Free* to Play

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When rumours regarding the announcement of a Forza Motorsport release on Windows 10 began to gain traction, like many of our readers, we here at PRC.net were under the impression that Turn 10 Studios had been hard at work polishing up Forza Motorsport 6 for hardcore PC racing sim elitists. As it stands, the popular Xbox One title is leaps and bounds ahead of many already-established Steam-only offerings such as Project CARS and Assetto Corsa, with Turn 10 merely required to add the necessary hardware functionalities to ensure the game’s success among what is sometimes a hostile crowd. Instead, Turn 10 has gone and done the exact opposite of what everyone wanted: they’ve given us a whole lot of nothing.

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Forza Motorsport 6: Apex will be a free-to-play Windows 10 title featuring 20 locations and a little over 60 cars. There will be no extensive career mode, no online racing, no car upgrades, presumably no tuning, no livery editor, no storefront, no steering wheel support, and little in the way of single player or online progression. The title will serve primarily as a tech demo for the Windows 10 operating system, rather than a fully-featured racing sim intended to compete with the big names dominating the market. Turn 10 believes they are unsure how the Forza franchise will be received on the PC, and would like to enter the fray in a strategic manner – using a low-risk offering that is a direct slap in the face to anyone even mildly interested in a PC version of Forza. In short, today’s reveal pissed off a lot of people.

What bothers me about the whole endeavor, is how smug both Microsoft and Turn 10 are about the whole project. Microsoft claim they are “100% committed to the PC gaming space”, while clearly pushing a product that is simply laughable, even on paper. Turn 10 have literally ripped everything even remotely enjoyable out of Forza, and somehow gone the extra mile to exclude the exact target audience of this game on PC via the omission of steering wheel support, and then pretended that this is all somehow a good thing that people should get excited about.

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This is absolutely fucking absurd, a plan indicating Turn 10 Studios have done zero research on the very precise market they intend to enter. The 2015 calendar year saw exactly one racing sim worth buying, surrounded by numerous eternal science projects, whose trend-setting marketing gimmicks served to hide certain unfinished gameplay elements or bugs. A major Forza release would cause a tremendous shift in the genre, as basically every sim racer would check it out due to sheer curiosity – and most likely find a few things to like about it. I simply don’t understand the need to test the waters with a game whose mere existence already angers people – the market has been theirs for the taking for quite some time.

For example, iRacing sells a wire-frame version of Long Beach for $5 under their tech track program, with an outdated Dallara DW12 IndyCar for sale at a price of something like $12. Meanwhile, Forza’s got the new IndyCar aero packages and what appears to be a laser-scanned rendition of the iconic California street circuit as part of the base package. Now, I don’t know about you, but I’ll take a slight reduction in tire model fidelity if I can drive something that looks a hell of a lot better than this:

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Yet, instead of taking full advantage of the current state of the sim racing scene, Turn 10 will set out on releasing a completely pointless addition to the already sizable list of half-baked eternal science projects. Except this one isn’t even a science project, with continuous updates sprinkled throughout the year. Forza Motorsport 6: Apex is pure bait – bait that entices you to upgrade to Windows 10 and subject yourself to all kinds of backdoor activity monitoring. Now I’m sure the fanboys will inevitably pop up to defend this game, with preposterous claims such as “why are you complaining about something you’re getting for free” – but it’s the ideology behind the title that causes a bit of concern: A high profile developer sat down and mathematically crafted one of the most useless driving simulators of all time. No steering wheel support, no modes, no features, and barely any content. Pass.

And we haven’t even gotten to the Free to Play garbage yet, so I guess we should get started on that.

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The Free to Play sales model doesn’t work when applied to racing games. I’m not just pulling this out of my ass to sound like I know what I’m talking about: every major free to play release over the past five or six years has been either a commercial or critical failure, and in some cases, both.

