If you haven’t noticed by now, there are a couple of loose screws living in the comments section of PRC.net, copying and pasting the same generic phrases over and over again to agitate sim racers who rely on our humble blog as a genuine source for sim racing news. Yes, we’re aware that the comments section can be an all-out war between fanboys, apologists, viral marketers, and long-time sim racers, but occasionally it does go too far, and certain individuals resort to excessively spamming extremely bland comments en masse. Is it annoying? Of course it is, but sitting down and manually monitoring each page to catch some guy with a proxy letting his autism flow through his hands and into our comments section just isn’t going to happen. Each individual comment gets sent to my Microsoft Outlook address, and there have been days where I’ve woken up to 60 notifications on my phone. There is basically no way in hell I can police anything people post down below.
However, this incredibly lax approach to moderation warranted an extremely bizarre outcome: One of these motherfuckers spamming inane garbage ended up predicting the future of Automobilista.
Dubbing himself Autofailurelista in one comment, this particular PRC.net resident troll wrote all the way back on January 3rd of 2016 that he believed Automobilista would be a commercial failure, and Reiza would be “begging for more money” in the near future. And in theory, his prediction wasn’t all that far-fetched. Reiza gave away a copy of Automobilista for free to everyone who had owned Stock Car Extreme on Steam prior to January 5th. It was difficult to understand how this game would generate any revenue for an extremely small developer, especially considering they’re located in a country with a struggling economy. I mean, yeah, the crowdfunding campaign was really neat from a community perspective – seeing as how a whole bunch of sim racers graciously opened their wallets, but how exactly do you give away a new game for free?
Well, somebody leaked that info to us earlier today. Thanks to [NAME REDACTED] from Reddit, we’ve learned that Autofailurelista essentially predicted the future. To offset the lack of revenue made from giving away Automobilista for free to pretty much anyone who even remotely cared about their software, Reiza are planning a comprehensive post-release DLC program featuring approximately $50 USD of additional content, as well as the ability to literally buy your way into being a beta tester.
Is this a wise decision? I don’t believe so. Look, I think the development map Reiza Studios have planned out for Automobilista serves the purpose of the game quite well. I fully support how they’re approaching the rest of the project from the perspective of a sheer customer. It’s pretty good, and I assume if they iron out the few grievances I have, the end result will be even better.
But what we’re looking at right now is a company that didn’t make any relevant revenue off of their new game. And Automobilista is a sim which Reiza Studios wouldn’t have had the necessary funding to develop in the first place if it wasn’t for the sim community literally throwing it at them. The whole scenario raises a bunch of red flags about what’s going on behind the scenes.
Six months later, Reiza Studios are suspiciously asking for more community funding, allowing any random outsider to buy their way into being a beta tester, as well as pushing out an abundance of DLC for a game designed to have a lifespan of just a single year on a platform sim racers are growing tired of.
I mean, the general rule of thumb is to not conduct yourself in a way that raises eyebrows, and this raises some eyebrows. Y’all asked for other people’s money to make a game, you didn’t generate much revenue on said game, and then shortly thereafter it’s time for people to open their wallets again – either for the DLC, or for beta forum access. Hmm…
This is like some weird variant of virtual cuckoldry. I don’t really know what I’m watching, but it’s a bit strange as an outsider. And keep in mind, very few people are actually playing Automobilista, and of those who do play it, most of them got it for free. Automobilista’s active player count falls well under RaceRoom Racing Experience, and instead battles it out with the likes of MX vs. ATV Reflex and Bugbear’s Wreckfest. The former has a cult following thanks to several likeable YouTube personalities, and the latter has been in Steam’s Early Access program since late 2013. How do Reiza expect customers to eat up all this post-release DLC, when there aren’t many customers to begin with?
This is just all kinds of bizarre. I’ll leave you guys to elaborate below.