ISI Responds to the Rumors

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It’s been a busy and understandably frustrating week for the team over at Image Space Incorporated. After months of sparse activity compared to other major racing simulators, community manager Tim Wheatley conducted a less than promising interview with sim racing media giant RaceDepartment. Tim offered little in the way of hope for rFactor 2’s future, and the overall reaction to Tim’s lengthy piece served to frustrate diehard rFactor 2 users, who realized that rFactor 2 might not evolve into a truly revolutionary product.

After we ran a story here quoting a SimHQ Motorsports user that claimed to have inside knowledge about Image Space Incorporated and the rFactor Pro software, both Tim Wheatley and Gjon Camaj took to the official ISI forums in order to address the situation.

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Contrary to the rumors floating around, development on both rFactor 2 and rFactor Pro – which is primarily handled by an entirely separate company altogether with help from ISI – hasn’t stopped. However, Camaj admits that other unnamed projects might slow specific rFactor 2 developments – which isn’t exactly a good thing given how this particular sim is already evolving at a notoriously slow pace.

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Tim Wheatley also admits that development on rFactor 2 has been slow – again, not the best situation given rFactor 2 is one of the oldest “modern” racing simulators on the market, and simply hasn’t amassed the following of the original. Wheatley also addresses the interesting rumor at SimHQ head on, by basically calling the guy a liar, and then saying sites like PRC.net don’t care about these facts and will continue to enjoy bashing developers.

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The rest of the thread continues with your typical crop of fanboys praising the responses, as well as the new pieces of content added to rFactor 2: a remastered fictional track, and a fictional SCCA Historic Trans-Am entry based on the 1974 Chevrolet Camaro. It’s important to give credit where credit is due: this car looks awesome.

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For me, as a third party with no vested interest in any racing sim, the past week or so has been extremely interesting to watch unfold, and the chain of events raises more questions than it does answers.

  • rFactor 2 has been around in some form since 2009. This is a game that BSimRacing originally used to promote their World Super GT mod back when I was in high school. In terms of age, only iRacing has been available for a longer period of time.
  • rFactor 2 has been developed at a snail’s pace. After seeing an open beta release in 2012, the game quietly entered a quasi-released state in 2013. While still a very competent simulator with no major flaws, it’s hard to get excited about a product that is just sort of sitting there in a corner, with nobody knowing if it’s really ready for public consumption or not.
  • rFactor 2 is not popular. Aside from being used for major online racing leagues, such as Formula Sim Racing and the Virtual Endurance Championship, the server list is no more active than a small farming community in Kansas or Iowa. The default selection of content is patchy to say the least, and mod teams have not embraced the new platform due to the extremely complicated tire model. Because of this, most sim racers either lost interest in rFactor 2 due to a lack of content & updates, or didn’t care for the outrageous pricing model, which saw some pay $40 just to access an online server browser.

So we’ve established that rFactor 2 is dated, has been developed over the course of seven years, and hasn’t been embraced by the sim racing community for a multitude of reasons. I guess it’s time to analyze the recent events now.

  • Tim Wheatley is interviewed by RaceDepartment, and gives an array of depressing answers. Most sim racers who take the time to analyze his answers realize there is basically nothing planned for the future of rFactor 2. Tim essentially answers “no” to every question thrown at him, and many of the questions are extremely basic inquiries. Cars announced over three years ago have been pushed aside, DirectX 11 and Virtual Reality support aren’t on the agenda, dirt pickup on tires isn’t coming, and lastly Tim hopes the community will randomly push out a huge assortment of payware mods to breath life into the aging sim – something that would actually be illegal. In short, a lot of people read the article and went “oh, shit, I guess rFactor 2 is dying.”
  • Some guy on SimHQ claims he works in the auto racing industry, and received word that ISI are pulling support for rFactor Pro. We’re at a point where this guy could be blatantly making shit up to troll unsuspecting users, but it’s not uncommon for people “in the know” to lurk sim racing forums. You only have to look at places like iRacing or RaceRoom Racing Experience to realize there’s a shitload of real world talent and brains chilling out among us.