  • Need for Speed World sounded good on paper – combining the maps from both Carbon and Most Wanted into a huge MMO that had low system requirements, but was slowly overrun with micro-transactions and hackers.
  • Victory: Age of Racing was an online post-apocalyptic Formula One racer powered by the NetKar Pro engine. The game’s main draw was the elaborate car builder, allowing users to mix and match different eras of Open Wheel cars, but lag was prevalent in the builds I tried during my time with a beta key over at RaceDepartment. The few races I got into, it was clear this game was intended for Russians and Brazilians driving on keyboards.
  • Project CARS was originally intended to be a Free to Play title, but the thousands of WMD members vetoed that idea in favor of a more traditional $60 release. Take a guess why.
  • Sim Raceway was a half-baked attempt at copying iRacing on the isiMotor engine, through a partnership with the Jim Russell Racing School over at Sonoma Raceway. While the graphical fidelity of some tracks were stunning enough to be converted into rFactor, the entire package cost upwards of $550 USD. By comparison, the original rFactor was sold at a fraction of that price, and free third party modifications could easily help eclipse the roster of content in Sim Raceway. Sim Racing YouTube personality Empty Box has indicated on Twitter in the past that the company itself has been in some legal hot water, and refuses to cover their products.
  • Copa Petrobras de Marcas was an attempt to help Reiza Studios reel in new fans by offering the entry-level touring car portion of Stock Car Extreme for free, but the team from Brazil ended up releasing a fully-featured title in the end with the cars included in the base package.
  • RaceRoom Racing Experience is more or less the spiritual successor to GTR 2 and the Race 07 line of expansions, but the bizarre Free to Play pricing format only serves to anger and confuse people. Even when some sim racers are giving the title the highest of praises for aspects in which it truly shines, such as the sound or diversity of content, you will always find at least one mention of the atrocious pricing model. As a result, R3E’s Steam activity numbers are the lowest among all modern sims, even though the game itself is quite good.

The whole Free to Play concept just doesn’t work in this environment. Sim racers are fully aware when something has been built to fuck with their wallets, because the average age of a sim racer is much older than that of other genres. We’re not a large pack of children obsessively grinding through Call of Duty after school, begging mommy for her credit card so we can buy the new map pack. We’re past that. I hope.

But maybe this is all part of Turn 10’s plan? Maybe they’ve actually sat down and studied the sim racing scene, and opted to build a version of Forza Motorsport 6 for the PC with the minimum effort necessary to be deemed “acceptable” by the community.

The fanbase surrounding Assetto Corsa doesn’t care that the AI is buggy, Career Mode is that of an iPhone game, flag rules don’t do a whole lot, or that you can’t race at night. People have still eaten it up regardless, happy with the fact that they can drive in circles on a track by themselves and pretend they can drift like Chris Harris. And the fanboys surrounding Project CARS don’t care that over ten major patches have failed to fix hilarious bugs such as cars falling into the ground, or wet weather tires providing the fastest lap times in dry conditions. People still sit around on forums bragging that the game sold a million copies, and they made X amount of money by participating in a viral marketing scheme. Hell, even the iRacing guys love to claim that the enormous cost automatically places the game into a league of it’s own, and will literally say you have some sort of evil vendetta for daring to suggest David Kaemmer’s experimental tire model could use a bit of fine-tuning. It doesn’t matter that every modern racing sim lacks something; the masses will perform a stunning set of mental gymnastics to tell themselves that this is all somehow okay.

It’s not hard to imagine Turn 10 showing up, realizing they could literally shit out the most bastardized version of Forza imaginable, and reel in the money from micro-transactions as the people with very legitimate complaints (like myself) are deemed “crazy” or “a serial moaner” by random sim racers wanting to earn brownie points with the developers. Bam, welcome to Forza Motorsport 6: Apex.

So maybe Forza Motorsport 6: Apex is the game we deserve? When sim racers sit around sucking the cock of various developers as they continue to half-ass updates and push out unfinished games, just so a random community rep re-tweets them on Twitter or invites them into the closed beta program, this mentality effectively gives the thumbs up for other developers to show up and do the exact same thing. I wouldn’t be surprised if this is the ideology powering Apex, and you shouldn’t be, either. It’s the future you chose.

