We all knew it was coming, or at least hoped it was coming, as Studio 397 and Motorsport Games Inc. had already announced the existence of an official World Endurance Championship (WEC) game project.
Therefore it does not come as a surprise that just ahead of next weekend’s Centenary edition of the Le Mans 24 Hours, Studio 397, Motorsport Games Inc. and the Automobile Club de l’Ouest (ACO) have officially announced that they are currently working on an all-new exclusive game for the 24 Hours of Le Mans and FIA WEC, appropriately named Le Mans Ultimate.
The game is already in its production phase at Studio 397, the creators of the rFactor 2 platform who incidentally named their company honoring the longest distance covered in the 24 hours of Le Mans, being 397 laps by the Audi R15+ TDI back in 2010.
Currently, the game is scheduled to become available on PC somewhere in December 2023. During 2024, Motorsport Games Inc will be evaluating if they can also bring this title to consoles.
The game will feature (some or all) official cars and circuits of the 2023 FIA World Endurance Championship WEC season, with the 24 Hours of Le Mans as its headline event. The cars list will consist of Hypercars from Ferrari, Peugeot, Porsche, and Toyota, alongside all the cars of the 2023 full-season WEC championship. You can expect high-fidelity models of iconic tracks such as Spa-Francorchamps, Monza, Fuji, and of course the Circuit de la Sarthe.
The idea for the game is for it to continually evolve and have a lifespan longer than a yearly released game. Motorsport Games Inc expects this game will be supported over a prolonged period, with regular updates and content added during its lifecycle.
The game will enable the user to choose preselects depending on experience and ability from Beginner to Advanced. This will enable the game to assist the first-time player with set-up but also allow full in-depth set-up changes for those who want to enjoy the refinement of simulation play.
Alongside robust steering wheel support, specific development resources will be allocated to assisting those at the beginning of their sim racing journey who use a gamepad or controller. Le Mans Ultimate will incorporate innovative online activities – allowing users to experience endurance racing through innovative asynchronous gameplay so you can complete races with friends and teammates at times that suit each player.
The new game will utilize the physics engine behind rFactor 2 and will introduce innovative gaming and competition features associated with endurance racing. The online gameplay will be powered by RaceControl, a new development from Motorsport Games that powers an interactive multiplayer experience. Features will include both competitive and more casual races, as well as the ability to host a private session. Perhaps most innovatively, the game is planned to include a collaborative asynchronous race mode, whereby a team of players can undertake their stints at a time and date that suits them, with each member fitting in their time in the car around other commitments or time zone restraints.
Presented by Thrustmaster, visitors of the Circuit de la Sarthe, at this year’s 24 Hours of Le Mans from 7th-11th June, will be able to have a first look at the Le Mans Ultimate game (work in progress). Based in the Gaming Zone in the Family Area, there will be 10 simulators on which the general public can either test drive the Porsche 963 Hypercar or the Ferrari 488 GTE. A competition supported by Thrustmaster allows everyone who signs up to play the game to be entered into a prize draw to win a Limited Edition Thrustmaster T818 Steering Wheel and base. Fans will also be able to give feedback and their views in a post-play survey.
Pierre Fillon, President of the Automobile Club de l’Ouest said: This year the 24 Hours of Le Mans celebrates its centenary and the prestige of the race is unparalleled. It is only natural, in this new golden age of endurance, for fans to want to experience racing firsthand, or almost. Today’s video games give them just that opportunity. In the wake of the undisputed success of the Le Mans Virtual Series and the Virtual 24 Hours of Le Mans, Le Mans Ultimate is the… ultimate game when it comes to simulating the sensations racing drivers feel at the wheel. A big thank you to Motorsport Games and Studio 397 for a game that has all the ingredients to be hugely popular!
Frédéric Lequien, CEO of the FIA World Endurance Championship said: With this year’s 24 Hours of Le Mans, round four of the FIA WEC, celebrating its 100th anniversary, it has provided the perfect platform for Le Mans Ultimate to be revealed to eager fans across the globe. The team at Motorsport Games and Studio 397 are committed to creating a product which can help bring the joys of endurance racing to gamers all over. We can’t wait to get see the final product later this year!
Stephen Hood, CEO Motorsport Games said: It’s great to pull the covers off and introduce the world to Le Mans Ultimate for the first time. In this Centenary year, we have been working closely with the ACO to bring the thrill of the 24 Hours of Le Mans and the FIA WEC to people all around the world. We aim to help make them feel invested in Le Mans Ultimate from the start, taking them on a gaming journey with updates and behind-the-scenes coverage through our social media channels to show the development and the excitement we all have at Studio 397 and Motorsport Games to produce the best experience for gamers and motorsport fans.
Official Webpages – www.studio-397.com – www.lemansultimate.com