The final Reader Submission to close out the weekend on PRC.net is a fairly interesting information leak, as a reader who wishes to remain anonymous has shared with us some very interesting details about the upcoming console version of Assetto Corsa. The information comes from a friend of a friend, who’s currently a community beta tester for Assetto Corsa, and obviously that might be up in the air with some of the info we’re about to publish.
My friend is one of the community beta testers for Kunos Simulazioni, and we have been reading your site since the article you posted about Zandvoort not being laser scanned. It made us laugh. I bookmarked the site and kept returning. My friend eventually told me a lot about what it’s like to be a beta tester, and all of the things he knows about Assetto Corsa. We decided it was a good idea to send PRC.net the information he knows.
I have included screenshots of the beta testers only forum as proof. Please do not post that screenshot.
It’s cool, there’s gotta be an NDA involved with a project of this scale. – James
Assetto Corsa will be published by 505 Games. I don’t know much about the publisher, but I know that they are not urging Kunos to finish the game for consoles. It’s a really weird strategy they have. They want Assetto Corsa to release however it is in 2016, and don’t care about bad press. They just want the game out there. It doesn’t matter to them if people like it or hate it, they still bought the game, and it is more money to develop Assetto Corsa 2. It is a franchise now like Project CARS 2.
They want gamers to think “well, if you don’t like Forza or Gran Turismo, there is this new game called Assetto Corsa you should try,” and that’s how they will get their sales. Anytime somebody complains about the game, they will be told “well, this was just their first attempt on consoles so don’t be so harsh, Assetto Corsa 2 will be much better!” I am sad that we are falling into that loop again.
But the proof of this game being a console cash grab comes from Kunos, not 505 Games. Marco Massarutto owns the company, and the Assetto Corsa brand. It was his decision to put the game on the new consoles as a way to create sales and “brand awareness” so Assetto Corsa 2 could happen. Not everyone inside Assetto Corsa agreed with the decision, so some of the developers and coders are dragging their feet. That is why you see so many tire updates and nothing for new features. There are some new cars coming like the Toyota and Audi prototypes, but not features.
There is uncertainty with 2016. We are very sad that this is happening. Please do not post our names, my friend still works hard to beta test as there are not bad people in this project, only bad decisions.
Well this aligns with stuff I’ve been told previously. The moment I heard 505 Games had been involved with getting Assetto Corsa on consoles, I knew things were going to get extremely rough. 505 Games aren’t exactly the most reputable of publishers, opting to consistently push out shovelware titles that fail to earn even a passing grade on Metacritic.
My knowledge of 505 Games boils down to two of the titles mentioned above, Backbreaker and Payday 2. My buddy from work is a big Payday 2 player, a first person shooter centered around online co-op bank robberies. Recently, the developers held a huge community challenge week, where cumulative statistical goals were set for the entire playerbase to achieve over the span of ten days. Upon completion, the developers would unlock a secret in-game reward, and of course the community went hard in the paint trying to unlock the special prize.
The reward for their efforts ended up being micro-transactions, after the developers explicitly said the game would never have them. Take a guess who was behind that call.
A title I’m more familiar with out of the stable presented by 505 Games is Backbreaker. Released in 2010, the game was an attempt to capitalize on the declining quality of EA’s Madden NFL series, by creating a football game powered by the Euphoria physics engine. As American Football is a full contact sport, and most sports titles rely on motion captured animations, a problem with the Madden NFL games was that not every physical interaction made sense, and dedicated Madden players could abuse certain tackle animations for their benefit. In theory, replacing the exploitable element of the game with a live physics engine would not only make for an extremely realistic football simulator, it would eliminate any exploits whatsoever.
The game flopped, and was released in a state similar to Assetto Corsa. When it worked, it was unbelievable. It just didn’t work often enough to be the Madden killer football fans had hoped for. Like Assetto Corsa, firing up Backbreaker was a complete dice roll. Sometimes, you’d get an extremely competent alternative to Madden. Other times, you’d get occurrences like the ones displayed in the above video.
Unfortunately, those sort of games are what 505 appear specialize in, just by going through their list of titles on Wikipedia. Their name alone should be enough to worry the diehard Assetto Corsa fans, because historically 505 Games haven’t cared about the quality of what they publish. With no concerns about quality, and profits as the sole motivation behind the company, you have to wonder if the game has been placed in the right hands.
As for the insider info about what’s going on over at Kunos headquarters, it’s something that sort of makes sense. The abrupt end to Stefano’s coding livestreams, the hostility within the forums leading to contributing community members being banned, and a lack of any real development aside from constant tire model revisions… One must wonder why such minimal improvements are being made to the game when it’s getting close to crunch time for consoles, and why there’s an interesting vibe surrounding the Kunos team on the forums as of late.