It’s Time for Sector 3 to Move On from RaceRoom

RRRE 2015-11-02 15-58-45-55When we take a look at how modern video games have evolved over time, starting with the Xbox 360 and Playstation 3 era of titles, a trend rearing its ugly head is the tendency for higher ups to treat video games not as interactive pieces of art, but a game of numbers to maximize profits. Forza’s monthly car packs, Rock Band’s constant bombardment of additional songs, and Call of Duty’s Season Passes awkwardly grabbed at our wallets in a not-so-subtle quest by publishers towards the almighty dollar, a tactic which gamers loudly voiced their displeasure for. Born out of this new wave of doing business, selling customers a game and then selling back snippets cut from the final product as bonus post-release content, was an entirely new tactic of maximizing profits – Building a game entirely on micro-transactions.

And it’s an extremely simple process:

  • Give out the base game for free.
  • Charge $5 here, and $10 there for pieces of content, letting the customer build their own experience within the world you’ve created.
  • Before you know it, the customer has spent $70 out of curiosity, on a title that would normally retail for $30, doubling your profit.

RRRE 2015-11-02 15-54-17-19While it may work in Counter-Strike, and cause gambling addictions in titles like Game of War and any EA Sports game featuring Ultimate Team, traditionally PC racing games have been a strictly old-school affair: after dropping $250 on a half-decent toy steering wheel designed with serious simulations in mind, you spent another $40 on a game, and off to the races you went.

And this is because the core audience of racing simulations are older gentlemen who have been around the block a few times; ones who are a bit more wise when it comes to financial decisions. They are going to see right through a pricing model intended to fuck with the customer, and simply look elsewhere for their entertainment. They are no longer giddy children who have been given a large Xbox Live gift card for their birthday to be blown on Halo Map Packs, but savvy veterans of researching a product they’re interested in to see if they’ll be getting the best bang for their buck.

RRRE 2015-11-02 15-59-25-65A bad idea from the very beginning, the Free to Play pricing model used in Sector 3’s RaceRoom Racing Experience has destroyed any hope of the title becoming a serious contender in the PC sim racing scene. People just aren’t buying it.

And it’s a shame, because Sector 3 have put something phenomenal together. I started messing around with the game all the way back in January of 2013, as the version of Bathurst Sector 3 had put out was unbelievable; one that has only gotten better as the shader model and motion blur effects have been refined over the years. Originally, the game was strictly a hotlap simulator with a huge emphasis on Leaderboard competitions, but over the years the team formerly known as SimBin began inserting elements from Race 07 into the title; effectively turning the game into a fully featured sequel that could easily be called Race 15. Still retaining the WTCC license, the much more popular ADAC GT Masters and Modern DTM cars now take center stage, among a massive supporting cast.

Earlier this year, we here at PRC.net were gifted with press access to R3E in order to cover the game properly on our site. Most other news outlets briefly glanced over the game, and given the insane pricing structure, there was barely anybody actually playing it to form any sort of community consensus. While I loved having the full library of cars, series, and tracks at my disposal as a gift for what I’d done with my site, I was lucky if I could get in a multiplayer session and race with other people.

Eventually, the title did catch on enough to get a few races under my belt, but the game failed to attain the online activity of GTR 2 from a decade ago.

For the longest time, the game drove very much like a modern Race 07, which was what originally got me sucked into turning more laps and running the occasional leaderboard challenge. The GT2, GT3, and DTM cars had extreme amounts of downforce, drilling home the point that GT3 spec race cars are designed with amateur millionaires in mind, and could be driven in a way that would only feed your ego if you could string a few quick laps together. I’m not saying what you could do with the cars was unrealistic, but in some corners you indeed felt as if you were on railway arcade. Given my on-track talent, it was hard to determine if the game was too easy to drive, or if I was just that good.

I eventually got an answer to that. Throughout 2015, Sector 3 spent many months working with both Canadian DTM driver Bruno Spengler and South African GT3 driver Kelvin Van der Linde in an effort to nail the physics of the two most popular classes of cars on R3E.

The end result was out of this world, as the most recent update totally changed how you approached the sim. Not only are the DTM and GT3 cars in R3E extremely convincing to drive, they also teach fantastic fundamentals. You need to brake in a straight line. You need to make smooth, precise steering inputs to keep the car balanced. You need to make quick use of the brake pedal, and manage your throttle carefully on corner exit while centering the steering wheel in unison. You need to run a realistic car setup. Get any one of those aspects wrong, and the game had no problem throwing you into the gravel trap.

It was like this weird, futuristic of Grand Prix Legends, where it was every bit as difficult as GPL, but you weren’t driving on ice or fighting strange ancient Papyrus physics. When you got all the fundamental techniques of driving a race car right, the game magically became easier. To display what I mean, on the weekend I set the GT3 lap record at Bathurst, and at no point during the lap am I exploiting any bullshit game mechanics like I had been the previous build. If anything, this is basically a tutorial on how to drive Mount Panorama.

