With the oval racing scene in sim racing monopolized by iRacing, and their own product being held back by an outdated pricing model, ISI pulled a quick one-two punch today, annoucing rFactor 2 will be arriving on Steam shortly, with 2015-spec Stock Cars highlighting the inevitable new build. Yes, you’ll get a key to activate the title on Steam.
rFactor 2 has been left largely in the shadows since the game was released a few years ago. Featuring a pricing model that was left in the dust by Electronic Arts after thousands of customers complained, and a very patchy list of content that offers a mere sampling of the auto racing world as opposed to a full dose, this move towards Valve’s popular distribution platform can only mean good things for ISI when it comes to the financial side of creating a fantastic racing simulator, as it will be on an exponentially larger stage.
My personal hope is that ISI will abandon the online subscription format altogether with this move to Steam, as online passes were designed to generate additional revenue from lanky teenagers buying second-hand copies of Madden, and rFactor 2 won’t be seen in GameStop anytime soon.
But as a Stock Car fan, I’m happier for the simple fact that we’ll get a quality oval racing game, because the current offerings force you to evaluate your priorities instead of giving you everything under one roof:
- NASCAR Racing 2003 Season, while a fantastic sim in it’s own right, is extremely outdated and does not support modern force feedback wheels or hardware. The remaining community can also be a bit problematic.
- ARCA Sim Racing, despite running on the isiMotor engine, is terrible on anything other than short tracks and road courses, and since the game is no longer in development, the community mods the game relies on to fill out the gaps in content are of varying quality.
- NASCAR 15 is shovelware that shouldn’t be touched by any serious NASCAR fan.
- iRacing, while played by the most amount of people, suffers from a constant stream of exploits and bugs that compromise the competitive environment, and the jury is still out on whether or not the driving model is entirely accurate.
We’ll be sure to have our impressions of the Generation 6 ISI Stock Cars posted sometime next week, and hopefully Maple will spit out a setup guide to get you all started.