Why Are There So Few Racing Management Games?

F1-manager.jpg
Ever since I became interested in racing, I remember longing for a racing management simulation outside of Formula 1. Even before that, when playing football video games, the action on the pitch could not hold a candle to the intricate scheming and planning that goes on behind the scenes. So as someone deeply interested in management simulation as well as racing, let me ask one question:

Why can we not get the Racing Management Game we deserve?​

Yes, there are 2 options out there. Technically, right now there’s 1 option out there. It’s called Motorsport Manager. The other possibility is the upcoming release of F1 Manager. However, both of those simulations are not as in-depth as they could be.

To be fair, F1 Manager knows their target audience: Formula 1 fans. It’s okay for them to feature just Formula 1 content. Motorsport Manager tried its best in featuring different racing series on their, still kind of small, number of circuits.

But is that really all a motorsport fan can be content with? Personally, I am not.

The Racing Management Vision​

Imagine being able to run your own team in any racing series there is. If you want to run touring cars, go ahead. Longing for some GT action? Have your fill! Or perhaps you dream of going to the top of open-wheel racing. If you have the cash, do it. But why not have the possibility for all those series in one simulation?

The basis for this is already existing in some sim racing games. The example I’d like to go with is rFactor 2. You can run your AI-only races and plug the results into a spreadsheet. There even are people out there doing that. This is the basis from the racing side of things. Mix and mash that together with Football Manager and you have the most intricate management simulator you could have in racing.

Yes, this idea sounds off-world-ish, not everyone has a whole game development studio to do with as they please. So, here’s the wild idea to make this possible on a smaller budget:

Mods.

The base software to be released would include a few racing series, a cast of randomly generated drivers and probably a few off-brand circuits and marques. But everything would be moddable. Let people create their own favourite racetracks and cars. And if they want to, they can even recreate complete real racing series, where the developer would not have to pay a single cent for licensing fees. Thank you, mods.

So now that you have a free game idea, what’s next?

Will Racing Management Games become more common?​

The future of this niche depends crucially on the upcoming release of F1 Manager. If that game sells well, more developers will be interested to make money off similar products.

This is the first time, a well-established AAA developer tackles racing management. In case you didn’t know, the developer of F1 Manager is none less than Frontier Developments, internationally renowned for their RollerCoaster Tycoon series, and more recently Planet Coaster, Planet Zoo, and Jurassic World Evolution.

Commercial success would hopefully infuse life into this niche that has been neglected for way too long.

Also, technically there was a lie in the beginning. There are already more than those 2 games out there. However, those other possibilities I know of are either solely text-based meaning a small cult following is definitely possible, but mass appeal is very difficult. Or they are mobile games.

A Positive Future Lies Ahead​

Finally, this obvious niche is getting more love. And we can only hope this is the start of a trend. The world of digital motorsports has definitely been able to gain a wider audience in the last few years.

What are your hopes and expectations for racing management games? Would you be interested in seeing more manager-type games out there?

Let us know in the comments about your opinions!
About author
Julian Strasser
Motorsports and Maker-stuff enthusiast. Part time jack-of-all-trades. Owner of tracc.eu, a sim racing-related service provider and its racing community.

Comments

Motorsport Manager is a brilliant game. It masterfully abstractualizes a very complex, multidimensional sport. Despite cutting corners in representing the reality, it nails reflecting the challenges a real motorsport team faces.

I wish there were more such elements in racing sims. Sometimes abstactualization is IMO more realistic than ultrarealism, because it provides realistic context for your actions instead of being bound by trying to replicate the reality too faithfully and fail anyway, because it's too complex. But some folks can't deal with any gamey elements in their sims, because they break their precious immersion.

GTR2, for example, had a very simple, heavily abstractualized dynamic track condition system, but it was serviceable. Same with engine life mechanics. In the end, those systems made you make the same strategic and driving decisions a real life endurance racing team would. I feel nowadays they would be heavily criticized for their unrealistic characteristics though.
 
Management is more meant to be a side-aspect of a racing game, instead of a game by itself. I'm not an iRacing player but it seems like the closest and most exciting experience to build and get involved into a motorsports career through a videogame.
 
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Premium
@Jutschl
Head over to Forum Games right here on Race Department if you want to get on with some truly excellent Management Games we have done in the past and currently.

Otherwise, Motorsport Manager is absolutely excellent, and F1 Manager is going to struggle to come close to the quality of it. OK, after a while, you discover that Money is the only way to win in that game and you end up focusing on trying to sign the same drivers every time, but the management side of it is truly wonderful and you can always come back to it whenever.


Does anybody remember Codemasters' offering in 2012(?), F1 Online: The Game. That was an exceptional management game, where you still had to race the cars in a weird top-down way that somehow ended up working. I really wish that game could come back because it had a phenomenal management side to go along with having official content.
 
Premium
@Jutschl
Head over to Forum Games right here on Race Department if you want to get on with some truly excellent Management Games we have done in the past and currently.
Good shout. But why does this stuff only exist so . . . homebrewy? It's just weird to me that something like this doesn't really exist as a professional game. Trust me, if I knew how to code I would've tried making something years ago. I even once started but that didn't go very far.
 
If the new F1 manager game gets a good start, I'd love to see it combined with the F1 racing game. Let one player manage, the other just drives. I personally dislike having to make all the management decisions in a racing game, like tech trees and marketing, as it's not the responsibility of the driver IRL.
 
If the new F1 manager game gets a good start, I'd love to see it combined with the F1 racing game. Let one player manage, the other just drives. I personally dislike having to make all the management decisions in a racing game, like tech trees and marketing, as it's not the responsibility of the driver IRL.
Neither are strategy calls, pitstops and setups.

And yet, here we are.
 
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Queue Euro Truck Simulator, Farming Simulator and so on :D
They're other people's jobs, hence the attraction. However, when I've spent the day nose deep in spreadsheets, organising resources and staff, and project planning, a management game is the last thing I want to do in my off time.
 
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Premium
I played a lot of Motorsport Manager 3 on my phone until it became kind of a grind. I share my PC with my son, so if I get on the PC I generally want to be driving. But I do plan to check out F1 Manager when it comes out, pending the reviews.

I have thoroughly enjoyed sims like Diamond Mind Baseball, where you make decisions and then RNG determines what happens on each play. I don't have a ton of time and my reflexes aren't particularly good, so management sims are up my alley. I've also done things like this with American Football games where you call the plays and the game runs them for you.
 
I play iGP Manager but I must say that we won't see many games of this genre. It's a niche of niche...
 
OK so Toto didn't build the Merc, he didn't design the aero or the chassis. He is literally a face who makes a few calls here and there, much of which is based on a team of guys on laptops in the UK feeding info of every part of the car...

He along with the drivers gets the glory......

Well until now...
But my point is, what exactly do you do in an F1 management game?
Pick drivers. Say where budget goes....dull. Sorry.

Football management sims I understand, its tactics and finding players and rough diamonds.

F1 management is drivers finding you and saying my Dad will pay you 20 million if i can drive your car..... wow... exciting...
 

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