The Complete Coverage of Renato Simioni’s April Fool’s Day Meltdown

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Just one of these articles is one too many – as it indicates a serious problem within the Sim Racing scene that we seem to be the only site talking about – but alas, here we are with the third installment in PRC’s Developer Meltdown series. Whereas our first entry highlighted Ian Bell’s angry tirades towards unsatisfied customers after the disappointing release of Project CARS, and our second entry documented Stefano Casillo slowly admitting Assetto Corsa wouldn’t have key features the community felt were necessary, today’s post has absolutely nothing to do with any gameplay elements whatsoever.

Unless you’ve been sleeping in the back of your Ford Focus for the previous two weeks, you’ll know all too well that there’s been some pretty wild stuff transpiring within the world of sim racing. Formula One Management, the multi-purpose entity which controls the licensing aspects of the Formula One brand, began cracking down on mods they deemed to be in violation of copyright & trademark laws over at RaceDepartment. As site owner Bram Hengeveld kindly pointed out to us, nearly 80 community modifications for Automobilista, F1 2013, and F1 2014 were removed at the request of Formula One – meaning several livery updates and other oddities only meant to enhance a user’s gaming experience were yanked from RaceDepartment’s extensive library of add-on content. This pissed off a whole bunch of community, as while Formula One had every legal right to take action against these individuals, the entity suffered no demonstrable financial loss from what these hardcore sim racers were doing. The downloads pulled from public consumption were primarily livery updates, and to use these livery updates, you needed to spend the money on an official Formula One product in the first place. In short, it was hard to sympathize with Formula One – the move could easily be described as “power tripping”, and gave longtime F1 fans yet another reason to say nasty things about Mr. Ecclestone’s operation.

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But after a few days of silence, Formula One Management struck again. Automobilista, a rather niche racing simulator by Reiza Studiosboasting just over one hundred active players at any point in the day – was suddenly removed from the Steam Online Store. Reiza declined to comment who exactly had filed the DMCA request, but circumstantial evidence pointed to the same culprit behind the RaceDepartment ordeal earlier in the week – Formula One themselves. Given the fact that Bernie’s boys know full well that sim racing is a thing, and they traditionally have kept a close eye on the community, it comes as no surprise that occasionally they drop the hammer when the scene least expects it.

However, in this situation, it was difficult to feel bad for Reiza Studios.

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Operating on a small budget and unable to secure big name brands or exclusive licenses, Reiza Studios opted to travel a road commonly used by the Grand Theft Auto series of games. Instead of pursuing expensive licenses with Holden, Ferrari, or any other number of prestigious models, the team at Reiza Studios would simply create Chinese knock-off vehicles based on iconic real world race cars. The Holden Commodore V8 Supercar became the Super V8, a 2014-spec Formula One entry became known as the Formula Extreme, and Ayrton Senna’s 1988 Mclaren MP4/4 became a Formula Classic. In most cases, even the liveries remained near-identical to that of the original car, save for the primary sponsor logos being swapped out for generic Reiza Studios and Cockpit Extreme decals.


What ended up happening, is that Reiza Studios failed to stray far enough from the source material, and the legal team representing Formula One Management figured it out just by looking at a few screenshots on the game’s homepage. Combined with the partial list of current and historic Formula One tracks available in Automobilista, sim racers are well aware that Reiza have essentially built a hardcore Formula One simulator without Formula One’s permission. And unless you have acquired the correct licenses as seen in rFactor 2 or iRacing, you can’t do this. It’s illegal.

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The story blew up, and the sim racing community was split between two distinct ideologies. The first group believed Reiza had done nothing wrong and Formula One were once again power tripping on the little guys, while the second group merely cited copyright laws and pointed out that what Reiza had done with the content featured in Automobilista indeed deserved a smackdown courtesy of Formula One’s legal team. Objectively, the second group is correct. Reiza made little to no effort to hide the fact that there were a shitload of unlicensed Formula One cars in their software, and again, that’s illegal. That will not stop the first group from being blind fanboys. That’s okay. This place thrives on those individuals talking out of their asses. It’s funny.

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Renato Simioni  – the key public figure over at Reiza Studiosdeclined to comment on the extent of the team’s issues with Formula One Management, but eventually took to RaceDepartment’s forums and began voicing his frustration with the whole ordeal.


