Milestone may be comfortable pushing a flurry of DLC packages on the Sebastien Loeb Rally Evo userbase, but a more troubling problem is popping up behind the scenes. The disastrous PC launch of the highly anticipated rally sim has played an integral role in the game’s success among the hardcore sim racers the title was intended for. Shipping with frustrating framerate issues and an outright lack of support for hardware commonly used by virtual automotive enthusiasts around the world, Milestone have stayed relatively silent on the several technical issues plaguing what had all the potential in the world to be a fantastic rally sim.
The complaints echoed by many owners of Sebastien Loeb Rally Evo are not minuscule grievances only affecting a portion of owners with unrealistic standards for a racing sim in 2016. The massive launch problems suffered by Rally Evo have fundamentally changed the overall success of the title, and put Milestone in a fairly substantial predicament. According to online analytic database SteamSpy, roughly 3,000 people currently own Rally Evo. For a game to be delayed a year due to quality concerns, and have the benefit of the world’s greatest race car driver lend his namesake to the title, these numbers aren’t just embarrassing – they’re a sign that the company might not be around much longer. No company can release a game that’s this big of a commercial failure, and expect to survive relatively intact.
The active user base graph over at SteamCharts also does a fantastic job of displaying how big of a failure Rally Evo was in terms of the people who were actually playing it. In short, Rally Evo is one of the least popular racing games available on Steam – even compared to titles with astronomically small active communities. Rally Evo is eclipsed by both Race 07 and MX vs. ATV Reflex, while just barely pulling ahead of Codemasters’ DiRT Showdown. All three of these titles have seen much better days, whereas the Milestone offering is barely a month old. This is just sad.
But nothing is more telling of Rally Evo’s shoddy quality on the PC than the graph of current owners available on SteamSpy. Climbing to 5,000 owners in the middle of February 2016, almost half of all individuals who bought Rally Evo promptly requested a refund for the title – and the data indicates they sure as hell received one. As someone who’s spent more than an adequate amount of time with the title, I can safely say these atrocious numbers are 100% attributed to the lengthy list of technical issues.
I can’t imagine the man himself, Sebastien Loeb, is satisfied with lending his name to a project of this quality, and I’m sure the upcoming Valentino Rossi game will be affected by these numbers in some fashion.