We were promised a game for the 24 hours of Le Mans back in mid 2021. It is now official, with Le Mans Ultimate set for a December 2023 release.
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A couple of years ago, Motorsport Games and rFactor 2 developers Studio 397 announced they were developing an official standalone game for the World Endurance Championship and the 24 hours of Le Mans. With virtually no official word about the game since, many had reason to believe it would never come to be.
Other titles promised by Motorsport Games, such as one for the British Touring Car Championship and another for IndyCar, were delayed. This led to the community having fears about whether the game would ever see the light of day. However, those fears can now be put to rest with the announcement of Le Mans Ultimate.
What will be in Le Mans Ultimate?
The game will immerse the player in the 2023 World Endurance Championship season. That means players can drive on all seven tracks: Monza, Spa-Francorchamps, Sebring, Bahrain, Portimão, Fuji and last but by no means least, the legendary Circuit de la Sarthe in Le Mans.
As for cars? Le Mans Ultimate will feature LMH and LMDh racers from Toyota, Ferrari, Porsche, Cadillac, Peugeot, Glickenhaus and Vanwall along with the Oreca 07 LMP2 and also Aston Martin, Corvette, Ferrari and Porsche GTE cars.
There will be a feature called RaceControl, an innovative multiplayer service. It includes the ability to complete endurance races with friends via a collaborative asynchronous mode. But gamers who don’t want to compete in the online experience will also be accounted for with single player modes.
How to Play Le Mans Ultimate
Motorsport Games have stated that the game will be PC-only for the first year at minimum. Content updates are expected in the second half of 2024. Afterwards, the developers will evaluate when the right time will be to bring the game to console.
With December 2023 expected to be the release window, sim racers can play the game early if they’re attending the 24 hours of Le Mans from 7-11 June. At the Circuit de la Sarthe, developers will be present, along with ten racing sims for fans and spectators to turn some laps. They can drive the Ferrari 488 GTE as well as the Porsche 963 LMDh, and can also provide feedback.
Before the release of the game, Le Mans Ultimate will be the new platform for the Le Mans Virtual Series. The first two full seasons and all three renditions of the 24 hours of Le Mans Virtual all took place on rFactor 2. The season will begin later this year, most likely in September like the previous two years.
With this announcement, it’s difficult to not draw comparisons between Le Mans Ultimate and Assetto Corsa Competizione. Both are the official games of real world endurance racing championships (World Endurance Championship and GT World Challenge Europe). Plus, they both will release with content from the championship’s most recent season.
ACC received content updates based around many other championships that like the GT World Challenge Europe, are sanctioned by the SRO Motorsports Group. So it’s worth asking, what other championships could realistically have their cars and tracks added into the game? Aside from the IMSA SportsCar, there don’t seem to be many other series that could be fitting for the game. In that case, Le Mans Ultimate runs the risk of being an even more hallow version of ACC with just seven tracks.
What are your thoughts on the Le Mans Ultimate game? Tell us on Twitter at @OverTake_gg or in the comments down below!