Back in March, the release for the highly anticipated follow-up to the original Assetto Corsa was leaked for Spring 2024. But we have heard nothing about it since. What can we read into that?
The 2014 racing title Assetto Corsa has become somewhat of a juggernaut in the sim racing space. The modding scene is second-to-none, and it is still going strong to this day as a result. And that is even after the launch of its sister game in 2018, Assetto Corsa Competizione.
Whilst the original AC has a wide variety of vehicles from road cars to open wheelers available, ACC, in stark contrast, primarily focuses on GT3 racing. With such a heavily-contrasting set of games in its arsenal, what can we expect in the future from developers Kunos Simulazioni?
Assetto Corsa 2
Of course, the follow-up to the original Assetto Corsa has already been slated for a Spring 2024 release. No announcement included this time frame though, with it only coming from a half-year corporate report, leaked by industry insider MauroNL on Twitter.
Spring 2024 would put the release window between April and June. That does beg the question, why have we not seen anything of ‘AC2‘ yet? Of course, it is still at least eight months away. Not every game is ready to be shown so soon.
But what can we expect from it?
The two Assetto Corsa titles run on different engines. The original uses a bespoke engine built from the ground up by Kunos, whilst ACC runs on Unreal Engine 4. Assetto Corsa‘s in-house engine is what made it such a darling in the modding scene, whereas modding does not exist for ACC on Unreal.
With that being said, Unreal Engine 5 is what the new Rennsport sim racing title uses, and this includes mod support. So if Kunos were to develop ‘AC2‘ on Unreal Engine 5, it could still be mod compatible. But it seems that is not what they’re doing.
Kunos co-founder Marco Massarutto confirmed in an interview with GTPlanet that after initially looking into developing the title on Unreal Engine 5, they decided on building an all-new engine themselves. So for anyone who love Assetto Corsa‘s mod capabilities, the ability run the whackiest mods might still materialize!
As for everything else, there has been radio silence. However, it is safe to say that the title will have the variety of the original AC since it is acting as a proper spiritual successor, not a side-product like ACC. Which does leave us wondering where ACC stands.
Continuing ACC Development?
Kunos have on a number of occasions ruled out continuing to develop ACC beyond the Assetto Corsa sequel’s release. Considering Kunos only has roughly 15 employees, working on both games may require an expansion.
However, OverTake learned that there are plans to still use ACC in official competitive sim racing events even after the release of ‘AC2’. With the title being developed in conjunction with the SRO Motorsports Group as part of their flagship GT World Challenge series, it has been used for official SRO events since 2019.
Back in April, Kunos announced the addition of Circuit Ricardo Tormo to the game. The track was added to the GT World Challenge Europe schedule after many tracks that have not come to ACC (Hockenheim, Magny-Cours or an updated Zandvoort come to mind). So what reason did they have to prioritise Valencia?
The circuit will host the FIA Motorsport Games next year, with many believing Kunos having added Valencia to ACC so the Esports Cup event could include it. But by that time, ‘Assetto Corsa 2‘ should be out. So why go to all that trouble?
What does that mean for us mere mortals who are not involved in official SRO competitions? There are still bits of confirmed content yet to come to the game, most prominently the GT2 class of cars.
GT2 Cars in Assetto Corsa Competizione
Before the 2022 Spa 24 hours, SRO held a press conference confirming their plans for 2023. CEO and founder Stéphane Ratel accidentally let slip that cars from the GT2 European Series would be added to ACC. Well, they have only just over three months left to add them!
Then of course, the Nordschleife. Ever since ACC‘s launch, players have constantly bemoaned the lack of the 25-kilometre track on the title, and always begged for its addition. Up until now, licencing issues prevented Kunos from adding it.
But starting next year, the 24 hours of Nürburgring becomes an SRO-sanctioned event. Just in time for ACC to supposedly become obsolete and for Kunos to move on to developing ‘AC2‘.
Ultimately, the silence from Kunos on the plans going forward are hardly a cause for concern. But one thing is for sure, they have got a bit of an issue when it comes to how they will proceed, considering Assetto Corsa and ACC are such heavily-contrasting products.
It is not a case of cheese and chalk of course. But it is undeniable that the audiences for the original Assetto Corsa did not completely move over to ACC. There is crossover for sure, but these games are more comparable to the Forza games, Motorsport and Horizon.
But even if it is a problem, it is a good problem to have. Who knows? If ACC‘s player numbers continue to be big after ‘AC2‘s release, maybe Kunos will be tempted to expand and continue supporting the game.
What are you hoping for the future of Assetto Corsa? Tell us on Twitter at @OverTake_gg or in the comments down below!