WATCH: Sierra founders reflect on Papyrus and losing the NASCAR license

Justin Melillo
NASCAR Racing 2003 Season: A Retrospective 19 years later

If you know me, you know that NASCAR Racing 2003 Season has been a big part of the majority of my life. Arguably the Magnum Opus of the Papyrus Design Group, NR2003 is still kicking even to this day, as a dedicated community have taken the title and updated it to current day specifications, in terms of cars and rules and such.

Since that time, however, there honestly hasn’t been anything remotely close as far as a standalone NASCAR Racing game. Yeah, EA held a grip on the NASCAR console game scene through the late 2000’s, and iRacing came up with a subscription-based racing model with more than just NASCAR around the same time, but really, us NASCAR fans have been deprived of something even remotely close to what NR2003 was ever since.

Two weeks ago, on the MetalJesusRocks YouTube channel, Sierra On-Line founders Ken and Roberta Williams joined the channel to talk about the various properties of the popular gaming company. One of their subsidiaries, the Papyrus Design Group, was a well loved part of the Sierra On-Line family, from the founders mouths themselves.

“I wanted in to the 3D sim category,” Ken Williams said. “I was specifically looking for it. Yeah, what a great company, Papyrus. I remember when I went to visit them, what I was always looking for was designers that were passionate about something. These guys, they put together a whole company that lived and breathed racing.”

I think we can all agree that it was a disappointment that they didn’t keep the NASCAR license. I can’t imagine the types of standalone games that we could have today if they did. Check out the Papyrus-specific part of the interview above, which was reuploaded by the RaceSimCentral YouTube channel. Or, if you prefer, the full interview is embedded below.

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