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59 thoughts on “Free* to Play

  1. The physics of Assetto Corsa are not of simulation value, when you compare it to the way a racing driver and racing team and even vehicle manufacturers can use rFactor and rFactor 2’s physics to develop their cars and their drivers in a way that provides accurate data which they can rely on to use at races.

    To give you an example. All our race team clients and even our series clients, they don’t only use rFactor for track familiarization. They also use it to test setup data before they go to an event, they use it to test potential new part data, by developing new brakes or new engine performances and testing it in the game before they actually commit to building it in real life. rF1 and rF2 provide far higher accuracy for those things than any other simulation on the market. When it comes to Assetto Corsa, their game is marketed for a set audience which covers the Semi-Arcade side. When I drive rF1 or rF2, I’m always in a serious state of mind, I can’t just go out on the track and run a few laps. It is too simulation based and I treat it as such. I work on my setups, I push to find every tenth I can throughout a lap. I analyze too much. When I play Assetto Corsa, I can easily go in, pick a car and track, chill back and drive When using my Xbox360 controller and not give a care. The physics seem very much like Forza Motorsport 5, a console game physics HOWEVER, Kunos has done a great job for the simcade fans, but cut down to the wire, rFactor 2’s physics engine is by far the most simulation based physics engine using real life aero and physical data that no other title has come close to.

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  2. Quick question,
    Was looking forward to this until I saw you mentioned the title will not have wheel / multi controller support. Is this an assumption or do you have a source? Only asking because I could not find info about this on the microsoft announcement.

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    1. I have yet to see a source of any kind on this claim. This is likely an assumption that the game will be a UWP (universal windows platform) app, which does not have DirectInput Support. However, UWP does have XInput support, so I imagine wheels that work with the XBox will work with UWP apps.

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    2. Turn10 specifically failed to address it. A question was asked and they ducked the question, as far as I understand. Made a statement something like “We understand that wheel support is very important to the PC community” or something.

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  3. Should not be a surprise. Microsoft has shown, time and again, they want people to buy an Xbox. They do not and have not supported PC gaming. If you honestly thought a big Xbox exclusive would get a 1:1 port to PC, you are a fool and I said as much when you first ran a story on this.

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    1. Except for Quantum Break, Killer Instinct and Gears of War Ultimate Edition.

      Also, they’ve confirmed that we’re getting any future Forza games on PC. This is just them testing the waters.

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  4. Did you also not pick up on the additional news that all future Forza games will be developed in tandem on Xbox and PC? This I assume would mean that whenever Forza 7 and Horizon 3 release on Xbox, the same versions will release on PC.

    As they don’t obviously want to commit to porting a full game that’s a year old with the current Windows Store app limitations (no wheel support and no SLI support among many issues), they figured they’d go the quicker way of making a smaller F2P game to test the waters.

    Plus Forza controls like shit on a wheel anyway.

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  5. Wow how sad this site can be. There are no parts of windows 10 spying on you. There are parts that gather data IF YOU WANT so that it can present you relevant information at all times.

    As for forza…isn’t this the community that has spent years bitching how shit a sim it is? Why do you care?

    This game isn’t meant for you because the entire of sim community is a disgusting toxic mess and you are proving that point for them.

    This is what’s called a test. If it works chances are forza 7 will hit PC full featured day 1 but here you are crying like a baby because they are giving you a good piece of content for free.

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    1. “Wow how sad this site can be. There are no parts of windows 10 spying on you. There are parts that gather data IF YOU WANT so that it can present you relevant information at all times.”

      That’s the most naive thing I’ve read this week. If you believe this, then I truly feel sad for your children.

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  6. Good write up. It’s what most of have been thinking with this news with the exception of the cuckolds that would gladly sit back and jack off watching the likes of Microsoft and other shady developers fuck their wives.

