When this season’s official MotoGP video game was announced at the end of March, developers Milestone revealed a later release date, dynamic weather, flag-to-flag rules and a social media feed for the career mode.
MotoGP 23 will also feature the same stunning Unreal Engine-powered graphics on the previous titles and the official riders, bikes and teams from this season across the top class, Moto2, Moto3 and MotoE.
We’re looking forward to it, as ever, but we couldn’t help but notice several items were not showcased.
Now, this does not mean that they won’t be included, and let’s say they aren’t in the end, we shouldn’t write off its hopes. However, between now and the 8th June release date, we hope to have the following items clarified.
Will MotoGP 23 include the sprint event format?
A new format for the real-world 2023 season analogous to Formula 1’s sprint rules, every real-world race weekend in 2023 will include practice on Fridays (with combined times determining who goes straight into Q2 the next day), then both qualifying and a short sprint ‘race’ on Saturdays, followed by the main race on Sunday.
The grid for the Sunday race is set by the qualifying session and not the sprint results. Sprints are pegged at half the length of the main race and offer up to 12 championship points.
At the time of writing, Francesco Bagnaia won the Portuguese sprint and Brad Binder the Argentinian affair.
As it stands, this race format has not been confirmed for the MotoGP 23 game, and the developers have not answered the question on its official Discord server.
When F1 started sprints in 2021, they didn’t appear until the F1 22 game – let’s see what happens with the MotoGP games.
How about the new tracks?
MotoGP will visit Kazakhstan in July for the first time, and at a brand-new race track, the Sokol International Racetrack.
The venue was announced in 2012, but it’s taken until 2023 to get the Hermann Tilke-designed circuit up and running, as the nation that is in both Central Asia and Eastern Europe looks to host world-class motorsport for the first time.
No footage or images of this venue in MotoGP 23 has been revealed to date, and Traxion.GG has yet to receive confirmation either way.
Similarly, India’s Buddh International Circuit – which hosted F1 between 2011 and 2013 – is set to appear later in the season for the first time.
Milestone has historically been excellent with track change updates, adding the new Red Bull Ring layout in last year’s MotoGP 22 game before the race happened – so we’re hopeful, even if this is far from confirmed.
Are the Ranked Races actually, well, ranked races?
Good point, as the recently released Monster Energy Supercross 6 released with a touted ‘ranked’ online feature, but it simply meant that there was an online leaderboard based on results. When you entered a lobby, your rivals seemingly weren’t based on your skill.
We bring this up as Milestone works with a centralised development studio that then shares technology across each game division – as explained by Federico Carlo Riccardo Spada on our Hot Wheels Unleashed podcast interview.
So, it could be something similar in MotoGP 23 to Supercross 6, despite the game’s website stating:
“New Ranked Races will let you take on other players with your same skill level to enjoy the most intense and challenging duels!”
We really hope this is the case, and that perhaps Supercross 6 was laying the groundwork required to implement a ranking system that places you in races against close competitors. Fingers crossed.
Will flag-to-flag work online?
The flag-to-flag rules pertain to changeable weather. If a race starts dry and changes to rain, riders enter the pitlane and instead of changing tyres, they hop off one motorcycle and then onto another that’s already equipped with wet rubber.
This will be represented in the MotoGP games for the very first time with MotoGP 23, which is a big leap forward.
However, if you could run online leagues with dynamic weather, we think it would really add depth to the experience and a new element of risk.
If flag-to-flag is offline only, we don’t think that it’s a deal-breaker – this, after all, is the development team’s first attempt at this feature.
Perhaps the biggest question here. Recently, a video was published by the game’s promotional team that talks of a ‘renewed career mode’.
This includes amping up mid-season team changes into a new feature called ‘Turning Points’, a rivals system that looks at first glance similar to that of the Supercross 6 feature and the inclusion of the aforementioned social media feeds.
But, we’d love to see new personal management options and bike skill tree additions – something that has remained similar now for several seasons, and even copied across wholesale into SBK 22.
One superb feature in MotoGP 21/22, once you’ve reached the sport’s upper echelons, is managing your own junior teams in Moto2 and Moto3. We hope that continues, but also, when you create your own team, we’d enjoy the option of hiring a team-mate – something the F1 games include.
With all things considered and the five points raised above, we’re very much looking forward to what the development team has up its sleeve over the next two months ahead of release. Let us know your ideas in the comments below.
UPDATE 12th April 2023 – Developer Milestone has clarified several items mention in this article, and it’s good news.
Images: Motorsport Images