A few days go by, and to third parties like myself, who really don’t care about what happens to any sim on the market, it truly looks like ISI are moving on from rFactor as a franchise. The game has been demonstrably dead on arrival for years on end, Wheatley gave a depressing interview to a trusted media source about the future of rFactor 2, and now some guy is saying that rFactor Pro’s support is in jeopardy as well. I would like to know what I’m honestly supposed to think?

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It’s my personal opinion that something more is going on behind the scenes, and we’ll figure it out sooner rather than later.

 

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61 thoughts on “ISI Responds to the Rumors

    1. Hello and welcome to PRC! I see by consulting the IP logs that this is your first time visiting the site. Be sure to use the categories on the right hand side of the screen to filter news articles by your favorite game or developer, and consult the buyers guide for information on where to start your sim racing career!

      Liked by 1 person

  1. On what James belives would be “illegal” mods…

    Tim Wheatley: I don’t think you’ll see too much of a slow down in content releases really. The only thing that has altered, as I said in the Q&A, is that I realize having a huge backlog of licenses isn’t productive. For example I have a blanket license to every March Engineering vehicle. ISI might never make any of them, they were among the first thing I licensed and haven’t been touched.

    So, I want to contact modders, offer those out, and if there is a car I want build, that ISI won’t touch soon, and modders don’t seem to want, I’ll give it to someone to make a pay mod. But, as I said, I won’t do that with anything announced (which most of the March catalog hasn’t been).

    The important thing for me, is getting this content in the hands of people using our product, not sat in my excel spreadsheet.

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    1. I’m amongst the general shit posting that is the PRC comment section you caught my eye… If this is indeed the idea and plan this is actually a really great idea I don’t think has been done.
      Secure a license for a manufacture, get a mod team to develop it due to your own lack of free time, let the mod team sell it as a “DLC/payware mod” and maybe take a cut for the license loan.
      If it actually happens it could be great for some higher level mod teams.

      Like

  2. So, Tim Wheatley straightens out the whole situation, and PRC just decides to double down on the lies because apparently the guys who actually work for the company are untrustworthy, and James can’t fully comprehend the answers in an interview. 0/10 don’t quit the day job yet.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Don’t worry, however long it is until the next update to rF2, PRC will claim it as a successful prediction in next year’s “we’re so smart” article.

      Like

  3. Tim Wheatley looks more and more like Tim Whatley. And by experience, people bash PRC but they end up being right. I guess the usual commotion here is because James poke the fanboys with hard truths.

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  4. Hope this is the end of “rfPro = rFactor” talks in this page. People have been warning you about this dumb misconception peddled by sim retards that don’t know their way around toilet papers for ages.

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  5. I guess time will tell,

    I put a post up on ISI forums regarding the “Winding down and end of rF2″ as well as the Steam discussions and Both threads deleted ??

    Surely a quick reply to say……… This or that would have been better”

    Deleting entire threads just creates suspicion and food for the trolls.

    But i guess we will wait and see what the future prevails. I guess the time now is spent on Rogue system to compete with Elite and Star citizen.

    Question is why would ISI want the community to make the MODS for a game where theres a cloud overhanging.
    Hope were proved wrong.

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  6. consider this, rFactor2 is just too realistic to plug and play
    most of the rf2 players want the full experience and they get that out of the software
    then they want full racing experience and they find races that last longer then 5 laps

    which leaves us with a prematoure sucombe of todays standards of what is popular – highly rated
    rf2 has always been about quality, not the quantity and the guys who use it, use it for what it’s good
    the full lenght racing

    could iracings public racing, sprint style races be copied for everyday joe, yea sure, would it be good, of course it would, can you find a hair on an egg, you cant please everybody
    it’s all about what it’s made for

    ac is made for nfs-forza players who just want to jump into a 5lap race and rek the hek out of someone and aparently there is more of guys who like that experience then those who want to be a part of virtual community where every race matters and mistakes are hardly laughable

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    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.