And the three online races I’d taken part in over the weekend really drilled home how much people had been relying on the previous set of physics as a crutch. I’d gotten lucky and jumped online while the server browser was active (and by active, I mean there were two rooms I could join with a fair bit of people) into two GT3 sessions, and one DTM 2015 session. It was extremely interesting to see some of the quicker guys from the R3E leaderboards struggling to be consistent; the cars slipping out from under them in some of the corners, guys blowing their braking points, or failing to keep the car balanced with jerky inputs. Pretty much all of the stuff I learned about pedal input rhythm in the real world paid off, and it was insane how much I could reel people in just by making sure my fundamentals were solid.

RRRE 2015-11-02 15-59-57-21But even though the car selection is fantastic, the tracks are all extremely high quality and cover every major racing facility in the world (with the Nordschleife set to arrive soon), the engine sounds are number one with a bullet, and the graphics with everything cranked up are comparable with a PS4 game (motion blur doesn’t show up in screenshots), there’s almost nobody playing it.

steamchartsI get that Project CARS had an immense amount of marketing hype behind it. I get that people bought into Assetto Corsa and DiRT Rally for the whole Early Access bullshit experience. I get that F1 2013 is a modern cult classic, and Grid 2 was the sequel to a game from 2007, so there are legitimate reasons for those all-time numbers being so high.

But DiRT 3 Complete Edition was given out in early 2015 as a free gift to all who owned DiRT 3 from 2011 and suffered through the horrid Games for Windows Live functionality. This was a five year old game people played for a week purely for nostalgia purposes, and it doubled the all-time peak player count for R3E. As did F1 2015, which more than tripled the count, even though the game scored a 39 on Metacritic. Last but not least, even Race 07, a game from when Steam was just getting off the ground in 2007, has a higher peak player count.

Why could this be, after all the nice things I’ve said about R3E above?

notactuallyfreeRaceRoom Racing Experience is a Free To Play racing sim, one which lists the Multiplayer mode as being in an Alpha state, and has $120 worth of expansion packs alone, three years after it first launched. The rest of the content I haven’t mentioned, such as the 1970’s Group 5 Touring Cars, 2014 Daytona Prototypes, and various non-ADAC GT cars, can all be bought via more intrusive microtransactions, bringing the total cost of the game to around $220. The same number of different racing series and tracks in Stock Car Extreme goes for $33, and snatching the complete Race 07 bundle is $28.

You can’t just triple the cost of what these games normally go for, and then hide $100 more worth of content inside the game itself so it doesn’t show up on the Steam page. R3E simply isn’t a good deal, and the average sim racer is old enough and smart enough to avoid taking the plunge in the first place – the free content isn’t very good or even real, encouraging you to spend money almost immediately.

CompSo what happens if you actually do buy the game, and a few different expansion packs to bring your total around $60, which is what most console games go for?

R3E OnlineLocked Multiplayer servers, some of which run the Amateur physics model, and the few selections open to the general public are ghost towns. Unless you specifically wake up on Saturday morning with the lone goal of playing R3E online, you will rarely get into a sizeable multiplayer server, and of course there’s no guarantee you’ll be among good drivers.

Leaderboard Challenges are your next logical stop for human competition, but the dwindling amount of racers submitting lap times is extremely disappointing. It was pretty big news across the Sim Racing world when Sector 3 launched their 2015 DTM Expansion Pack for R3E, as it came bundled with a whole host of updates to the GT3 cars in the game – cars that people unanimously can’t get enough of across multiple sims.

22 people submitted a lap time at Spa, a track added to the game last month. GT3 cars at Spa-Francorchamps is a combination on that pollutes the online server browser on Assetto Corsa, and yet in R3E, the amount of people in total on the Hotlap Leaderboard wouldn’t even fill a public room.

A complete revitalization of the most popular cars in the game, and 22 people tried them. Wow.

SpaThe same amount of sim racers submitted a time at Bathurst, another popular GT3 track that is available in every single modern racing sim.

BathurstAt third place is the Street Circuit in Macau with seventeen entrants, primarily due to Georg Ortner’s hotlap challenge on Reddit from a few days ago. Otherwise, this number would be much lower due to Macau’s tendency to eat cars.MacauYes, you can race against the AI offline, and Sector 3 has even given you the ability to create your own custom championships, but it doesn’t appear to be enough to win people over. Currently, there are 123 people running R3E on their PC’s, an extremely pathetic number for anyone who’s paid for the game and want to do more than race the AI – which they’d be able to do for a fraction of the cost in Race 07 or Stock Car Extreme.

