Rennsport confirms free-to-play, Q4 early access and mod marketplace

Thomas Harrison-Lord
Following a lengthy gestation period where various pricing strategies were mentioned, Rennsport has committed to free entry, then a mix of free and paid-for content.
Rennsport confirms free-to-play, Q4 early access and mod marketplace 02

A one-time purchase, subscription service or free-to-play – just some of the contemporary pricing models used by video games. Upcoming sim racing title Rennsport has committed to the latter as its open drives into view.

This is pivotal, as the public beta period – via the Epic Games Store – will have the option of purchasing Founder’s Packs.

These include a car, a track and other bonus items, over and above the free work-in-progress experience. But, not knowing what sort of pricing model Competition Company’s racer will take once it hits version 1.0 left us with some questions.

“We announced there will be a free-to-enter system, [which] is really important for us to get [the] maximum [number] of users on the platform and show them what is possible with the game,” said the project’s CEO Morris Hebecker, way back in September 2022.

“There’s an internal discussion at the moment, no final decision [on] how the free-to-enter really looks like – if it’s giving tracks for free, or cars and tracks.”

Then, three months later, a subscription model was discussed:

“Rennsport will be free to enter. If you like the game you can jump into a subscription model to experience the whole ecosystem,” said Hebecker.

Rennsport confirms free-to-play, Q4 early access and mod marketplace

But, things can change, and that wasn’t very specific. Now, however, just before the open beta launches, free-to-play is locked in.

“As we plan to run RENNSPORT for many years, our intention is to provide our drivers with a fully free-to-play experience,” reads the statement.

“We want to bring RENNSPORT and the thrill of racing to everyone without any upfront costs. You can get in and start racing right away without spending money.”

However, determining which content will be free and which won’t be – never mind costs – seems to be further down the road.

“Importantly, most tracks will be free. That said, we will introduce some premium tracks for purchase from time to time. Cars are a similar story.”

Perhaps this is foreshadowed by the Nürburgring Nordschleife. In the upcoming open beta, the Green Hell is only for those who purchase one of three Founder’s Packs. These packs presumably help fund the continued development of Rennsport, the statement affirming the theory.

“We’re experimenting to see if this model can create a sustainable and healthy racing community,” continues the creation team.

“By offering premium content, we can invest back into the game, ensuring constant updates and fresh content for all players.”

Rennsport  ESL R1 Early Access

Early Access follows next

In the fourth quarter of 2024, the current stated aim is to release Rennsport into a form of early access.

So, closed beta, followed by open beta (tomorrow), then early access Q4. Version 1.0 general ‘release’ will follow that, but a date or even an estimated window is not yet available. Rennsport was originally slated for a later 2023 release.

Those who do purchase a founder’s pack will have their content carried across into the early access build, but progress such as online ranking levels is expected to be reset.

Ah yes, modding

Rennsport has long flirted with community-made content for the sim racing platform. It has, within the closed beta, Orchard Road –a track made originally for Assetto Corsa by a group of passionate fans.

We’ve also been hands-on with early versions of existing AC mods converted to Rennsport’s Unreal Engine 5 graphics engine last year.

Since then, however, news on modding elements has been notable only by its absence. Now it seems that the platform aims to create a native mod marketplace to split revenues, and perhaps include some content oversight to avoid any potential licensing issues.

“We’re planning to set up a marketplace for outstanding mods, giving modders the opportunity to make a living from their passion,” says Rennsport.

“But don’t worry, we’re not ditching free modding! Both free and paid modding will co-exist.”

1 comment
  1. After playing the beta recently I don’t see how it’s ready for early access, all they will do is anger the community who will then be reluctant to try it again when it’s full release.
    Also by then AC2 will be out… I’m all for having more Sims but these guys seem to be doing this backwards and trying to market a product that is not close to ready and then actually try to get people to pay some money for the quarter of a release it is now.

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