Why Assetto Corsa Competizione’s GT2 DLC Took 18 Months To Complete

Why Assetto Corsa Competizione’s GT2 DLC Took 18 Months To Complete RD.jpg
Assetto Corsa Competizione’s much-vaunted GT2 cars took longer than anticipated to materialise. Kunos Simulazioni’s Marco Massarutto explains to OverTake the challenges faced during the creation.

Images: 505 Games/OverTake/Racepartment

29th July 2022 – a date that I will remember as being extraordinarily stressful.

I’m in the land of beer and bureaucracy for the 24 hours of Spa, but instead of enjoying the GT cars pounding around the Ardennes, I’m desperately trying to find somewhere shaded from the sun and an internet connection.

The job was meant to be covering a hardware manufacturer’s celebrations, testing out some of its new products and listening to Paul Jeffrey commentate on a sim racing competition.

But now it has turned into a race, not on track, but to be first to publish. News from the event has broken that the GT2 category of cars is on the way for Assetto Corsa Competizione.

‘Mr SRO’ Stéphane Ratel has just announced it to the world during a press conference when talking about GT World Challenge’s official simulation: “I’m very happy because I heard…. maybe now you are going to do the GT2 so I’ll be able to train in the sim… sorry for the early announcement, sometimes passion drives me.”

This was not expected.

SRO conference 2022, Stéphane Ratel and Marco Massarutto
Stéphane Ratel and Marco Massarutto, SRO Press Conference 2022

Turns out, its developer, Kunos Simulazioni, was not anticipating it either…

“We have never been spoiled [like that] before, in this beautiful way, it was quite a fun moment,” reflects Marco Massarutto, Executive Manager, to OverTake.

The deal to create GT2 vehicles is believed to have only been struck moments before the announcement, never mind development starting.

The real-world category itself was in its embryonic stages, with the AMG not homologated to GT2 specification back then, and other models rapidly evolving.

“For example, the Maserati MC20 GT2 was just unveiled at that same event and moving from the presentation of the prototype version of the car to it actually touching the ground for the first time is a very complicated process,” explains Massarutto.

“We had to wait until the car was fully developed, but also another thing that has changed through the years is the way car manufacturers support us.

“12 years ago, for the first Assetto Corsa, they cared about the car shape, the logo placement, that everything was right from an appearance point of view.

“Now, they have been very much keener for us to understand even better how their car works. So, every time they improve the car, like tyre wear and fuel consumption, they knock at our door to say, ‘Hey, we have an update with our car so please do it in the game.’”

“That is actually a dream, [but it means that] completing the [GT2] car park has been quite challenging from a timing point of view. When they implement some changes, they tell us ‘Look, we changed the splitter, so we got more drag, so you must change this to get approval.’”

Fanatec GT2 European Series Press Event, Spa-Francorchamps 2022
Fanatec GT2 European Series Media Event, Spa-Francorchamps 2022. Image: OverTake/RaceDepartment

Back to 2022, and once Massarutto was out of the press conference and enjoying a refreshing beverage, he was then interrupted by a broadly-spoken northerner in need of a haircut – namely, me.

A slide has been shown by the category organiser SRO of the available GT2 cars, but I wanted to know specifically if all would make it into Assetto Corsa Competizione.

He confirmed to me that eight vehicles would be included, every model mentioned plus the 935 ‘Moby Dick’ derivation of the Porsche – a model that Marco stills holds dear as his favourite “just because of its shape.”

When the downloadable content pack arrived for PC players in January of this year, however, only six were included.

The omission of the Lamborghini is easy to explain – the single-make Huracán Super Trofeo EVO 2 runs in GT2 with the SRO’s approval, and it was already part of 2022’s Challengers Pack for the platform. If you own that and the new GT2 set, you can race it as part of the category.

The Brabham, though, not so much…

Why there is no Brabham BT63 in Assetto Corsa Competizione​

Brabham BT62, Spa-Francorchamps
Brabham BT62/3 at Spa-Francorchamps. Image: Brabham Automotive

The BT62 track car, and BT63 GT2 variant, are low-slung snarling Aussie beasts, designed for affluent customers looking for a link back to an illustrious heritage.

Kunos had always planned, and confirmed at Spa to me, to create this mid-engine comeback for Competizione.

However, according to Massarutto, the Brabham Automotive company was not forthcoming with the information or approvals needed:

“After a brief introduction to them with the SRO, where we presented the project and where we are going and so on, we did not have any other contact. They never replied to any email or communication.