Even though it can be demonstrated that Formula One Management occasionally lurk the various sim racing message boards and news outlets, throwing cease and desist notices at everyone from rFactor modders to the browser-based BATRacer, Simioni points the finger at “disgruntled” community members for secretly working with Formula One to carry out a personal vendetta against Reiza Studios. That’s right – a developer who barely tried to hide the fact that he included a plethora of unlicensed Formula One content in his game assumes this is all just a bunch of trolls from 4Chan or a similar medium trying to fuck with him – even though Formula One have consistently shown up unprovoked and contacting them as an average Joe is notoriously difficult. Simioni ends the post by stating this situation may change how their business operates, and that “there just isn’t enough money in the type of products we’ve been making to be worth this kind of hassle.”

I don’t know about you, but at least the way I myself interpret it, the idea of closing up shop appears to have been tossed around. I get a lot of shit for fear-mongering, but that’s what I got out of that final statement there.

So a few community members obviously poke and prod Simioni for more information, and he complies:


Simioni again believes that the sudden removal of Automobilista from Steam is “indirectly related to an environment where destructive attitudes for the sake of attention, fun, and giggles are celebrated” – and several people have messaged me over the past few days saying things like “Renato is blaming you for their game being removed” – so I can only assume he’s talking about us. Now whether that means me as a person, or just the guys chilling out in the comments section while taking a dump at work, I don’t really know, but the safe guess is that he’s referring to PRC in some way.

Which is cute, because circumstantial evidence should indicate to anyone with a functioning brain that we aren’t the culprit:

Yep, totally sounds like the folks at are the masterminds behind this saga!

Oh wait, no it doesn’t.

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101 thoughts on “The Complete Coverage of Renato Simioni’s April Fool’s Day Meltdown

  1. You can’t even pretend this is news and not just you having a pissing match with Renato because he doesn’t have any respect for your shitty little blog.

    You still speculate with no sources to boot and declare facts that haven’t been ascertained to be true. Rumour ain’t fact.

    This is a sad little entry over here. Just click bait to mollify your little ego.

    Lets just look at this nonsense.

    “I don’t know about you, but at least the way I myself interpret it, the idea of closing up shop appears to have been tossed around. I get a lot of shit for fear-mongering, but that’s what I got out of that final statement there.”

    No, he clearly said their specific business model may die after this but that their business will simply move on to a different one, probably more like the other sims out there. This means less content and more of it licensed and more directed towards paying the higher prices of licensing everything instead of fictionalizing a lot of it.

    Are you so deficient in your analytical abilities that you can’t see that or are you just deliberately writing more bait?

    You’re unreal pal. An arsonist in this community, stirring up all the shittiest people. You just Trump your way through this one. You’ll get your viewership bump. The tabloid press always makes more money the less integrity they demonstrate.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Cry all you want Reiza fanboy from Race Department, but Reiza’s days of being a trusted and reliable developer are over, especially when Stock Car Extreme gets taken down. The content of Reiza’s games infringes on many copyrights, and they will be out of business soon. They won’t be missed either since they released glorified rFactor 1 mods EIGHT TIMES.

      Rest in Shit Reiza Studios

      Liked by 1 person

      1. 🙂 well developement is continuing, they might be forced to make some changes if they wanna sale on steam or they need to find different distribution method .. there couldn`t not react to accusations as there were no specific accusations at the time their page was put down on steam (by steam, not by FOM, not by any other organisation) .. it was preventive measure caused by steam rules as a reaction to other party raising nonspecific complain ..


      2. Yet it’s been days since this all started, and SCE is still on Steam 😉

        Reiza’s not the problem here, it’s some legal battle that I honestly can’t be arsed about.


    2. You can’t expect Renato to throw around that kind of ridiculous accusation and James not respond to it. You blast this site but you fail to see what goes on over at race department isn’t exactly great either.


  2. Ill start by saying that while im a reiza fan, the whole copyright thing had some merit. I dont think it was enough for a random takedown notice. But still.

