Following an extended period of silence, which apart from mentioning that the licence still exists stems back to an interview by Motorsport.com in July 2021, some details have emerged about the title.
“Our planned [24 Hours of] Le Mans title allows us to utilise the very best components of our top-tier rFactor 2 simulation [platform], an alignment to an opportunity we believe exists in the racing genre,” said incumbent CEO Stephen Hood, who re-joined the company last month.
The rFactor 2 platform is now over 10 years old and was used for the past three 24 Hours of Le Mans Virtual events, plus the Le Mans Virtual Series esports championship. However, the 2023 running of the one-day-long event was beset by technical challenges.
The company now looks set to be working on a new release using elements of the existing platform and with a focus on friends working together. There’s also a plan to create a new online racing competition system, using rFactor 2 as a testbed before it hits the dedicated Le Mans release.
“Think of any popular game these days and you’ll invariably find that teams of friends are working together to achieve objectives,” continued Hood on the call.
“The racing genre has, for decades, promoted a sense of ultra-competitiveness that I feel prevents rapid growth of the segment.
“Le Mans and the World Endurance Championship (WEC) revolves around teamwork. It is therefore fitting that our long-planned move into team racing begins with the release of our competition system into the rFactor 2 simulation-style game – which has seen a useful growth period thanks to third-party community platform support as well as our formal quarterly content release strategy.
“From there we will gather valuable consumer feedback ahead of a wider release alongside the upcoming Le Mans game, which in turn, should provide us with insight into the concept of team play within the racing genre.”
The release schedule for the test system within rFactor 2 (which Hood confirmed later in the discussion would be re-named for its formal launch) is yet to be revealed, however an April blog post by developers Studio 397 – owned by Motorsport Games – for the recent release of the Gen3 Formula E car stated the following:
“2023 is a very exciting year for rFactor 2, and we have plenty more content and multiplayer updates which we look forward to bringing to you very soon!
We can’t let you in on all of the secrets just yet, but let’s just say that rFactor 2 will never be the same again…”
Also on the same earnings briefing, the new CEO also discussed a NASCAR Heat 5 DLC pack set for release within ‘days’ and the company’s recent financial results.
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