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  7. it really is laughable. I was really expecting Forza 6 for PC, but now this? Microsoft, why are you so stupid? Also, releasing a game on you store only is the same mistake of Halo 2. It’s like it was never released on PC.

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  8. Well this is just a sign of the times… A sign of how greed within the capitalist system works… How it’s against true competition and only serves the few…

    I had hoped that Forza was going to come in and crush the completion to force ISI and especially Kunos to pick up their games…

    But alas, I will have to wait for the Reiza team with their 2017 offering or a new team to challenge the 2 that offer something for the masses, not just the privileged few who shell out the money for iRacing…

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  9. FM6: Apex is a HARDCORE SIM and has lots of SIMULATION VALUE.

    With its state of the art physics engine that rivals other hardcore racing sims like Need for Speed 2015 and The Crew, 900 button sequential racing keyboard support, state of the art A.I, invisible car customization, and a secret invisible livery editor, there is no reason that you shouldn’t shill for this incredible, well-made, fantastic, god-like, wonderful, 10/10 IGN worthy racing simulator. Don’t forget that this game is exclusive to the Windows 10 store, which absolutely is hands down better than Origin and Steam.

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  10. I’m glad you guys are continuously saying “stop making games” to the devs, that’s clearly working out for the community.

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    1. We are saying make a full fucking working game. As in single player and multiplayer work and are feature complete for 2016.

      Not a fucking mish mash of half working shit.

      Forza PC is what the cock suckers(literally and figuratively) who think they are in a special club and will get patted on the head for being goodboys have turned sim racing into.

      If I cant fucking do my job I get fired, I cant pass my classes I get expelled. In sim racing a dev doesnt do their job we give them a life time to fix it and pay for the DLC’s along the way.

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  11. Sorry, but this is a silly article. Ranting for a game not released yet? Ok, there’s bad – really bad – things on MS announcement, but you should pay a bit more attention. The game is a tech demo, not exactly a proper game. They are probing the market, a silly thing to do with a powerhouse name like Forza, but that’s the way it is.

    I’m happy the way it is. Wheel support is coming later. Really, far from ideal, but it’s something. And it’s free. Call me fanboy – can’t really be a fanboy from a game of a series I never owned, whatever – but I don’t think it’s a bad move.

    Just by announcing Forza to PCs they are already stirred things up. Rather hope the game establishes itself as a franchise on PC as well instead of just bitching, by bitching sakes.

    And honestly, Windows 10 being a backdoor for MS, that’s just silly. Embarrassing that you don’t even hack your OS to make it the way you like it. All the cool kids do it. No back doors on my setup – hopefully.

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    1. Quality over quantity. Most of the AC crowd can barely keep their cars on the track for more than a lap or two. I will stick with the better real sim racers in RF2 that are fast and know proper racing etiquette.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. “I will stick with the better real sim racers in RF2 that are fast and know proper racing etiquette.”

        Yep outside of ISI sims and Iracing, you won’t find many if any pro sim drivers, tells you the whole story, you cant even find a decent youtube sim racer that covers AC or Pcars regularly, just loud mouth little boys.

        “Quality over quantity my ass.”

        You believe your arse has more quality over quantity?I wouldn’t know, drop us a email of the last guy to pile drive it and ill ask them.

        “All 3 of them?”

        Haha funny guy, maybe one day you can qualify up to a sim that regularly has the best sim drivers around playing, AC\Pcars are “introductory” race “sims”, filled to the brim with bitch arse wannabes,of course not every one that plays those titles, just the fuck wits with comments like yours, your insecurity of playing a sim with far more forgiving physics than the best sims around is telling.

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  12. Oh sim racers.. thinking everything is about themselves and the world of gaming revolves around their needs.
    There’s a whole list of racing games that don’t care about sim racers and their… toy wheels, as James usually says.

    Which isn’t to say that Forza 7 or even later Forza 6 can be released in its full version for PC with much more support for peripherals.

    This is more a demo, a quick racing game (which doesn’t mean people aren’t going to spend a lot of time with it). You install and play if you want, what’s the big deal really?

