In one of those double-take, spit out my morning coffee moments, iRacing announced on Tuesday that it had acquired longtime video game developer Monster Games. It hasn’t even been two weeks since the announcement of its first acquisition at Orontes Games, but iRacing is ringing in the new year strong with two big developers now secured in their corner of the racing game market.
You may know Monster Games from its work on recent tiles like SRX: The Game, Tony Stewart’s All American Racing, and from their work with the NASCAR Heat franchise. In past years, Monster Games has also worked on one of my favorite games of all time, Dirt to Daytona. Both the SRX and Tony Stewart games run off of the same Unity Engine, or at least a very similar one to the NASCAR Heat 4 and 5 engine.
On top of that, Monster Games President Rich Garcia has a pretty storied history with iRacing CEO / CTO Dave Kaemmer as they worked together on some banger racing games at Papyrus.
While it is unlikely that we see this as a means for the iRacing service to move on to a console platform anytime soon, expanding racing games under the “iRacing roof” generally to the console market was specifically mentioned in the iRacing press release. This will, however, help build up both brands, as iRacing will still be the primary focus, but now they have more data to bounce off of with the folks at Monster Games and Orontes Games.
Conversely, both of their acquired developers will have access to the iRacing library of information, which could lead to even better future products from both of them. It could mean that we get to see a form of iRacing’s physics show up on a console racing game, but we’ll have to wait and see how this all plays out. Monster Games does have an unannounced project slated for a 2022 release, per the presser.
Also, this deal has been “in the works for some time now” according to iRacing President Tony Gardner.
Looking specifically at what Monster Games brings to the table, a lot of their recent work has been on the dirt racing discipline. SRX: The Game did have some asphalt racing on it, but the majority of racing came from the dirt side. While iRacing already has an established dirt racing portfolio of cars and tracks, this could lead to even more love for that class.
I speculated with the Orontes acquisition that their off-road racing physics could lead to a broader dirt program on future iRacing builds. Monster Games and their dirt knowledge could also help lead that forward. Also, could this mean we’ll get the Superstar Racing Experience racecars on iRacing anytime soon? I’d have to imagine that something comes of it, especially after a very successful first season in 2021.
All in all, iRacing continues to build up its empire, and I am here for it. I can only hope it makes everything, from the iRacing core to the expanded Monster Games and Orontes Games universe, even better than what they would have been separate.