In an effort to get people on R3E more often, Sector 3 do put forward the effort to create a weekly rotation of themed Leaderboard Competitions, rewarding people with in-game currency to purchase more cars without opening their physical wallets, but currency rewards are given out randomly to participants. This doesn’t encourage anyone to get better at a game based around the skill of driving a race car.

wtfSo how do you fix this mess? How the hell do you take a pretty phenomenal game and get people to actually play the damn thing instead of scaring them off with a retarded pricing format that old sim racing dudes can spot from a mile away?

Man, it’s really simple:

  • Stop with the R3E shit. No, it doesn’t need to boot through R3E. It’s an entirely new entity. The splash screen doesn’t need to bombard me with “please buy the WTCC 2014 pack, please!” No. Stop that.
  • Take all of the GT1, GT2, and GT3 cars from RaceRoom Racing Experience, and mix them into one class. Neuter the quicker cars so they’re on pace with the GT3 cars. In case you haven’t figured it out yet, people really like GT3 cars. Want proof? Go boot up Assetto Corsa. GT3/GT2 cars at Spa. Every fucking server. Should probably capitalize on this, hey?
  • Cram in as many tracks from R3E into the new game as you can afford. Ask the community for input if money’s tight and you have to make one or the other decisions. I’m sure nobody will cry if the Moto GP layout from Indianapolis isn’t included.
  • Don’t call the Multiplayer mode Multiplayer Alpha anymore. It’s sorta been three years since R3E came out. We can stop this now. Y’all have broadcast overlays built-in. It ain’t alpha anymore…
  • Call the game RaceRoom Endurance Mast3rs.
  • Add support for custom car liveries so the hardcore Photoshop wizards have something to do.
  • Send VirtualR.net a bunch of screenshots and tell them it’s an unofficial sequel to GTR2. Announce the game will be sold for $33, or whatever Stock Car Extreme sells for.
  • Push the stacks of Pre-Order money off the desk and make a call asking for more dedicated server slots so people don’t freak out that online sucks on launch day.

Maybe I’m just entitled, but I’m also not cool with telling my bros “yeah man, this game’s awesome, you should totally spend like $150 on a game that’s really worth $40 so we can race in an empty lobby online.”

GT

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97 thoughts on “It’s Time for Sector 3 to Move On from RaceRoom

  1. I’d bet if they’d remove the online component and give us all the content for $40 they’d probably get a few hundred sales at least, more if they make it cheaper. That’s what they should do, R3E is a fairly decent sim, I’d buy it as a one-off in a heartbeat.

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    1. I think even 50-100$ for every thing would probably gain alot of interest. Simply because your options in sim racing in 2015 are as follows:

      -Play GSC/AC/RF2 and have good physics but nobody to play with online
      -Play iRacing and spend 100s getting to race with consistently large fields but physics that are getting better but still sort of a toss up
      -Play Dirt Rally which if you have an SSD and HDD you likely will have stutters everywhere
      -Play PCARs and… Well I dont know?

      R3E has complete series and a decent server browser, if a package everyone could get into for a decent price they could attract sustainable online numbers.

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      1. Nobody to play with online in AC? I just took a screenshot on a Tuesday at 12:00-14:00 for Europeans, depending on the timezone. I filtered out the empty servers so that it shows up at least with 1 driver in.
        There are 5 just Practice servers and 4 Race servers, the screenshot only shows 9 out of 15 servers with someone in them. Given the circumstances, I think this is a better figure than in other sims. I don’t know how populated iracing is on the same moment.

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      2. Assetto Corsa servers are seeing some traffic lately. Quite easy to find a server with a decent number of racers during US evening. And it gets quite busy during weekend.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Having a job and classes to attend 12:14pm isn’t practical for me. Besides it seems that there’s about 65 people online in that picture and a standard iRacing race gets around 100+ (popular series) that is not really anyone online.

        Liked by 1 person

    2. I’ll play any decent racer but I won’t buy it piece meal. I want the entire game for a fair price. I paid $80 for forza 6, the VIP feature and season pass which equals out to a ton of cars and free in game stuff. Even the vip is worth it if you are into the game because it gives you even more free stuff… Yes you paid money for it but I’m talking in game stuff being constantly gifted. Every time I boot up forza it seems I’ve been gifted 2 more cars which is 2 more cars I can tune and put on the in game market to earn more money.

      I’ll never play iracing because of its pricing. I bought it on steam played for the month and that’s it. They are crazy if they think I’m paying a monthly fee then paying for cars individually with real money.

      That goes for any game. Give me the whole game for a fee and let me play. Put out car packs and track packs for a reasonable price and if I want them I’ll buy them. Any other pricing model and I won’t bother.

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  2. On the whole, I agree but it’s worth noting that the content is definitely cheaper if you count the discounts for buying multiple items at once (whether in packs or not) and that packs also subtract previously owned content when purchasing from the in game store. If you own a DTM Pack, all other DTM packs would be cheaper by the packs value for the shared tracks, and the same goes for ADAC GT Masters or track packs. The micro transaction model is stil crap, but at least it’s cheaper than you have lead to believe.

