Signing a much-lauded exclusivity deal with Electronic Arts seemed like a good idea at the time, but as the Need for Speed franchise faded away into the depths of the bargain bin at your local Wal-Mart, Porsche realized that the days of an official partnership would soon be over. According to our boy BN97, head of Slightly Mad Studios Ian Bell has dropped an interesting tidbit of information in regards to the legendary German manufacturer over on the official Project CARS forum. In short, virtual Porsche’s will be unleashed to the wild a lot sooner than we initially thought.
Hey James, if you remember a while back, there was the whole HOLY CRAP PORSCHE LICENSE IS ENDING thing going around. Well, I think we have a tidbit of extra information regarding that, from sim racing’s favorite mastermind Ian Bell.
So that picture is the bit of evidence we have today. Alone, this wouldn’t mean much, but a clearer picture comes together from many puzzle pieces. We’ve now heard from two developers that Porsche might become a viable option soon, paired with Porsche appearing in other games like Assetto Corsa and Forza 6 as billboard advertisements. Coupled with the lower sales figures for the Need for Speed games the brand was once exclusive to, it appears the end of the exclusive license may be coming very soon.
As you can imagine, the console juggernauts will gobble the Porsche’s up but lets be serious, most readers here don’t care much for them. You can assume iRacing will get a Porsche, as for how many I’m not sure, but they tend to only license one vehicle at a time. Slightly Mad Studios of course will get a license for a number of cars ,but I expect them to appear in Project CARS 2. Kunos is the dark horse as usual, being the love or it or hate it studio, and its likely that out of the sims they will get the most Porsche’s, but good luck to whoever has to pick which Porsche’s to license as that’s a very difficult task. ISI and Sector 3 are odd cases because there isn’t much public knowledge as to how far they’re willing to go with licensing.
What do you guys think? How is Porsche gonna affect sim racing? What Porsche’s do you want in your sim of choice?
I’m not much of a Porsche guy so my views will be a bit skewed, but I understand their importance in the history of the automobile. In terms of complete grids, I think it will be nice to finally have all manufacturers playing fairly on the virtual race track, since Porsche was really the last of the big auto makers to be wrestled away from the dubious exclusivity licenses of the early 2000’s. There will be no more bullshit $30 Porsche Expansions, no more awkward fake-but-not-really-fake Ruf replacements, and no more paranoia over freeware mods receiving cease and desist notices. It’ll be nice to put this awkward period of brand exclusivity firmly behind us. I think the best part of this story is the one behind closed doors that most will never be privy to; mainly how anyone thought this could possibly be a good idea in the first place?
In terms of what Porsche’s I’d want to see in a modern racing sim, I think both the 918 Spyder and 919 WEC Prototype Hybrid deserve the virtual treatment. The history of the brand has been thoroughly documented in EA’s own Need for Speed: Porsche Unleashed, I think if developers are working on a limited budget and can only select a handful of cars, let’s go for the stuff currently representing the brand, and proceed to work backwards.