    As far as this meltdown, its both pretty tame and pretty understandable. Unlike the others, his pocket is directly hit by the takedown, and because of this, he has every right to speculate as to why. I think he may have gone a bit overboard, but again, its pretty reasonable that someone working for/ with F1 to put this notice together.

    I 100% disagree with your statement on him calling you out. This community is pretty toxic as a whole, and i think he was more referancing that.

    Ps. Castrol raceway is gross, the island is wayyyy nicer.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. More analysis from king retard that demonstates a fundamental lack of reasoning ability –

    “Which is cute, because circumstantial evidence should indicate to anyone with a functioning brain that we aren’t the culprit”

    No in fact, if someone packaged a takedown case to FOM they could easily guide the things done in the order they happened and any previous cases of FOM going after other content is not a compelling data point against this. Nothing provided as circumstantial evidence here in any way makes that argument null. Tip off the narcos and you can’t say “they hit the stash” as evidence there wasn’t a rat. That’s in fact the weirdest argument I’ve ever seen.

    Here’s my counter proposal, and I don’t even say I believe it. Someone sends an Email to FOM to take down some mods cause he’s a troll and he thinks its funny. They follow his lead and get them taken down. From here on either FOM notices other content there and has it taken down, or mistakes the mods as official content or sees the game as thinks its infringing or buddy who tipped them off was so excited by his success he tips them off again, this time pointing to the game that was modded.

    All of that is perfectly viable within all the provided circumstantial narrative by Op here. I have no idea what he thinks he’s arguing. I don’t believe any of the shit I argued but maybe that’s par for the course around here anyway.

    I seriously think the author of this blog is too deficient in his rational faculties to actually reason out things.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Here’s the thing you moron, no one sent an email to FOM. There is no indication of that whatsoever. Do you really think anyone on this site really hates the game that much? Hell a lot of people say positive things about it here. You don’t think FOM have a legal department who looks for this stuff all the time? Reiza messed up and now they face the consequences. You’re trying really hard to sound smart and it’s not working dude.


  4. I was disgusted by Renato’s behaviour in this situation and I will personally report all of your fraudulent activities to this email address, and the FOM will further crackdown on your infringments, maybe we can get Stock Car Extreme taken down too.


  5. ” the immediate and long term effects might well be a further departure from any fictionalized content that may become subject to such complaints in favor of officially licensed content ”

    you mean like every other game developer has to do ?


    1. I think its amusing that in an article stating the community at PRC couldn’t have started this you have people insisting they have been and will continue to send emails to FOM directly.

      You guys have your heads screwed on some kind of backwards.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. You can’t just sell game full of F1 cars with only minor differences in aero details and liveries and expect FOM lawyers not to take action when they are known to be very aggressive when it comes to defending their prestigious trademarks.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. There are significant differences in every part of the geometry, there isn’t a single curve or dimension that matches up.

      You can pretend to be blind like james and claim this is infringement without showing any precedent. Inattention to detail is not an excuse and does not make either of you ‘correct’.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. You’re a real idiot when it comes to legal matters, aren’t you?

    Of course he declined to comment about this stuff, it’s a fucking LEGAL matter.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I think that there are just a disproportionate number of assholes who play racing games regardless of what website they frequent


  8. Austin, for for christ’s sake, just STOP IT!


    Just stop to gather the attention on Automobilista, this is getting toxic! Let the guys do their job, they are supported by a tiny community, and that community likes what they are doing!

    Automobilista for someone is fresh air compared to AC, iR and rF2, just let they enjoy it!

    Please stop the coverage, let Simioni fix this fucking problem! This is getting bad not for Reiza, but for the community!



      1. Who cares? Seriously who cares???

        Did you paid for Automobilista? Then get a refound.

        If you didn’t paid for it, just let who paid enjoy the sim?

        What is your fucking problem? Is it a problem if there is people paying and enjoying for mods? Who cares? I prefer 20 different unlicensed cars, than 20 Lotus and Bmw licensed that drive like a boat!

        Reiza have hundreds and hundreds of backers who support their work, WHO THE FUCK YOU ARE TO WANT THAT REIZA CLOSE THE DOOR AND PEOPLE WILL STOP TO ENJOY THEIR SIM?

        Then you have a problem not with Reiza, but with the community enjoying Automobilista, and this is very sad.