    Do you honestly think Forza 6 Apex is being targeted at sim racers? Turn10’s approach would be different if they wanted to get the attention of sim racers.

    Liked by 2 people

  13. http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2016/mar/01/forza-motorsports-is-coming-to-pc-new-apex-title-is-just-the-beginning

    According to creative director Dan Greenawalt, Apex is intended as a technological showcase rather than a commercial venture. He said Apex is just the beginning and all future Forza titles will come to PC. “This wasn’t developed with a business objective,” he said. “We started with technology and a roadmap of where we wanted to go with the franchise – which is Motorsport, Horizon and all Forzas on the Xbox and the PC. It was something we knew we had to do. Then it became a partnership with the internal teams at Microsoft, but it was still not a product. The Forza Tech engine is now DirectX 12 and UWP, so Apex is just the start – that puts less pressure on Apex being hugely self-sustaining.”

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    1. Ok, that’s somewhat acceptable.

      Dial in the engine on this platform, bring the stuff that makes it a possibly worthwhile racing game later.

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  14. Automobilista was released 29th of february and that marked Reiza’s 4th re-release of ISI’s classic rFactor which dates all the way back to 2005. 5th re-release is currently planned for 2017.

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    1. “5th re-release is currently planned for 2017.”

      Incorrect, they have the source-code for the engine and will be developing off of it, it will become another branch of the engine and will likely have a completely different graphics engine than rFactor, it’ll be more like rFactor 2.

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      1. *ahem*

        Should I remind you that R3E is based off of ISIMOTOR2, as well? So is Shift/Project CARS if you trace it back far enough.

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      2. Project Cars and R3E graphics engines doesn’t have anything to do with rFactors graphics engine called gMotor. Sector3 and SMS built new gfx engines but they have 10x more people than Reiza.

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      3. Formula Armaroli
        Formula Truck 2013
        Game Stock Car 2011
        Game Stock Car 2012
        Game Stock Car 2013
        Game Stock Car Extreme
        Copa Petrobras de Marcas
        Automobilista

        Reiza Studios has released EIGHT FUCKING rehashed titles based on rFactor 1.

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  15. places like GTPLANET give simracing a bad name. Full of fucking little kids who have never driven a car in real life.

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  16. I’m a long time Forza player and PC gamer and I can’t see this gaining any traction. (Pardon the pun)
    Turn 10 have been the worst in regards to issues. They refuse to acknowledge problems until they’ve fixed them. If they don’t fix them, they don’t won’t even talk about them. When small groups of people were hacking the game, they didn’t ban them forever, instead they removed whole sections of the game at the annoyance of everyone, just to stop some morons cheating.
    There lack of content for the Apex version is fucking ridiculous. Turn 10 have been accused of ripping people off before and swore blind they’d learned their lesson, and here we are with a Free to play rip the ass out of your wallet attempt on PC gamers.
    PC players are far less forgiving of bullshit than console players. So when Dan Greenawalt says “Focused, Curated”, he actually means Cut down and limited and PC players aren’t gonna stand for that. What PC player want a version of a console game that’s a hundred times worse? Fuck that shit!
    If they want this to be a success they need to go big or go home. Right now the only people aware of this are Forza fans on the Forza forums for the most part, and they already have the best version of the game!
    They need to push this as a full title with all the PC trimmings or it’s going to fail. Sadly Microsoft seem to have lost their way lately and the past few years have been one bonehead decision after another.
    I recently completed a Survey for microsoft about Forza and the franchise, and it seems they didn’t listen to a fucking word from what i’ve seen. The sentiments in this article are prevalent among Forza fans and PC racers, and somehow even with a survey Microsoft seem to have completely missed it.
    Windows 10 store doesn’t support V-sync which is a big issue for a title like this with fast moving scenery and competitors. Not everyone will be able to run it at a rock solid 60FPS.
    It’s like they took all the things good about FOrza, threw them in the fucking bin and threw th PC players the scraps with a big shit eating grin.
    Dan Greenawalt has become expert at PR talk and avoiding the things he know will upset or annoy people, whenever he speaks, read between the lines. Focused means cut down, Curated means limited, Apex, means Apex of ass raping your wallet etc etc…

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  17. In an essence, FM6 Apex sounds like the GT HD Concept Polyphony Digital originally planned. Also, now you’re injecting Windows 10 FUD now?

