With the newly-announced Le Mans Ultimate being the official game of the World Endurance Championship and 24 hours of Le Mans, is it possible that the sim racing community will be spread too thin across multiple titles?
When Motorsport Games announced that they were developing titles for the British Touring Car Championship, IndyCar and the 24 hours of Le Mans, it sounded like a mouth-watering prospect. Of course in the years since, the sim racing community have become very sceptical about Motorsport Games, with the delays of the BTCC and IndyCar games among other things.
But with Le Mans Ultimate now official, another question has to be asked. Many motorsport championships have had their content be added into many games, now we’re seeing the first of potentially many standalone games. Is this about to cause a ripple effect?
Splitting the Playerbase
When it comes to racing sims, there are plenty on offer with a lot of variety in terms of cars. iRacing, Gran Turismo 7, Automobilista 2, RaceRoom, rFactor 2 and Assetto Corsa all have a wide range of cars for the player to race. It doesn’t matter if the player wants to drive a single seater, a sports prototype of a GT car, they’re all accounted for in all those games.
Le Mans Ultimate has already had comparisons drawn with Assetto Corsa Competizione. Both are the official games of real world racing championships, with ACC representing GT World Challenge. At launch, Le Mans Ultimate is said to feature seven tracks and twelve cars (seven LMH/LMDh, one LMP2 and four GTE). With it being the official game of the WEC, it’s a safe bet to suggest it won’t be adding single seaters.
But, what is the point of having this standalone game if all the content can be found on other sims? The F1 and MotoGP games have been an example of series that are able to sell standalone games on their names alone. Le Mans, IndyCar and BTCC are all very high profile but certainly nowhere near as mainstream as Formula One and MotoGP.
With Le Mans Ultimate being developed by the same team who work on rFactor 2, the question must be asked, why not just release the content into rF2? If the developers planned to have a console version at launch, it would be understandable. But, since the game will be PC only, what is the point?
Why develop a whole new game just for the WEC when they could instead pour those resources into making a follow-up to rFactor 2? Instead, they’re intending to split IndyCar, BTCC and Le Mans across three different titles. If every motor racing series did that, wouldn’t that fracture the playerbase across too many games?
A New Streaming War?
Anyone remember when Netflix was the only prominent streaming service? All movie and television studios would have their productions on Netflix and it became the entertainment equivalent of an all you can eat buffet.
With the rise of streaming, new services began popping up by every major entertainment company.
Now we have Disney+, MAX, Apple TV+, NOW TV, BBC iPlayer, and many more. This is too many for most people to subscribe to. Plus, too little content of quality is stretched across all services to warrant subscribing to them. Whilst it isn’t an exact comparison, could all these motorsport championships getting standalone games made mean too many games and too little content spread across them?
We all know why these games are being made. They can charge the players a huge amount for an all new game. But it could very well be to the detriment of the wider online sim racing experience.
What do you think of having too many officially licenced racing games? Tell us on Twitter at @OverTake_gg or in the comments down below!