The decision to release a 2022 season DLC pack coming for the current season and NASCAR 21: Ignition has allowed the Motorsport Games development team to focus on a new game for 2023.
In light of the NASCAR 21: Ignition launch fiasco and several structural and personnel changes within Motorsport Games, a recent Q1 2022 earning call has revealed that the main development team is already working on next year’s game launch.
This is perhaps not much of a surprise, following the recent news that there will be no new standalone NASCAR game this year. Instead, a 2022 NASCAR Cup Series pack will be available for the existing NASCAR 21: Ignition title in September, before a new game is expected in the middle of 2023.
This new release will “not inherit the tech debt of NASCAR 21: Ignition as its base” according to the Miami-based developer, and will instead lean heavier on the Unreal Engine with input from KartKraft and rFactor 2 – two platforms under the Motorsport Games umbrella.
“If we’re going to reset the expectation of what the NASCAR title should be, we need more time. There will not be enough time in 2022, and we already have the main team working on the 2023 title,” highlighted company CEO, Dmitry Kozko on the earnings call.
“We value our continued relationships with NASCAR, INDYCAR BTCC and Le Mans, and appreciate their support.
“We currently expect 2023 to bring a fully revamped NASCAR title… By moving to a season expansion update for 2022, more time [has been] allocated to the development team to work on [the] NASCAR 2023 [game].”
NASCAR 21: Ignition 2022 expansion not ‘full game’ price
The upcoming 2022-season DLC pack for Ignition will also, mercifully, not be full price.
“Because we do not plan to charge [a] full game price for the 2022 season expansion, we expect NASCAR console revenues to suffer in 2022 as a result,” said Kozko.
“However, we strongly believe that our investment in further developing gaming experiences is critical for the long run.”
2022 NASCAR Switch game to feature quality of life updates
Last year saw a repurposing of NASCAR Heat 5 on the Nintendo Switch, with optimised controls and the addition of the 2021 Cup season. This was entitled NASCAR Heat Ultimate Edition+ and a sequel was recently announced as part of the company’s 2022 roadmap.
Whether the next Switch release is the same game with the 2022 season added in remains to be seen, but it sounds as if there could be some quality of life changes too.
“The new and improved NASCAR Switch title will include updated visuals and new features,” explained Kozko.
“[We] look forward to continuing to expand our fan demographics in the widely popular Nintendo Switch platform for the years to come.”
A new NASCAR mobile racing game was on the developer’s roadmap from a Q4 2021 earnings call, however, an updated schedule now shows this pushed back to 2024.
“Our mobile game pipeline continues to be an opportunity zone for us, but our current focus is on applying our resources to our main console products,” said the CEO.
The news comes as Motorsport Games’ 2022 Q1 – January to March – results showed a loss of $16 million, compared to Q1 2021 net loss of $14.1 million, but an increase in revenue to $3.3 million compared to $2.5 million for Q1 2021.
In a statement, the company highlighted this was “primarily driven by revisions to the product roadmap during Q1 2022, resulting in changes to the scope and timing of new product releases, as well as changes in the value of the Company’s market capitalization during the first quarter of 2022.”
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Header image – Kurt Busch, 23XI Racing, Jordan Brand Toyota Camry celebrates his win, Kansas Speedway – Nigel Kinrade / NKP / Motorsport Images