Motorsport Games: IndyCar To Terminate License As Well

Motorsport Games IndyCar Cancels Licenses.jpg
Just a week after TOCA doing the same for the BTCC license, the Motorsport Games IndyCar agreements are set to be canceled as well. The US open-wheel series served the publisher a notice of this intent.

Image credit: Studio 397

The news carousel is not slowing down for Motorsport Games. After TOCA had terminated their BTCC license, it emerged that Motorsport Australia had been shut down. IndyCar fans had little hope left that their favorite series would have a dedicated game soon. IndyCar itself was weighing in its options last week, and appears to have come to a conclusion.

An SEC filing reveals that the premier American open-wheel racing series has delivered a notice to the publisher on November 8 already. According to the filing, IndyCar intents “to terminate two license agreements, each dated July 13, 2021, […] effective immediately.” This appears to include the license to create a dedicated game, as well as one to host esports events and series under the IndyCar banner.


rFactor 2 Content Also Under Threat?​

Based on the wording, this could also include the licensing of content for rFactor 2. The sim had seen the addition of the Dallara IR-18 IndyCar in the specification used since 2021 in early 2022. Other than iRacing, this makes rF2 the only racing simulation that features an official version of the car. Automobilista 2 was on the brink of adding it, but licensing issues prevented Reiza Studios from doing so at the last minute. Instead, the slightly altered Formula USA 2023 appeared in the sim.

Meanwhile, Motorsport Games “is evaluating the validity of INDYCAR LLC’s notice of termination”, according to the SEC filing. However, the allegations in IndyCar’s notice seem to be hard to disprove. The filing states the following as the reason:

INDYCAR LLC stated that its decision to terminate the INDYCAR License Agreements was due to the Company’s (editor’s note: Motorsport Games) alleged failure to satisfy certain of its obligations under the INDYCAR License Agreements, including making INDYCAR racing series video gaming products available in the United States and facilitating a minimum number of INDYCAR racing series esports in events.
SEC filing informing about IndyCar's intent of terminating licensing agreements with Motorsport Games.

While hardly surprising considering the recent news, the Motorsport Games IndyCar game not seeing the light of day is a bitter pill to swallow for IndyCar fans. The car has appeared in numerous sims and games over time, but the latest dedicated game was released in 2004. For reference, this was while The Split in American Open Wheel Racing was still ongoing. IndyCar Series 2005 portrayed the 2003 Indy Racing League season, which was run exclusively on oval circuits still.

No IndyCar Game In Almost 20 Years​

On the other side of The Split, CART had gone bankrupt and morphed into the Champ Car World Series. Moving in the opposite direction, it did not feature a single oval by its last full season in 2007. In 2008, both series merged again, but had suffered enormously in popularity as a result of The Split.

An official IndyCar game could have been a way to reclaim some of this popularity, even if it was only a fraction. Instead of potentially attracting more young future fans, the wait seemingly continues.


Are you going to miss the Motorsport Games IndyCar title? Who would you like to see try their hand at creating a dedicated game for the series? 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 hope we see the end of these exclusivity deals soon...

I don't really trust any other the other engines or upcoming casual motorsport titles to handle Indycar or other Niche series well... BTCC might be a bit different because they have short sprint races...

Sad thing is for sim racing the best physics engine for it resides in MSGS's hands... It'll be good to see them sell that deal off as well so someone competent can do something with it...
 
I'd say last one out turn off the lights... But I suspect they've lost the license to do that too.

I wish all the devs and supporting teams who have been caught up in this, the mismanagement of ages luck in finding new work that's fulfilling & enriching.

Godspeed to you all in your search.
 
Premium
This is the story of Icarus...
The people behind MSG believed they could do anything and convinced others they could.
Of course they got too big too quickly, and ended up in the classic position of over promising and under delivering.
That never ends well.
 
Premium
Sad news, but not surprising unfortunately.

Let's hope some of the work that's already been done on the game finds it way into rFactor 2 somehow. I'm assuming they might have some nice US streetcourses laying around in a dark corner of the S397 office...
 
Premium
WEC/LMU may be in doubt now but the way that deal is structured isn't the same as those with BTCC/IndyCar/NASCAR so it remains to be seen how that will play out.
We do have a "definite date" for the release of LMU, which is something.
However, if I were a Dev at S397 I'd be looking at alternative employment options.
Having reduced the headcount recently that probably means they can ill afford to lose key staff and still hit their deadlines.
 
With all these failures they have completely tainted their reputation, I would not be surprised if WEC too decides to pull the plug sometime in the future (and I can still remember Verstappen asking everybody to uninstall RF2..). The next virtual LM 24 better be perfect.
 
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Premium
Unfortunately, the leadership at Motorsports Games put together a poor plan that failed badly. Hopely the pieces are picked-up by teams that are experienced and understand the industry. The PC sim racing software industry must be very difficult. We have many inexpensive PC games to choose from and PC sim racing seems relatively small. I don't see how all of the games survive.
 
Premium
no biggie, so much officially licensed stuff sucks anyway and designed to make money, rather than to make a great product. We got so much Indycar greatness in Assetto Corsa unnoficially, hosted on racedepartment :)
 
Good news. Now onto canceling WEC license so the simracing world will be again free from this joke of a company that held the entire community hostage just to deliver a laughable Nascar game and nothing else.
The community deserves better than MSG. Hope they go out of business soon.
 
Premium
Good news. Now onto canceling WEC license so the simracing world will be again free from this joke of a company that held the entire community hostage just to deliver a laughable Nascar game and nothing else.
The community deserves better than MSG. Hope they go out of business soon.

I don't believe MSG actually hold a licence for WEC in the same way as that with BTCC and IndyCar. Instead this is a joint venture with a separate "business" where MSG hold 51% and ACO hold 49%.
In theory, any sim racing studio could be employed to produce the end product but naturally MSG's S397 are working on this.
 
I don't believe MSG actually hold a licence for WEC in the same way as that with BTCC and IndyCar. Instead this is a joint venture with a separate "business" where MSG hold 51% and ACO hold 49%.
In theory, any sim racing studio could be employed to produce the end product but naturally MSG's S397 are working on this.
What the final product will be like remains to be seen. The testers of the LMU sample at the Le Mans 24H weren't impressed but that was early in the development. Hopefully MSG goes bankrupt and the license is up for grabs again without silly exclusivity that always leads to poor quality products
 

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