“We pushed them because it’s a beautiful car and we did not want to release the [GT2] pack without the Brabham. We waited for them a lot. It’s a shame, but there is nothing more that we can do.”

In January, brand rights owner Brabham Group Limited and car development partners Fusion Capital parted ways, effectively killing the project for good.

There was one upside, however, to the longer-than-expected GT2 gestation period…

GT2s On Console​

Assetto Corsa Competizione GT2 DLC Maserati MC20


The gap between the GT2 DLC pack, which also includes the Red Bull Ring circuit, releasing on PC and consoles (PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X|S) was a scant four weeks.

Compare that to the delta for the 2023 GT World Challenge Pack at nine weeks, the difference has shrunk.

“Definitely, the delay we had with the GT2 production on PC allowed us to gain more time to get closer with the release of the console version,” highlights Massarutto.

“Releasing on PC and console is a completely different matter in terms of approvals and admissions, so we are doing our best to improve the interaction with Untold Games.”

The aforementioned Untold is responsible for the PlayStation and Xbox conversions, and when pressed as to why it is not an internal process, the motorcycle-riding co-founder of Kunos is adamant it must not distract the team:

“We are not 100 people, and we want to keep the [same] size of team. We stay ‘more little’ in order to stay focused on what we do.

“I think I will not touch my bike for a while because we are far too busy!”

Now that the latest DLC has been shipped, the schedule has switched to the Nürburgring Nordschleife for Competizione and early access for ‘Assetto Corsa 2’ – we suspect we’ll be hearing more from Marco sooner, rather than later…

How have you found the GT2 DLC for Assetto Corsa Competizione now the dust has settled? Let us know in the comments below or discuss in the forum.
About author
Thomas Harrison-Lord
A sim racing, motorsport and automotive journalist. Credits include Autosport Magazine, Motorsport.com, RaceDepartment, Overtake, Traxion and TheSixthAxis.

Comments

Its great to hear about more engagement from the real teams in terms of letting the sim devs know more about the physical changes to the cars, thats great that they are more interested in getting that side of things right. Hope Paul is enjoying his commentating!
 
What I will never understand from the ACC sim dudes outside: Why do you skin and make RL liveries for your life when the skinned cars never ever appears in game? ( except your own car you sit inside ???)
 
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Having a bit of insight from a personal friend who worked on the project: this article tells nothing.
 
Unless you're willing to share the insight from your friend, you're just bragging that you have a friend who worked on the project :rolleyes:
You can get that impression, yes. I don't know how much I can open my mouth, but let's just say that 3D models were more troublesome than physics and manufacturer involvement.
 
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You can get that impression, yes. I don't know how much I can open my mouth, but let's just say that 3D models were more troublesome than physics and manufacturer involvement.
Weird....like so weird its hard to believe...
 
So reading between the lines manufacturers are much more fussy before they give approval because they take the marketing effect of the sims more seriously. Its presented as a positive (they provide more input) but it must add quite a bit to development costs.

Overtake/RD can you please make an article on why releases of tracks seem to be so much more difficult lately? Do these tracks want a lot more money, what is going on there?
 
You can get that impression, yes. I don't know how much I can open my mouth, but let's just say that 3D models were more troublesome than physics and manufacturer involvement.
Not hard to believe at all, it makes sense. KS car models are insanely detailed and created from scratch for each car, this is time-consuming work with attention to detail. We already know KS team had more trouble working with UE4 than their own physics engine, and manufacturer involvement i.e. the changes manufacturers kept asking KS to make, could presumably also require updating 3D models.
Just wish the Red Bull Ring (and most KS tracks) 3D models got as much love as car models.
 
Staff
Premium
So reading between the lines manufacturers are much more fussy before they give approval because they take the marketing effect of the sims more seriously. Its presented as a positive (they provide more input) but it must add quite a bit to development costs.

Overtake/RD can you please make an article on why releases of tracks seem to be so much more difficult lately? Do these tracks want a lot more money, what is going on there?
Great idea for an article - it's nearly impossible to get this sort of information on record. However, for what it's worth, anecdotally, since the pandemic some tracks have dramatically increased fees when it comes to contract renewal/extension...
 
ACC uses Kunos own physics engine. UE4 is being used only for the graphics.
Yes, we all know this, read my comment again. Commenter Pai said KS apparently had more trouble with 3D models than with physics, and I said that makes sense, as KS is obviously familiar with their own physics engine but they struggled with UE4.
 

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