After a disastrous Christmas Holiday update & content launch forced the iRacing website to go completely offline for several days, sim racers subscribed to the expensive online-only racing simulation were hoping for a much better start to the 2016 calendar year. Less than three weeks into January, the situation somehow managed to descend into utter madness, with no signs of stopping anytime soon. Longtime iRacing members from the competitive Skip Barber community are now posting lengthy rants on the game’s official forums slamming iRacing developers and staff members for both the lack of communication, as well as the massive amount of technical errors that simply shouldn’t be there. Today’s Reader Submission comes from a source that wishes to remain anonymous, who has documented what some of the more prominent iRacing members have said about the current crop of technical issues, as we do not have access to the iRacing forums ourselves.
Hey James. If you decide to post these screenshots, please don’t use my name. I just don’t want to risk it due to iRacing’s blind wrath. Just thought you should be aware of this regardless.
A lot of leaders in the community are starting to get together regarding iRacing’s overall quality and communication with their customers taking a steep nosedive. While it is no surprise given their previous history, this outrage has gone unanswered and unacknowledged. Philippe L. is very highly respected in the community, and is the creator of the 2K World Cup for the Skip Barber open wheel car.
As you can see by the replies, there are other highly respected members that feel the same way. For one of the top road racers in the service (Philippe) to risk being suspended or even banned by speaking out about this shows everyone has had enough of iRacing’s take it or leave it attitude.
The thread was created recently but I’m sure it will continue on this trend of support.
I must say that it’s nice to see someone like Philippe L. directly address the topic of random suspensions and/or bans from iRacing. As a sim racer, I do more than just maintain PRC.net; I’m active on a variety of different message boards, and play a variety of different games. I’ve been saying for a number of years now that iRacing as a software company can’t handle criticism, and regardless of whether I’m on Reddit or RaceDepartment, somebody always jumps into the thread to claim that I’ve got some irrational vendetta against iRacing; deeming it necessary for them to permanently ban myself and a buddy from the service. It basically results in a whole bunch of posts like these on various sim racing sites. You’ll know ’em when you see ’em:
It’s liberating to see someone like Philippe come out and say “no, this whole thing about people randomly getting banned for criticizing iRacing isn’t a rumor, this is genuinely happening, it’s a serious problem, and we as sim racers shouldn’t stand for it!” But that is only a portion of the several forum messages pictured above.
iRacing, as admitted by David Kaemmer under oath in a court of law, is using 65% NASCAR Racing 2003 Season code, which is an evolution of an engine originally designed for Grand Prix Legends released in 1998. With technology evolving at such a rapid rate, and the reliance on an engine that has seen much better days, the team in Bedford were obviously going to hit a brick wall at some point – and that point is right now. Yes, iRacing should have their shit together after being in business since 2008, but the reality is that under the hood, this is NASCAR 2003. You knew this day would come.
But even if it’s total chaos behind the scenes, with site improvements not working, the game itself struggling with framerate issues, and some cars launching with core physics problems, a better relationship with the community is indeed needed. Why? It’s the least they could do. This is not a $60 Playstation 4 release that will be placed on the shelf after 20 hours of play – a majority of the racers on iRacing are in it for the long haul, investing hundreds of dollars into both hardware and software just for this one racing sim. You owe it to your customers to develop a tangible relationship with them, as the hefty subscription and content prices imply this is much more than just your average video game. If you’re going to advertise your game as a haven for hardcore virtual auto racing fans, give them a service that justifies the enormous price tag. Otherwise, someone will call you on your shit and send it in to PRC.net.