Since its initial reveal in April, mystery and intrigue as surrounded the all-new sim racing game RENNSPORT. However, after a summit in Munich, Germany, we were able to ask members of the development team important questions and learn more about what could be an important addition to the racing platform roster.
We were also able to play an early build extensively – our impressions, plus gameplay footage and a CEO interview will follow later this week.
For now, though, here’s everything you need to know, so far, about RENNSPORT.
What is RENNSPORT?
RENNSPORT is a racing simulator video game for PC created by a new company – Competition Company GmbH.
Who is developing RENNSPORT?
Competition Company GmbH is made up of a group in Poland, a group in Munich, Germany, and a network of remote contributors around Europe.
Morris Hebecker is a RENNSPORT Co-founder and the CEO. Adam Goldberg, who has previously worked as Franchise Executive Producer for Forza Motorsport 7, is also involved, while the lead programmer is Krzysztof Szczech previously of Teyon where he worked on Monster Truck Championship.
“The core game team is 40 members, then a second team is working on mobile integration and the technical base platform for the APIs that partners will use. We are growing every month,” clarified Hebecker.
What game and physics engines does RENNSPORT use?
RENNSPORT is built within Unreal Engine 5 – however, its car physics and tyre models are unique and created from scratch, before being married with UE5.
“We worked on the physics to make them compliant with Unreal Engine, because [I think] Unreal physics are not usable for sim racing. We needed to have a separate code running in synchronisation with Unreal,” explained Szczech.
“We are still adjusting the values – like the number of contact patches and frequency – but you may be surprised when we finalise that.”
What platforms is RENNSPORT on?
RENNSPORT is being developed for PC.
“It would be great to have RENNSPORT on console,” said company CEO Hebecker.
“There are several elements – we are focussed on esports and mods, and so for console, we will have to modify these. It is an option, but if we have to cut most of our main ideas, then we will not bring it [to more devices].
“We have to figure out if we will have a good product for console, if not, we will stay with PC.”
Will there be VR support?
Yes, the current plan is to add support for virtual reality from RENNSPORT’s launch.
“No real sim racing game can exist without VR. We are in heavy development,” explained Szczech.
“We also have a lot of ideas like how to improve spectating in VR, more than just the driving, which we are working on too,” expanded Hebecker.
Will there be triple-screen support?
Our opinion is that this feature is a ‘hopeful’ inclusion for now, based on the RENNSPORT development team’s current progress.
“Unreal Engine 5 is not very good for [triple screen support], so for now, we are actively working on it,” opined Szczech.
“We [have] encountered some issues, and as far as we know we are not the only ones with these.
“We are in close contact with Epic Games and we hope they will solve it. We will do it, sooner rather than later, let’s say.”
Will there be dynamic weather?
Day to night transitions and changeable weather conditions are planned for RENNSPORT, but the first priority is implementing dynamic track surfacing, such as rubbering in.
“Later, we want to add in dynamic time of day and weather,” highlighted Szczech.
When can I play RENNSPORT?
Before the game releases, there will be a closed beta and then in 2023 an open beta. In addition, at the Goodwood Festival of Speed event in June, attendees can compete in a Goodwood Hillclimb time trial competition using RENNSPORT.
Is esports a central feature?
Yes, it seems to be the case. The game’s reveal summit revolved around a LAN even with 12 sim racing rigs.
To take part, each participant registered via a mobile app. This then placed competitors into groups. When it was time for your group to race, you scanned an on-screen QR code to confirm your identity.
The system then recorded your best lap time, and anyone at the event could check the app at any time to see your current position.
This in turn determined splits – through a convoluted team average time system – for the racing, before at each stage drivers were knocked out before the final, won by Team Redline’s Enzo Bonito.
A remarkable system considering this is at an early alpha stage, aiming to elevate racing esports into the realms of Counter-Strike live competitions, for example. This is also clear as the esports partner is known predominantly as the creators of the ESL Pro League.
There will also be some form of esports competitions before the game releases, too.
“We are really planning to start the esports before we have the final release because the esports and sim racing community is our main focus,” explained the game’s CEO.
“We are quite confident, and we believe that it is the right way.”
How about an online ranking system?
We have not seen true, remote, online gameplay yet – just the LAN event. There are plans to implement a ranking and/or safety rating system, analogous to iRacing or Gran Turismo 7, but how that I structured remains to be seen.
“We are planning to have a ranking system, that will go up to the highest esports event. A closed system, like a fairness rating,” theorised Hebecker.
“We have a special team for these things, but it’s definitely in our plan and what we have in mind. Take the best parts of what’s out there and try to make it better.”
Which cars and tracks are in RENNSPORT?
The alpha build of RENNSPORT we tried featured the BMW M4 GT3, Porsche 911 GT3 R and electric Porsche Mission R. The tracks were the Goodwood Hillclimb and the Hockenheimring. However, more are planned.
“Futuristic cars, historic cars, and hopefully, some open-wheelers,” said Hebecker when pushed for further details.
“GT3 cars are the beginning to bring all the automotive partners together on a base level.
“We have only two [car manufacturer] partners [to reveal] at the moment. We will announce another three within the next two months.
“I’m quite sure we will have all the really important brands within the next 12 to 18 months.”
How much is RENNSPORT?
The current plan for RENNSPORT is a ‘free-to-enter’ model. While the details are not yet decided, this reminds us, upon first glance, of RaceRoom Racing Experience.
This allows you to race a select number of cars and tracks for no charge, but with the majority of content behind a paywall.
“It’s really important for us to get maximum [number] of users on the platform and show them what is possible with the game,” said RENNSPORT’s CEO.
“There is an internal discussion at the moment to make the final decision about how free-to-enter actually looks like. If it’s giving the tracks for free or other elements. You can start without paying anything and then there will be a monetization.”
RENNSPORT release date
RENNSPORT is currently scheduled for release before the end of 2023.
As to the title’s digital ownership plans for mods and our initial driving impressions, we will return later this week with further information, gameplay and opinions.