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  3. Fully agreed, I’ve purchased the DTM 1992 and Group 5 packs but I’m still racing on the free tracks with no desire to spend any more money. Why spend another $40 still knowing I don’t have a complete game? It’s a shame because there is so much quality in RaceRoom but nah, sorry.

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  4. My only real issue with R3E is the frankly stupid P2P switch in online racing, Bar that and i would play it as often if not more then the other sims i own. It really is a shame that devs see a new way of doing the price structure without actually seeing what happens when they use it. R3E is not Iracing, and trying to emulate that pay scheme failed them

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    1. whats wrong with p2p? sure its buggy which is why they call it multiplayer alpha. but it allows me, a kiwi, to play with a aussie on a server hosted in russia with a tiny ping or 20 americans on a server in new zealand depite how slow the internet is here.

      raceroom has some of the best netcode out thier sans the bugs

      Liked by 1 person

      1. my rather poor broadband (3Mb/s down 46Kb/s up) cannot deal with more then two cars near by… at the start of a race Turn 1 tends to cluster cars and as such it dies on me

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  5. For me it’s like, I could get this game running smoothly on my system to try the 1-2 free pieces of content. Or I could get GSCE running again and have a couple dozen tracks and several new vehicles to go through and see if any catch my interest. It doesn’t matter that GSC costs $30 and R3E costs $0, the installation/tweaking doesn’t feel worth it when I’m hardly getting anything at the end even if it turns out to be an ok sim. Then again, I am not a big fan of RACE07 (frankly it doesn’t hold up well in the light of 2015, it doesn’t support my DFGT properly despite them being similar vintage and has no career mode to speak of, just tosses you into meaningless championships against shitty AI) so there’s not much to push me in favour of the company’s products.

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    1. YEAh.race07 was very friendly with gamepad ..that what i play with it a long time ago..later i got myself a DFGT n try back with Steam 07 demo..very funny handling.. so i just go with AC n SCE

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    2. That’s something on your end bro. I’ve had absolutely no problems setting up a DFGT in R07 and many others haven’t had as well.

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  6. Agree X1000 on everything. Except the graphics that are “comparable with a PS4 game thanks to motion blur” (it’s ugly and has worse optimization than pCARS), and balancing GT1 cars with GT2/GT3 cars.

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  7. Couldn’t agree more. Given the comparative state of some of the other sims, if R3E was a one off purchase it would be our primary choice for league/MP racing. Sector 3 have really done a great job here but the pricing model needs to change for it to be a real heavyweight in the community.

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      1. But more people drive/race offline in pcars than race in multiplayer. So even though pcars has a good number of people online (in-game), a big part is for offline play.

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      2. On consoles (where we don’t have the numbers) there might be more offline activity, but on PC/Steam those numbers are mostly from online play, atm there’s hundreds active lobby (while the total players are 1400), it’s hard to have an exact number of line users because you need to use the filters for each class to estimate the users, since if you leave the filters off, the list is cut at the first 50 lobbies.

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  8. I think S3 has not that much to say on the pricing model and that is RaceRoom’s (publisher) call. I myself don’t find microtransactions or DLC’s that bad, but there are some things that make the system confusing and a convuleted mess for newcomers. That clearly needs to change. I own pretty much all the content and through discounts and sales I’ve probably spent around 130-140€ for the lot. That is a rough estimate, but I could have saved quite a bunch of money, as I have several cars and tracks I’ve barely touched so far. I drive exclusively offline and occasional challenges.

    Yeah, leaderboards were wiped after the last patch, so there isn’t that much people on the boards. I agree that I’d like to see R3E becoming more popular, it is great sim already as it is, though not without faults and it still lacks many features. At least they sell it as beta. All the cars, including just updated fictional (and f2p) silhouettes are a blast to race, community and devs are simply great and thus R3E is my favourite “next gen” sim even with all its faults.

    By the way, suggestion of balancing all GT classes is something that I definitely don’t want. I think that is also the opinion of most of the current community. S3 has promised a multi class feature in the near future, though.

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  9. I have observed some fundamental physic and handling flaws with this RaceRoom and due to them I can’t reccomend it for serious sim racers.

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    1. Care to enlighten us all with your findings or are you going to post meaningless & vague statements about ‘physics’ which ironically are based on isiMotor 2.0

      For an rfactor ambassador, you’re doing a piss poor job. Real world DTM and ADAC drivers are happy with Sector 3’s work but I’m sure you know more than they do.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. 1. lack of feel of grip
        2. (most) cars feel too light
        3. excessive wobble/roll/sway of the cars

        There are real world drivers who say forza has extremely realistic driving model.

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      2. associat0r, how’s your physics engine going? The one you made 15 years ago, you said in a steam post. Has it evolved in a game or tech demo yet?

