A new Product Road Map regarding the future of the NASCAR video game lineup from Motorsport Games was revealed on Thursday (28th April) in a community post shared by Jay Pennell, Brand Manager of NASCAR at Motorsport Games.
In the post, a shedload of detail was unveiled regarding the current game, NASCAR 21: Ignition, and future games for handheld and console release from the company.
NASCAR 21: IGNITION TO GET 2022 UPDATES
Firstly, the Next Generation console upgrade promised to NASCAR 21: Ignition players has been moved to June 2022. This will come in the 1.5.0 patch and is for Xbox Series X|S and PlayStation 5 users. Originally, it was slated for this month (April), but it took longer than expected, per the company.
The patch will include some fixes as well, including a glitch where players would appear under the car in career mode. Also, the patch includes cross-generational online gameplay.
At the end of the summer, another next generation item will be added to the current game. In September of 2022, the 2022 Season Expansion will be released and will include the 2022 NEXT Gen cars, team rosters, regular season schedule, an updated UI and in-race HUD. Also, Fanatec wheels will be given further support.
The NEXT Gen car won’t be new to Ignition, as the No. 78 Live Fast Motorsports Ford Mustang is featured in a test session on the platform currently. The Chevrolet and Toyota additions will be new, as will the entirety of the rest of the roster that will be included.
From there, NASCAR 21: Ignition will also have three more DLC packs which will feature alternative schemes, but the details of which those will be are still to be announced.
In NASCAR 21: Ignition, there are already three DLC packs for the current 2021 season available which also included legends Matt Kenseth, Bobby Labonte and Darrell Waltrip, as well as a season pass to encapsulate it all. The Champions Edition of the game included Bill Elliott, and as a preorder bonus.
The DLC will be released in October, November and December of this year. As it stands now, the Standard Edition of the game is currently marked down to $29.99 at most retailers, with some having it further marked down from there.
NASCAR 22 RELEASING ON NINTENDO SWITCH
As for a 2022 game, there will be one, but at this time NASCAR 2022 has only been announced for the Nintendo Switch. NASCAR 2022 for the Nintendo Switch will be released this year in the Fall of this year and will build upon the current NASCAR Heat Switch game.
The Switch received its first NASCAR title in nearly a decade at the end of last year when NASCAR HEAT: Ultimate Edition+ was released, containing both the 2020 and 2021 seasons for the NASCAR Cup Series. In essence, it was NASCAR HEAT 5 for the handheld console, but with the most up to date roster.
The upcoming Switch game is said to feature improved visuals and new features, but what exactly those are have not been unveiled yet. It didn’t include the HEAT namesake on the roadmap, but the community update implied that it will build on the current Switch game.
NASCAR ‘23 WILL BE NEXT CONSOLE RELEASE IN MID 2023
Perhaps the most important piece of the new information is that the next console released NASCAR game, outside of the Switch game, will now come in mid-2023.
The original company roadmap had a new console release coming at the end of 2022. However, with how negative the reviews for NASCAR 21: Ignition were received, the company stated that they’ll be moving in another new direction with ‘23.
“The 2023 NASCAR game will not inherit the tech debt of NASCAR 21: Ignition as its base, but instead will be capitalizing on the phenomenal work done by the teams that brought you KartKraft and rFactor 2 while still utilizing the Unreal Engine,” the community update stated.
NASCAR 21: Ignition took the Unreal Engine and combined it with physics and code from rFactor 2 from Studio 397. The game received “Mostly Negative” reviews on Steam since its launch, and has not been well received in the NASCAR gaming community.
This change means that the future game will once again have a new foundation, but it will build more upon KartKraft, another Motorsport Games title which, also on Steam, has “Very Positive” reviews, although some of the recent ones have been “Mixed”.
There are a number of things that went wrong with the launch of NASCAR 21: Ignition. From game-breaking glitches to incorrect or forgotten rulesets, Ignition was not well received by many.
Since the launch, however, the company has been continuing to work on fixing the game. Back in January, a roadmap explained some of the fixes and additions that would still be coming to the game. Just recently, one of those updates added stages as the company answered questions from the community.
In recent weeks, however, speculation started to spread around various social media platforms that NASCAR was looking to have the license taken away from Motorsport Games. The claims were refuted by NASCAR, and as Jalopnik reported, NASCAR issued a statement that the partnership between NASCAR and Motorsport Games was in “good standing”.
The statement read: “NASCAR and Motorsport Games have a long-standing relationship in place and the status of our partnership remains in good standing.”
While NASCAR fans will still need to deal with the NASCAR 21: Ignition title for a while longer, hopefully, the delay for a future, different 2023 game will lead to things stepping off in the right direction this time.
Full disclosure – Traxion.GG is part of Motorsport Games and the Motorsport Games family of brands. All Traxion.GG content is editorially removed from Motorsport Games video game development and created by a dedicated team.
Featured image: BJ McLeod, driver of the No. 78 NASCAR 21: Ignition Ford Mustang for Live Fast Motorsports, makes a pit stop during the 2022 Daytona 500. Photo by Justin Melillo.