      Like

    2. “rFactor2 is just too realistic to plug and play”

      What? -___- lol

      Bitch please, you plug your wheel, select profile, change the default assists according to your level and equipment. Load a car, load a track, and drive. Or do I need to take a 4 years course in engineering to run rf2?

      You don’t see much public racing in rf2, not because is too hard or too real (lol), is because there aren’t enough people who want this game, or the people who already own this game, don’t have the time or the passion to keep racing. They’ll just race maybe once a week in a league, not because is too hard or too real, because their fun factor for rfactor2 only spans for the course of one race per week. Then they get bored or too busy doing something else.

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      1. It’s that maybe, but also a lot of people would just use singleplayer to do any kind of quick racing. The ai is pretty much better than most public drivers haha

        Like

      2. no man, you got double or triple the options on controler and setups, the default sets are junk
        a basic player might not even know how much does the real road effect him and he might not even realise he’s on completely green track
        the cold brakes, the cold tires might be hampering you greatly for the first lap or two and most players dont go past that very easily, not on the first run
        it is not easy for someone to just jump in from nfs and go round in fully simulated environment,
        it takes knowledge to go past the build up phase

        also the cars are way sharper on throttle then example i used ac and the trailbraking has to be done even more delicatly, smaller corrections on wheel also make for more impact and this also requires general feel, because a small errror in this, plus you not knowing about build up phase = u just get frustrated of non-stop pitting
        on top of that you have to go out of the garage that is behind the wall, sitting on the limiter and wondering what the fak happened, all the while ur basically person with no patiance and no basic engineering knowledge 🙂 yea rf2 hardship is real, u dont just jump in and drive a wr

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  7. RipFactor 2 is GUESSWORK physics,RECYCLED TOBANTOBANTOBAN Milss Metro contents,UNREALISTIC clutch/tranny/engine model,UNREALISTIC traction control and ABS systems,MONO audio immersion and TERRIBLE audio mixing,ANNOYING over compressed spotter and audio fonts,DINOSAUR ui and replay cam and finally MEH graphics.

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    1. When you enter real data to rFactor 2, it works like real life, it’s not the case for Assetto Corsa, you always have to use workarounds and substitute models 🙂

      Like

      1. A few words about Assetto Corsa’s physics limitations.

        Modern openwheelers can be very stiff … i mean extremely stiff, springs and ARBs (dampers as well)! and Assetto Corsa has engine limitations that doesn’t allow using high suspension rates (causes weird bugs)!

        Interactive aerodynamics physics is a must for an openwheeler, rear aero depends on what’s happening at the front and the rear not only the rear! and vice versa (interaction between front wing and diffuser for example)

        Tyre model is not well explained and needs more variables to be added, to get realistic grip and temperatures/pressure behaviour! You can’t cook accurate slicks with it.

        Lack of setup options possibilities in general

        Like

      2. Assetto Corsa is developed by Italian studio Kunos Simulazion – Released last year for Windows, the game will be coming to PS4 and Xbox One next year, it does cede a little more ground to the notion that ‘game’ isn’t such a dirty word.

        According to James Dover, the game can be happily played with a controller. But while the game does deliver in terms of graphics, James reckons its physics engine “lacks seriousness”.

        Like

      3. 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.

        Like

      4. RipFactor 2 after 3 years only capable of sadly 150 players on Steam..MAJOR FLOP.

        Like

  8. You know you PRC guy(s) should really stop trying to sound like you’re actual journos posting in depth analyses of random fuckers on the internet saying inflammatory things. You’re basically using high brow trolling as a source for your articles when you do that. Also steam spy numbers aren’t a fucking metric worth anything when it comes to estimating the finances of a game dev.