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      3. That “rFactor Ambassador” impersonator and “Hexaggerator” are both JamoZ trying to ruin Hexagramme’s and Associat0r’s reputation.

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      4. JamoZ so thats the little prick, he’s one weird mother fucker far wierda than what ppl like to make associat0r or Hex to be, he clearly spending ALOT of time researching this sad,sad little troll of his, obviously associat0r or Hex really hit a nerve with him, he’s like up there with those Nascar nutters that was around here.

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      5. Hey Hashpipe, you got proof to back up your claims? Or else i’ve got to say….major dissinformation!

        Copywrighted by Asshat ofcourse.

        Xxx

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  10. I like and idea, that when you spend your time to learn real life racing driving, you don’t even know how to use physics glitches and then you can be fast in 2 – 4 seconds of world record just after 1 year of simracing. After you even start to simracing ever. But prices and dead multiplayer / no user livery is the most problem of R3E. We need strong everyday online raceweeks system + leagues and public hosted servers… thats it.

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    1. I agree with that. We also need fixes for the bugs and performance issues some people (me included) are having. Yesterday I wanted to play and had about an hour. I went online and joined a 20+ player WTCC 2014 session. Game crawled like it was dying, maybe because of my old PC. So I joined another server where the players quit right after the start. I resolved to play single player, a simple, short GTR3 race. I qualified first among the AI and started last. Game still stuttering from time to time but imagine how I felt when I realised some of the cars weren’t even FROM the GTR3 class. Mixed class racing surprise! They did behave like GTR3 cars but the AI were much quicker than in quali. So at the end of my one hour of play all that I’m left with is “WTF just happened?”

      I like the game, very much. I feel though that they need to sort out a bunch of issues before they can safely package it the way James described and sell it successfully. I know it’s hard. And I know PRC.net is often dismissed as hatespeech. I love the games and I really really enjoy this website. I’m just keeping my fingers crossed and hoping the problems will eventually be fixed, so when I jump in to get my one hour of fun I don’t have to waste time on glitches and dead servers, but on learning the tracks and picking my jaw off the floor when I see how fast some of you people are 🙂 .

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      1. Yes rFactor needs some CPU power for it’s incredibly advanced physic engine calculations, but ISI have managed to optimize it a bit more with latest builds.

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      2. Then stop with your biased thinking and only giving out excuses and explanations for rf2, while attacking and accusing other sims, on any types/size of issue.
        We get it that you prefer rf1/2, but constantly attacking other sims is a toxic and obsessive behavior.

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  11. You seem to miss that you do not need all the content. If you have one car from each series, and all the tracks you can race on any server. The price for entry is actually quite low if you only purchase the one car in the series you would actually drive.

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      1. So…rFactor2 and GSC are the only games you play from the current gen of games? Every other sim has add on cars you need to pay for.

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    1. Yeah I agree actually, First I got ADAC GTs pack on sale 25 bucks, I consider that a full game, has nice quality tracks,official car roosters and champ,with that Ive bought DLC packs, all on sale and american track pack, added a couple of single cars to open servers and the fantastic champ creator to that series, all up about 60-70 NZD, and ive got a great collection, the only real issue I have is charging for liveries thats BS, the system is just confusing for some,treat it like a single DTM or GT3 game with DLC there is zero diff to rest of titles.

      If anything like James pretty much said, just make bigger DLC packs and a bigger base game package, and the broke little ones and penny-pinching old bastards might see it a bit more clearer, it literally all in the marketing\wording.

      Also they REALLY need to drop the fucking F2P label in steam, it completely devalues the brand and attracts the worst possible gamers\ppl around.

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  12. just because you are poor and the people here are stop taking out on the sim world.
    I find the RRE the most enjoyable out of all the sims save icrap and manschild whine.

    I find even using simvibe etc the experience far outweighs that of any other sim/game on the market.
    So I happily pay the price for the content that I enjoy.

    And again there you go with your bias about online racing again – stop it. 95% dont do it – so drop it.

    omg your are starting sound like Iam Bell the manschild whiner here on PRC. Give me everything.
    Tough shit. grow up.
    If they cant make ends meet the game closes and I lose my content. I would expect changes before that.

    But you should go after the real target of renting vs owning games. Then demand the features no one uses but you save ICrapalot.

    You are tilting your lance and the wrong windmill here. Predatory practices will never change and frankly bought my first content DTM for 5 bucks. Use the packs and things get far far cheaper and once again you are being very disingenuous. It disgusts me that you have become a pandering show monkey flinging shit against the wall.

    Ian Manchild James whiner esq.

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  13. Cost is the primary reason I haven’t gotten into R3E. I won’t deny it.

    Same reason I never got into iRacing.

    If there are people happy to spend that amount of money, great! I can’t, and I’m not.

