Like many sim racers out there, Matt Orr aka Empty Box is a massive Indycar fan. In his latest video, Matt shares his view and frustration regarding the ongoing debacle about the future of IndyCar-related gaming.
In July of 2021, Motorsport Games announced they had acquired an official, and exclusive IndyCar license in order to release an official Indycar game in 2023. The license will go into effect in January 2023.
This will have a massive impact on the current iRacing Indycar content, resulting in huge restrictions for IndyCar-branded content, and the death of the popular yearly iRacing Indy 500 race. Furthermore, both iRacing official and league racing events using the Dallara IR18, DW12, and IR-05 cars are prohibited from being broadcasted via streams or other media. Also, titles such as Automobilista 2 had Indycar-based content in the pipeline and are now unlikely to be able to release the planned content.
Needless to say, this hasn’t gone down well with most Indycar and iRacing fans, and could even have a future impact on sim racers who currently don’t care about the series, as the power of licensing affects us all. I realize it’s a free market out there, and it’s called the gaming industry. Owning exclusive licenses can potentially be worth a lot of money, or can be used to keep the competition from beating you at your own game. Nevertheless, exclusive licenses have rarely been a good thing for the actual consumer.
At the end of the day, the difference between a wonderful or disastrous outcome is made up by both the who and the why of a license agreement. That said, it is safe to say that Motorsport Games does not exactly have a huge fanbase or a very reliable track record. While we have seen the company snatch away official BTCC, WEC, NASCAR, and 24H of Le Mans licenses, it currently has little to show for it, with most content ending up as mediocre console games, or commercial mods for rFactor 2.
Let’s hope the future proves us wrong.
iRacing Associate Producer Greg West said: Our current license agreement with IndyCar is set to expire on December 31, 2022. IndyCar has signed an exclusive license with another developer that goes into effect on January 1, 2023.
While we are still working on finalizing a new license with IndyCar, it is clear there will be some notable changes to the way we are able to present IndyCar racing on iRacing, West’s note reads. Most significantly, we will no longer be able to run an official IndyCar-branded series and there will not be an iRacing Indy 500. You will also see the removal of the IndyCar logo from our sites.
Official Empty Box YouTube channel – youtube.com/@TacticalCardboard