing, like ACC did and that S397 support keeps up as to not loose momentum.

As you stated, the potential for success and general interest appears to be there, if the product keeps delivering.

The clock is ticking, 2024 will have some other offering, that will make their job even tougher than it is today.
 
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Your statement made me curious, as when we see the present numbers of average daily players of ACC, even before the Nordsclheife release, it is hard to remember how it was back then.

All we can wish for, is that LMU keeps growing, like ACC did and that S397 support keeps up as to not loose momentum.

As you stated, the potential for success and general interest appears to be there, if the product keeps delivering.

The clock is ticking, 2024 will have some other offering, that will make their job even tougher than it is today.
ACC is a great benchmark because it shows how you can grow a very focused title with the right desicions over time. It faced similar challenges right from the start. The apparent lack of tracks at the beginning was a big issue and offline racing was (and still is tbh) pretty bad. There are a lot of lessons to be learned from that platform and there are some promising signs for LMU where it allready excells ACC. So it's important to use that momentum.

My take away so far is that stability and dedicated servers a badly needed. There is no way for me to hop on a server with friends right now other than grinding to the same level. It urgently needs more features that drive community racing and interaction. Driver swaps and team management are a very important features that comes to my mind in that regard and the lack of an offline championship is something that needs to be included once the game leaves early access. But looking at the last reports by the company they seem to have this on their radar and pretty high on the priority list.
 
Premium
Do you know how long it took ACC to get the playernumbers that LMU is having right now? - 18 months. For AC1 it took even longer than that to stabilize it's playernumbers. We aren't even two months into EA and people call it doomsday while LMU propably had the most successfull EA start of all current sim racing titles. To say that there is alot of potential would be an understatement considering the big interest for sportscar racing and how WEC has dragged in alot of manufacturers and VIPs like Rossi. The real boom is yet to come if people like him win Le Mans. We are just at the start of this and if the joint venture of MSG/S397 and the ACO doesn't completely f*ck up everything there is alot of money on the table.

There have been rather big releases by other sim racing companies that sure took the attention of the players. First iRacing released their big rain update, now the Nordschleife for ACC. And I am pretty sure that there will be other releases like AC2 coming up that will drag players away again. And considering that summer is ahead I don't see the player numbers rising anytime soon because people usualy spend less time infront of their PC. Now they will have time to flesh out the game and develop the 2024 content. If all works well, I see the player numbers rising maybe during Le Mans weekend and by the end of the year again at best. I guess the Le Mans weekend and Christmas are their big milestones now.
I agree with this. I think it's off to a great start. I have put in around 30 hours but stopped to play other stuff, I fully intend to go back to it in the summer once its had a bit more development. I see it potentially as the next ACC. And as F1 gets more boring, WEC gets more interest.
 

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