A Reader Submission that is bound to cause some problems, longtime PRC.net reader BN97 has written to us again, this time detailing the sorry state of Assetto Corsa’s payware mod selection. Kunos Simulazioni’s vision of Assetto Corsa becoming the next great modding platform has gone horribly awry, as shady mod teams are charging a premium for ripped & stolen content that isn’t even optimized for the game. Some Sim Racers believe payware mods are the way of the future, but unfortunately this is not how things have played out.
While Microsoft Flight Simulator X, X-Plane 10, and Prepar3D flourish in the abundance of payware mods that have turned the greater flight sim community into a massive industry, Assetto Corsa’s payware landscape is dominated by greedy amateur 3D modellers using their basic converting skills to make a quick buck off an uninformed community.
Now first, I’d like to say you shouldn’t primarily focus on this issue as it relates to Assetto Corsa – it could easily be affecting the rFactor 2 or Game Stock Car community – Assetto Corsa is just the game all the modders have flocked to. The thing I ask, is to remove this parasitic entity from the community while we still can. Three, five, or ten years from now, everything will expand, and we can’t allow this crap to continue.
Secondly, I’m not referring to United Racing Designs. They utilize this magical thing known as effort and actually make their mods and have pretty nice quality stuff for a decent price.
Anyways, here are the culprits.
Ripped from Forza Motorsport 4, Sim Raceway, and GTR2. Hell, he tried to steal one of Sovers mods (one of the DRM Revival members) before the community attacked him. Also obtains Squir models, and then sells them, which goes against the policies of Squir.
One of the more interesting exploits aspec has pulled off is that he somehow managed to rip a model out of Porsche’s “Build Your Car” feature. While it’s an extremely high quality model with 400,000 + polygons, a set of only ten on track will bring a 980 to its knees due to no alternate LOD’s. As is the norm for shady modders, most physics are copied from Kunos cars. He’s also gone on to steal from TeamBB & HotRa,t and use their HSV010 Super GT car. No permission, and the original authors get nothing.
Next up is Sim Dream, and I’ll introduce them by saying these are the guys that stole thousands from the Stock Car Extreme community with the V8 Supercar craziness. Back on topic, they have also stolen Forza models, and then apply poor sounds and physics to them, but this is where things get serious. They started stealing from other modders as well, including their most recent “work”, the 1967 Grand Prix Season.
Keep in mind, the original modders, and modders that got permission to improve the original mods, are not getting anything from this. They are instead feeling stunned from the very communities they have invested so much time into. All they can wish is that these mods get shared for free so the thieves aren’t receiving any more money, because they sure as hell don’t deserve it.
Lastly, we have Dorsche, and this mod goes to show how easy it is to fool people. Even the devs themselves bought into it! Anyways, after some digging, the Assetto Corsa official forums worked out that it is indeed a slightly improved version of a Need for Speed Rivals model.
So three bad apples are in the community, hence the submission. People need to know about this blatant scamming, so we can take them down more easily and stop people from wasting their money on poorly developed and stolen cars. End this while you still can!
As shitty as it is to say, this is just a prime example of the sim racing community making astronomically bad decisions without imaging how things would look a few years down the road. Everyone was so eager to throw $5 here or $10 there at mod teams to feel good about supporting people who create content for their favorite games, that nobody sat down for two seconds and wondered what would happen if people started exploiting this.
And there isn’t actually a way to police this altogether, which is pretty hilarious from a spectator’s standpoint (IE me). An ugly truth is that mods featuring real-world IP’s or brands are technically illegal to begin with. Both Porsche and the FIA have chased after mod teams in the past, with very real legal threats. Your average car manufacturer or auto racing series rep will normally not target a bunch of nerds playing computer games, but it’s unfortunately something that people do have to keep in mind. You never know how bored some of these people can be, and legally, they’re in the right.
In regards to this payware scamming issue, this has huge implications. If some guy makes a 1967 F1 mod for GTR2, and some asshole converts it to Assetto Corsa and charges money for it, the original creator can’t claim copyright and go after the supposed thief who ripped his original mod. “Stop stealing the stuff I stole and/or created without permission” isn’t much of an argument if you want to take proper action against all this nonsense.
The only way to combat it, is to eradicate payware mods altogether, because then people will only be obligated to download high quality mods instead of being lured into ripped, half-finished shit because “well, it’s payware, and payware flight sim stuff is good, so it must be the same thing over here in sim racing.”
To me this is all really funny. This is the future y’all chose.