    Rumours aren’t facts so stop treating them that way and maybe someone will respect PRC a little more.

    Like

    1. They don’t need anyone to respect PRC… the whole point is to show “the ugly side” of sim racing and basically talk as much crap as they can (exaggerated or not, I don’t care).

      It’s the side of the news that no one hears anywhere else, imagine this blog being around when the original Slimjim F1 Classic debacle went on inside the rfactor/GPL community. It would have been glorious.

      Like

  9. How can you say rF2 is not being developed? Look at all the exciting stuff we got lately like… And also… That other thing. Well, you know.

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  10. They way I see it, the most important bit of information I’ve gleaned from all of this is that rf2 relies on 4 guys at a base level.

    I’m not sure this has been disclosed before. It kind of explains the development rate, why the project is at all sustainable and why they don’t really care about relative popularity much.

    As for ‘Mr_Hill’, he may just be a liar that wears a jumpsuit, gloves and sparcos or some shit when sim racing to make himself feel special. Alternatively, there may be some truth behind what he says, even if he doesn’t really understand the situation with rfpro and ISI.

    Finally, I don’t know what this other thing is that they are working on (the space game?). 4 guys isn’t really enough to be working on multiple projects at once. RF2 needs to be their focus.

    Meanwhile, I will go race the Brazilians in AMS. Even though the track map gets confused sometimes and UI timing is weird (though very useful when it works right, you see exactly where you’re gaining and losing), the MP component is working well at a fundamental level. Very race-able on servers with 200ms+ latency. I guess ISI deserves some credit for that but there’s no way in hell I’m going to race the RF2 NSX (only decent server I could get into a few days ago) instead of something in AMS. I hate how flat that car feels sliding, it’s way too easy to control and just slides with a very uninteresting feeling, it feels like I’m driving on some alien surface of magical flatness. So far, after a bit of jumping back and forth, AMS is feeling better to me. AI only works on certain tracks/combos/settings still, but they are capable of some decent races with the right combinations. A good number of ‘way too slow corners’ to solve with the AI overall, and twitchiness. The AI is very fast and aggressive laterally, even in traffic. It will be pretty cool if they get it working right.

    There’s barely enough people for MP, but I’ve had some fun racing two days in a row now. RF2’s hostile little community of locked servers and paywall content pisses me off.

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  11. ohh man i see only fanboys or hater comment how old are u guys 12 ? First who cares about activity on steam over 50 % don t even use it on steam and even if why would should i care what other ppl play ? The most ppl play with g27 wheel and not with bodnar so i have to sell my wheel ? 😀 Most ppl are noobs in simracing thats why Project cars is on top on steam. So the button should be the best hardcore sim ?
    Rf 2 was my main sim last 3 years because of physics etc. but after this interview what translated to: no vr support, no new dx, no big track( named track), no big cars and no series, no multiplayer rank system like iracing, no improved damage model or graphic update, no downshiftprotection/gearbox update and damage and FINALY a clear comment that rfactor 2 is not there focus on the future….

    And now there ppl who still support them or hating sides like this ? His post about rf2 are really soft compare to his normal critics 😀 I think its to soft because what isi did is = we don t care about community and we did not said the true about the important of rf2 for the selfs. We thought its still beta but its not only finished its more dead than ever in terms of what we can expect from the future.

    After i read the interview from RD from Tim i quit on rf2 as soon as possible because the interview for me is the biggest crap ever u can call it the “NO intverview”. And ppl who still like rfactor 2 after this i can not blame because of some aspect about phyisics but ppl who DEFEND isi and liked this interview ….. Thats laying to ur self mates.

    Like

  12. To quote Paul Anka:

    To stop those monsters, one-two-three,

    Here’s a fresh new way that’s trouble-free,

    It’s got Paul Anka’s guarantee! (guarantee void in Tennessee)

    Just don’t look! Just don’t look!

    Just don’t look! Just don’t look!

    Like

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