      2. Why don’t you say that also LFS is illegal then? Don’t you know it?

        There are plenty of cars that looks like the real ones and they are not licensed!!!

        Why bashing only Reiza then???



  9. So whats your opinion about this situation, James? Do you justify FOM for this stupid copyright bullshit, maybe you like it, or not? Throw away all legal shit and tell from YOURS point of view, is it good or bad?


    1. Pretty simple, man. You can’t have liveries that look that similar to the real thing. Period. It’s probably not too smart to take real car designs and put them in the game, albeit under fictional names, either. They did that for all the F1 cars except the Fittipaldi (licensed) and the FExtreme (fictional design based on 2014). Reiza decided to roll the dice on that and, one way or another, got caught. That’s the reality. It’s not bullshit, it’s the law, and Reiza are in the wrong. They could have taken steps to avoid this kind of thing but chose not to do so. That doesn’t make them bad people, doesn’t mean it’s a bad game, but they did make a mistake and we’ll see how that plays out.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. “You can’t have liveries that look that similar to the real thing.”
        Well, this is example of plagued copyright bullshit. Whats next? Will they ban other sims, because they had cars with 4 open wheels and open cockpit, just like f1 has? Or cars with completely differeny liveries, but fom will find small circle or stripe, which is similar to f1 car liveries, and then ban them?
        This situation is a complete disaster, and that “likeness” thing can go absurdely far, becoming a reason to ban more and more games and mods. Thats what i wanted to say. I can’t understand why you justify them, there are no winners, only losers, and the most ones are you, simple gamers. In the end, instead of playing authentical mods, you will play nothing, or you’ll buy “official” f1 games of doubtful quality. So let people create and forget about all that crap.


        1. Are we seriously kidding ourselves?

          Reiza built six entire Formula One grids and basically removed primary sponsor logos in favor of Reiza and/or Cockpit Extreme decals.

          They also built a portion of the V8 Supercar field, Stadium Super Trucks, and even have a Porsche on the way. All under fake names, but every sim racer knows damn well what they’re doing.


      2. That’s not how the law is written. You don’t like it? Write to your government representatives and tell them to change something. I’m sure they’ll be very interested and act on your concerns immediately.

        Copyright exists for a reason. Creativity is great but you have to follow the rules, which means not infringing on the work and rights of others.


    2. FOM’s intervention was justified. Reiza should have pulled a Race07 and gone with completely fictional liveries based on popular sim racing brands. Instead they re-created entire Grand Prix fields and swapped out primary sponsors with the Reiza logo. Can’t do what they did on a retail product – especially when Formula One are known to chase after these sort of things.


  10. Ahh ok no login required, nice feature.

    All you guys crying about the FOM copyrights have ripped mods, cracked games, and pirate movies.

    Every fuckn one of you.


    1. So? We not are using ripped mods or cracked games for commercial purposes like Reiza is by selling their game for $40, which makes it whole nother thing.

      Liked by 2 people

  11. just admit it guys,

    you haven’t got a clue as to what this is all about.
    Even glancing over your “quotes” all that I can extract is that the Reiza-guys are in fact being very forthcoming and polite in handling the criticism and general rumour-mill surrounding this incident. Good on them.
    Probably the most over-inflated drama-bubble you have ever created on your blog. Which is unfortunate since I once thought you were trying to make this a place to share useful information and encourage factual discussions. I am having difficulty in seeing this kind of publications supporting such values.


    1. I don’t think suggesting an element of the community is responsible for Reiza getting hit with a copyright notice is a wise thing to do. The reality is, Renato has no idea; the copyright notice won’t tell him who reported it, only that FOM is making a claim. Why then does the guy go on a public message board after he gets hit with legal action? Why does he start speculating about that legal action? Does that seem like a levelheaded thing to you?

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Marek is the absolute right person to ask about this, though. He built the fictional MAREK brand LMP’s found in Project CARS.

      Essentially, he was in the same spot as Reiza – tasked with building a fictional set of cars based on the specs for a real life racing series. Marek succeeded and didn’t have anyone throwing C&D’s at him. Reiza failed and now their game has been pulled from Steam.