    Turn 10, also, from what I heard, is trying to make steering wheels compatible with it. XInput steering wheels should work with it, since UWP supports it.

    Also, we don’t know if tuning/livery editing will be on it.

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  18. Don’t say FM6:A has nothing to offer. It has 65 brand new high quality 3D models to rip for real simulations. 🙂

    Oh and by the way. I’d rather give FM6:A a try with a keyboard and/or a gamepad, rather than play pCARS with my T500 RS.

    Rip pCARS, you won’t be missed.

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      1. No they weren’t you dipshit. The only recent game cracked open was Forza Horizon 1. FM5, FM6 and Forza Horizon 2 were not cracked.

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  19. FORZA™! FORZA™! FORZA™! FORZA™!… an “unparalleled racing simulator” featuring advanced™ next-gen™technology as 3D puddles™ , drivatards™and FORZAvista … got no wheel support, on a PC?

    What kind of magick is this?

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    1. the kind of magic where you can’t read further than article titles and bold sentences.

      Just read this post here https://pretendracecars.net/2016/03/01/free-to-play/comment-page-1/#comment-22439

      And this article: http://worthplaying.com/article/2016/3/1/previews/98628/

      Where they talk that UWP universal windows platform is still new. We don’t know if by the time forza6 apex is released they already managed to reach that part of development. Either way, this game is sort of a demo, but with more things to do than a normal demo.

      So, is not that they won’t give wheel support on pc, but they aren’t sure if they make it possible by the time forza6 apex releases. Plus, Forza7 will be made natively for pc too, at least there’s rumors about it.

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  20. People would stop believing you had a vendetta against iRacing if you stopped fucking writing it in every goddamn blog post you write. The fact that you write the same line in every post to defend yourself for no apparent reason shows how insecure you are about the whole thing.

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  21. All I see here is manchildren losing their shit over a berated physics game coming for free to PC as a tech demo to test waters for future similar products. Well of course MS will wrap their pile of ported shit in a very nice gift wrapping while leaving a stink trail you can even smell when reading the article on a monitor. It’s essentially what every publisher, indie dev does in these times. Hype train is a byproduct of wanting to earn the almighty dollar and each one of you fell for it at one point.

    Then you all bitch about drivers’ quality in AC, and shill for the title of your choice which has a peak player number of 67-230 (after an update was released only) other wannabe racecar drivers with plastic steering wheels clamped to either a a desk, or an overpriced “cockpit” (yeah, right) and the quality of those 67 seven drivers. I really hope you enjoy racing only 16 other people all in your little elitist, snob, game tech whore group.

    So you can run more than 2 laps without a fuckup in RF2. Congrats you are now on par with your pro driver idols when playing a game with expensive toy accessories.

    The sim community is no better than the CoD or DotA one filled with 12 year old toxic little shits who know everything better than every one else. Entitlement in these PC communities is worse than with any other hobby group. At least those kids don’t pay $300-$1500 for a toy gun (as opposed to our toy wheels) then realize the trigger (pedals) are bad and need ebay hack springs to offer better resistance, as well as integrate expensive button boxes, tablets for bullet count and hp bar displayand call themselves good soldiers.

    And no, simracers don’t pay $15 for a map pack, they pay $15 to rent a virtual track driving a $15 virtual rental car after paying a monthly service fee. Yeah, sim players are a real smart bunch. This is all hilarious.

    After bashing Forza as non sim or simcade for years, now we are rioting online because we get a free one that has a similar cashgrab fee system as several other PC sims, not to mention 95% of f2p games on the market.

    Like

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