Fledgling driving video game developer Motorsport Games has announced that its official IndyCar game has been pushed back to 2024.
Originally announced in July 2021, the first dedicated PC and console game of the American open-wheel championship since Codemasters’ IndyCar Series 2005 was slated for a 2023 release.
This has changed today, 24th March 2023, as announced on the company’s full-year 2022 earnings call.
“For our IndyCar game, we continue to make strides in our development efforts,” said Motorsport Games’ CEO Dmitry Kozko during the presentation.
“But we do not believe we will be in a satisfactory position to release it to the community this year.
“The IndyCar community has not had a dedicated game in over a decade and we want to make sure that our IndyCar game is on par with other major racing games out there, with enough features to keep IndyCar and other fans excited.”
Further context to the decision behind the delay was provided later in the call by the company which also has licences for dedicated NASCAR, 24 Hours of Le Mans and British Touring Car Championship games.
“I think one point that we really want to make clear, that we touched on in our call, is that we really took a step back and took a serious look at the quality of products we deliver, especially when it comes to an IndyCar product,” explained Kozko.
“We want to make sure that the standard that the IndyCar community is looking for in their product is surpassed, we want to make sure that we exceed their expectations.”
It follows the tortuous launch of the ill-fated NASCAR 21: Ignition, which melded existing physics with the Unreal Engine, but resulted in an unfortunate string of technical errors and glitches.
Motorsport Games has since announced that it will not make further games based on its technology base and instead enlisted the erstwhile KartKraft development team to create IndyCar wholly in Unreal.
“Our track record with Ignition doesn’t show that capability so far,” continued Kozko.
“So we essentially have to take even a higher standard to ourselves to make sure that when we do release that game, it starts a proper momentum.
“So for us, it’s an investment for the long run of making a decision, even though we are seeing the game in the proper stage right now.
“There [are] moving cars, there [are] tracks, there [are] certain elements that are supposed to be in the game. But we just do not believe that it’s up to par for what the community will expect…
“…We understand that taking extra time and extra investment into that will ultimately, in the long run, pay off for us.”
For the fourth quarter of its 2022 financial year, Motorsport Games’ revenue was $3.8 million, a 54% fall year-on-year. Gross profit was $2.3 million compared to $3.3 million for the same period in the prior year, a decrease of $1 million, while gross profit margin improved to 60.6% from 40.5%.
It still recorded a net loss of $4.8 million, compared to a net loss of $7 million 12 months earlier.
“This year we plan to bring 2023 Season updates to our NASCAR game for all major platforms such as PlayStation, Xbox PC, Nintendo Switch and mobile, “ said Kozko in light of its other major licensing agreement.
“[The] NASCAR community deserves a great gaming experience, we understand we did not meet [anywhere] close to our own expectations [with] the Ignition release, hence why we continued to sell our previous year’s titles and we want to continue to update content around our portfolio there.
“But as far as taking a decision to launch a game, that is a dedicated and exciting experience for the NASCAR or other communities, we’re going to hold off on making an official announcements on those release dates, until we feel absolutely confident – and probably with some insight from the community or stakeholders that the game is starting to take shape that would impress the rest of the community.”
The Miami-headquartered developer has also announced the appointment of a fresh Chief Financial Officer, Jason Potter, following the appointment of a new board, remaining Nasdaq compliant and securing $11.32 million in funding through the sale of new shares.
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Featured/top image, INDYCAR IR-18 within rFactor 2, not the IndyCar game.