    That said, F2P + Microtransactions are the way of the future, man! Everyone wants a piece of that action and it isn’t going away anytime soon. The makers of Candy Crush just sold their company to Activision for $5.9 billion, so yeah – it’s here to stay for now.

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    1. It doesn’t work in the world of pc and console games (not talking about the quick action/hobby games, but about A to AAA games).

      Of course Candy Crush will be f2p+microtransactions, you can’t charge $50 up front for candy crush.

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      1. We don’t do F2P+Micro in PC land (well, except F2P MMO).

        We do $60 AAA game + DLC + DLC + DLC + DLC + DLC + DLC + DLC

        You get the idea

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      2. Then tell me of a successful modern F2P pc game. I know about LOL and Dota2 and other in the moba genre. CSGO is also practically free to play (low purchase price, especially with sales). But these games got a financial market within the game, sustained by the players.

        Raceroom isn’t that evil though, because you only need 1 car from a series and some tracks to race. Then you can join against people who own other or the same cars.

        But then we treat more Raceroom as an online racing service. But it also has offline experiences, and that’s like buying a game/dlcs.

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  14. Oh hey you finally did a RaceRoom post.

    Aside from some of the usual PRC exaggerations, this is spot on. I adore RaceRoom, but the game is so tragically held back by its retarded pay model that it’s hard to convince anybody to try the game out.

    There’s a lot you can do to make your money go far with R3E, but it requires a lot of research and effort on the part of the consumer. For example, what you did in your screenshot of buying all the Experiences through Steam is probably the worst thing you can do, because Steam won’t discount you for all the duplicate content you’re buying. The best way to get started in R3E is to wait for a Steam sale or get one of the big experience packs somewhere at a heavy discount, then buy the rest of the content through the online store. This way you maximize your discounts.

    I can go on and on about tricks on how to make the most of RaceRoom’s discounts, but the real point I’m getting at is that this shit is complicated and hard to calculate out ahead of time. There’s a lot of variables, and they’re not well exposed either, in how much something costs. It’s this kind of bullshit that’s one of the biggest things preventing this game from taking off and it’s a crying shame.

    The biggest problems this game has all have nothing to do with the game itself.

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  15. From my point of view, I don’t have a problem with companies charging what the market will bare. I do have a problem with the old, tried and true, deceptive practice of ????% off every day, “lets trick em’ so they think they are getting a deal. Wouldn’t spend a dime with company that uses this practice.

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    1. Part of ‘charge what the market will bear’ is of course the market saying ‘we won’t buy it at this price’ which is what this article does.

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  16. It is easy to be fooled by the “popular” opinions on forums. If you went by these no one ever bought a Starforce protected game because it was evil. No one ever bought a Steam game because that was evil too. No one ever buys DLC – apparently no one wants it.

    You only have to look at iRacing. The howls of protest at the cost of cars and tracks – far more than R3E. And at least once you’ve bought stuff on R3E it is free to play. With iRacing you have to pay a monthly fee to use the stuff you’ve bought. If you went by “popular opinion” IiRacing should be a ghost town. But actually – iRacing dominate on-line racing.

    And S3S do sell what are effectively stand-alone titles such as DTM2015. No micro-transactions involved, like a traditional sim such as NR2003 or GTR, you buy the cars and tracks of a racing series as a one off package.

    Conclusion – the pricing model isn’t the cause of R3Es lack of popularity.

    Like

    1. >With iRacing you have to pay a monthly fee to use the stuff you’ve bought. If you went by “popular opinion” IiRacing should be a ghost town. But actually – iRacing dominate on-line racing.

      Whether or not you think iRacing is worth the money, you cannot deny that It offers something that no other sim can offer: working online pubracing. No other sim even bothers, which means iRacing has no competition. That’s why it’s successful despite its absurdly expensive pricing model.

      Even with that massive advantage, a hell of a lot of people still complain about iRacing’s cost all the time, and a hell of a lot of people don’t play iRacing because of the cost. To imply that pricing model and cost doesn’t have a large impact on the popularity of a game is idiotic.

      RaceRoom meanwhile has a similar cost structure to iRacing, but without any of the benefits that come from iRacing’s subscription service. You’re paying for what’s effectively an rFactor/Assetto Corsa experience. Is R3E cheaper than iRacing? Yeah of course, but that’s a pretty meaningless thing to say considering the cost of iRacing and that other titles such as AC/GSC/etc. are all still cheaper than R3E.

      Like

  17. Here’s what would get me to spend money on R3E, which I thought was fantastic when I tried it during the last free weekend:

    Steamworks

    Seriously, get rid of the stupid proprietary server tether (which actually kept me from loading the sim during the better part of both free weekends), get rid of the in-house microtransaction store, get all of the content into bundles, and sell everything directly through Steam. I’m not sure why Simbin/Sector 3 didn’t go this route to begin with when it seemed to work fantastically for Race07. If R3E used that model, I would have purchased the base sim and all of its content a long time ago.

