I sat on this one for a few days, but ultimately the right thing to do is post it for the world to see. A quickie Reader Submission to begin the weekend, longtime PRC.net reader monsterZERO captured an extremely interesting conversation in an iRacing practice session featuring FSR drivers Morgan Morand and Nick Rowland, discussing the death of both Formula Sim Racing, and rFactor 2 as a whole.
Formula Sim Racing is rFactor 2’s biggest premium online league, with some serious money being thrown around on both ends of the ballpark, so it is indeed unsettling to read that several top drivers are migrating to iRacing.
There isn’t anything fundamentally wrong with rFactor 2, aside from maybe the astronomical initial base cost. Look, I’m not poor, but there’s a limit when it comes to video game pricing. $33 for Stock Car Extreme isn’t really a bad deal. $80 for rFactor 2 is a bit too much, though an easy argument is to point out how expensive the wheels, pedals, PC parts, and monitors can get. If sim racers are going to drop over $1500 to get their rig set up properly, what’s another $80 for a game, right?
The game itself is pretty good. rFactor 2 improved on the original game in every conceivable way, and that’s basically what you want as a sim racer. You’ve got dynamic weather, a dynamic track surface, a vastly improved tire model, and in my opinion, a much needed graphics update. If it doesn’t look as pretty as screenshots you see on here, try messing with the Catalyst Control Center options (or the nVidia equivalent).
From a league standpoint, there isn’t a need to care about the amount of mods available for the game, because you’ll obviously only be driving one car throughout the whole season, and event organizers will create the tracks for you. Your independent rFactor 2 players can argue that there isn’t much content available for the game – the modding scene has been drastically affected by the popularity of Assetto Corsa – but for a competitive league player, a lack of historic GT cars has no affect on how Formula Sim Racing operates as a league.
My only guess is that iRacing’s built-in functionality for league support and lack of fiddling with third party content makes it significantly easier on event organizers in the long run, and the iRacing simulation itself has open-entry competitions that pay out an enormous amount to top drivers. As prestigious as FSR is for an online league, they aren’t giving away $13,000 at the end of the season, nor do they have an official partnership with the real life series.
Maybe someone from FSR can drop us a line and explain why some of their best drivers are jumping ship? I’d like to know as well, rFactor 2 is pretty damn good.