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    1. “I’m not sure why Simbin/Sector 3 didn’t go this route to begin with when it seemed to work fantastically for Race07. If R3E used that model, I would have purchased the base sim and all of its content a long time ago.”

      Again, I think the business model stems from the RaceRoom Ag which is the publisher and S3 hasn’t the final say in that matter.

      Like

  18. You’re wrong here suggesting changes they should make.

    Sector 3 need to fail. They are fundamentally clueless. They cannot be fixed.
    They have no idea what they are doing.

    Indeed, they could have had a hugely successful F2P game – but they didn’t even spend 10 minutes looking at how successful F2P games work.

    They need to finally get it through their thick skulls that they are useless – and then maybe, instead of starting up again, going from simbin to sector 3 to whatever. They’ll hire some people who have a clue to run the business.

    Unfortunately every time they fail, some buffoon keeps throwing money at them to start again. It’s like lending an alcoholic money hoping that this time he won’t spend it on spirits. You’ll keep finding him face down in the gutter until you stop enabling him.

    e.g Watching their tongue-tied developer videos is embarrassing. “Ummm…err….errr….ummm…ummm err…err” they can’t even fucking string a few words together (contrast that with Stefano’s recent developer videos. The guy can sit and talk lucidly at a camera about the development of his game for 90 minutes) – and yes, I picked an Italian guy here so you can’t say “English is not their native language” as some excuse. They mumble and umm and err because they are dumb, not because they are Swedish.

    They’ve been useless since they did the awful attempt to cash in on consoles that was ‘Race pro’ and following that up by re-releasing “Race 07” again and again just with different names starting with the word “Race”

    If the few people that are still throwing money stop buying their stuff, they can fail completely.

    Let their business die. Then they may finally learn.

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  19. Great write-up. I totally agree with your thinking on this. I tried the game when it first came out then realized how expensive it could get with all the paid cars/tracks. I’ve already spent around $1000 on iRacing at that point. I enjoyed it at first but then realized without spending a good amount of money, it wasn’t going to go anywhere. I then uninstalled it to free up space on my SSD. About a year later, I decided to see what they were up to so I downloaded it again. Still fun but it is a ghost town. If they offered their cars/tracks (not DTM and ADAC) for a reasonable price, I’d buy them all. Then from there I would decide if I wanted to try DTM or ADAC. If all the content was around the price of a normal game ($50-60), I’d definitely buy it, and I think a lot of others would as well. Their pricing model is tying anchors to their legs in a 100 meter sprint. Who the fk wants to buy their digital currency? Make it actual dollars and a reasonable price for all the base/standard content and watch money come it, with good marketing as well, that is.

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  20. I’ve only spent like 20-30 bucks on R3E and I’ve accumulated a healthy amount of tracks, and cars that I care to drive within the sim. Not to mention the fact they have a multi-content discount for how much content you buy. I think its often misleading to think of pricing unlocking all the content that you probably won’t use anyway.

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  21. Count me as one of those who saw the pricing structure for what it was. I tried this one back about three years ago when I was an Iracing member as well. Couldn’t hold a candle to it or the console racers I was playing at time. It always seemed like a whales or collectors game. Something about that game was never right. Easy to drive, glued to track and shoddy net code.
    It’s for people with more money than talent, or people who get a free copy.
    Not sure why or how it ever existed so long anyway.
    Couldn’t be bothered with this one. Ever.

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  22. Seems some people ( hey hex!) think i’m this assoctat0r impersonator. I have to disappoint you there bro, i don’t have time to troll like that anymore lately. Good to hear you’re still thinking about me man ❤

    Like

  23. IMO you art still treating the F2P-model wrong. You can´t argue that all content costs $220 because that is not the deal of F2P-games and you don´t get such amount of content in 90% of available games for $60.

    You can buy R3E-packages for half the price of a full game and buying two different of them will give you probably the same amount as you get with most other full-price racing games. And, if you look at racing games with a specific racing series, you can buy it from Sector 3 for just half the price.

    So please, stop arguing as if we all need to buy everything and therefor the game is too expensive. F2P-games are like “build the game you want”. I just buy, what I really want. And that´s how it works. I´ve not spend 20€ for the game right now and am pretty happy with what I have.

    Also, multiplayer-statistics don´t tell anything. I didn´t play R3E online once and most people don´t if the game has a SP.

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  24. James,

    Thank you for writing this comprehensive analysis, op-ed, about something that clearly has more than yourself worried, the survival of R3E; I just survived reading through all 90 comments…

    Apparently I am a part of what you identify as the audience for this game, you know, older gentleman with… la la la, thank you btw; so I thought I will just layout my experience of what is good, bad, and ugly about the game I have experienced now for a little over 200 hours of driving.

    The Good
    The simulation is awesome; almost everybody agrees to that; you will always have little haters here and there for everything including tap water, that is why you go by majority most of the time; but the graphics, the sound, and the physics are accepted as top notch.

    Single Player: Many don’t like it anymore, they seem to only enjoy online which is fine; but some of us have been racing since before internet, : | and got used to competing against AIs since they were Artificial but Dumb, and we never developed the patience to wait 55 minutes when you get taken off the road on turn one, to be able to start your next race.

    One point that needs to be made here, R3E IS NOT a multiplayer game, at least not yet, it is clearly labeled as not even Beta for a reason, so I don’t see the sense of criticizing low attendance to a building with no doors, no roof, etc. A different question, though, is if it is making enough solid progress towards that goal; since I enjoy single player and challenges enough to use up my free time, I choose to worry about that later, not now.

    Freemium: Sorry guys, it works for me; I have spent less than U$20 in a few tracks and the cars I really want and I am sucking the heck out of their features and challenges, with a lot coming from variable difficulty levels, race lengths, and detailed car setups.

    Some people want to have all possibilities, some of us just want to develop expertise; it is okay both ways; I find no fun in owning Lada Grantas, old Nissans, or as you say MotoGP layouts of tracks I don’t care much for; does anyone enjoy Forza rewarding you with a 65 chevy for winning races with a LMP?

    Competitions and Challenges are cool and allow you to use cars and tracks before you want to buy them, if you ever do; right now I am severely enjoying the old BMW 320 Turbo at Spa, awesome experience, for free…

    Community: A cool and not too crowded field of smart and respectful people contributing to the game improving and being fun, not to attacking the game, or its competitors.

    These do it for me; I used iRacing 3 months and dropped it because it was going to get expensive at $5 per month minimum, plus the content you really want; and because of no single player, no start when you want.

    Btw, I also used the RF2 demo and it may be my PC setup but could not get decent graphics; I may try again later again but for now, and for less than U$20 spent on R3E, I don’t see the need for it.

    The bad
    Well, there is plenty here too… no statistics other that the leaderboard list, very poor finishing of races; awkward management of pits, or lack thereof, are a few of the annoying ones.

    No support for custom names or liveries I know offends some people and it should almost be standard these days.

    The worst for me is actually the number of things that the last update actually broke and that have had little to no response; professionally developed software doesn’t do that; and it gives you a freaky feeling of “do these guys really know what they are doing long term?”.

    Connecting qualifying time to grid positioning does not sound to me like a high end programming challenge, and it was working; what they did to break it during the update beats me, but it surely sounds messy.

    The Ugly
    The controversies created over which game is best are annoying and they seem to get pretty offensive for no reason; people don’t fight over which book is best; it is content, people! different individuals like different kind of contents; it either works for you or it doesn’t, but it is not better or worse…

    Your comment James on R3E being a ghost town I think it is inaccurate; it is the lowest attended game right now but there are some people there and growing; at least two leaderboards have more than a 1.000 entrances just two weeks after being cleaned up; so, 1,300 some people have come to drive the group 5 classics at Spa in 2 weeks; and keep in mind many don’t use those competitions at all particularly when they are heavily engaged on a challenge anywhere else.

    I looked up FB and Twitter followers, a current valid measurement of engaged audiences, and it is the lowest in FB at 17k but not too far from AC, and many businesses would be happy with that many; it also beats your revered GSCE, which I have not used, in Twitter followers; not stellar, not dead either.

    Is it a ghost town at the alpha multiplayer location? It is; does that say something? I don’t think so.

    In summary, the game entertains the heck out of me after 200 hours for less than what you spend on a round of golf or 2 hours at a sports event; I think they have the right elements coming together and awesome quality in the base product, enough to make it for the long run I hope, particularly because no product is really running away with everybody’s heart; it is a very competitive field and, news here, that is good, not bad, for us all.

    Cheers.

    Like

  25. I must be honest, I really like Raceroom. The physics are great, graphics are excellent, as are the sounds. I have a decent spec pc and I get more fps than I do when playing rFactor2 (which is also brilliant).
    I purchased the DTM 2014 pack when it was on offer and also the ADAC masters 2014 and WTCC 2014, all on offer. I’ve also purchased the Formula Raceroom and Pagani Zonda cars, plus 2 track packs, always, while they’re on offer, oh yeah, I bought Spa as well!
    I reckon that lot has cost me about £40 to £50 in total, and because you’re buying it in bits and pieces it doesn’t hit your wallet as much 🙂
    With all the dlc I’ve bought for Project cars and Assetto Corsa they have cost at least as much as this. They are all decent games though although I must say that Raceroom and rFactor2 are my favourites.
    I’ve recently signed up for iRacing for 3 months cos it was on offer, but you get very little content and each car is 12 dollars and each track is 15 dollars, scary!!

    Like

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