      1. That’s a different thing. LMP cars have way more open regulations and FIA (And ACO) are not as dicks as FOM. Still, the design created by Patrick is actually very similar to the LMP3 Ginetta and the first Audi R18.

        Marek LMP1

        Ginetta LMP3

        Marek LMP2

        Audi R18 LMP1

        Patrick can get away with it easily because skins are fictionals, but also because LMP regulations are very “forgiving”, which means that literally anyone can design and build a prototype both in a videogame or real life. Even I modelled my own LMP car few years ago.

        But that doesn’t change the fact that Reiza are acting like a bunch of dicks.


      2. Good point Anon. Nissan themselves showed how different you can get a LMP1. Meanwhile people in F1 are getting tired of the tight rules.


  12. “or just the guys chilling out in the comments section while taking a dump at work,” Hey leave me out of this. I’ll I have to say is, if ya want to play with the big boy’s. Bring the big buck’s. Other gaming company’s get a license for there content. If can’t make money doing it TFB.


  13. This isn’t much of a meltdown, as others have said this place (PRC) is pretty toxic due to it’s lack of moderation, and those above responses are the result of that, especially when it’s owner is more willing to bitch & moan in his corner of the web rather than help the genre overall. (In this case by not talking about it, and letting the big-boys fight their own battles.)

    I am somewhat surprised there was no mention of James/Austin’s banning from RD though, but then again that’d just be another ‘non-story’ to blog about.


  14. Well, you can always trust that a visit to PRC will remind you that people are fucking backstabbing rats.
    Yeah right, go on and collaborate with billion dollar companies to take the small man down, your rat master will be fucking proud. Bet he’d fucking sell his grandmother to the Nazis if a potential gain was involved.

    I’ll admit i’d love to meet you in person and hurt you, you know, like in the good old times when men did such things instead of shooting gay selfies from their white lady phones and putting them up as avatars, for example.
    Fucking hate rats.


  15. Could this really have been a tip-off from inside the community as has been suggested?

    Lets see some suspect people who have been notoriously active on the topic since this issue emerged…

    Firstly the blog owner – has already demonstrated willingness to become libelous by filing a bogus complaint to Indiegogo and having enough poor judgement to make an article about it to hurt Reiza’s reputation:

    Secondly – remember that crowdfunded v8 SCE mod which was never delivered, whose proponents actually ran away with the money (an actual scam) making false accusations against Reiza in the process? Well one of the guys responsible for that fiasco is busy giving a major display of hipocrisy and spreading the word about this elsewhere:

    Thirdly – an ex beta tester with a misplaced sense of importance, also unsurprisingly a subject of an article in these quarters after breaking his NDA? Suddenly has a lot to say about the topic at Racedepartment & various communities…

    These are a few very obviously suspect, who arent even bothering to be discreet.

    Now have these individuals been in verifiable infringement of some law or another? Yep

    Is it possible to track peoples activity on the web, here and elsewhere? Certainly. You have to be really naive to think posting as “anonymous” or under different alias will protect you.

    Has this blog already infringed a catalogue of privacy and libel laws, both in the articles as well as the unmoderated comment sections? U bet.

    Conclusion? U better tread carefully kiddos, as right now u are at the mercy of someone else’s willingness to drag your butts to court. If this aggravates, I suspect Reiza will have plenty of reason to spare some of their recently allocated legal budget to address the problem at the source.


    1. Well stated..
      I think Reiza will leave this stronger, they are getting a ton of publicity from this and I doubt the majority of simracers would be happy if Reiza lost this because it’s bad news for absolutely everyone.
      What I see is a single or a couble of man spaming the comment sessions around here, VR and now this P Cars forum.
      I don’t really get why people do this. What is the point of hating a sim so much? Even if their job would be good enough to make some people lose theirs in other studios they can just go and find another thing to do or improve what they are doing.
      I hope Reiza will stop being the good guys now and start some lawsuits 😀


    2. I saw this on PRC when james released the story on the 29/3 ? and then at RD after it was displayed there ? I put the thread up at pCARS on the 31st . Simply displaying what has been said. Its not hypocrisy if it was out before hand some 2-3 days, so it was old news by then LOL
      You will notice that all quotes are those of Reiza Studios 🙂


  16. I can remember this website linking to certain files that were not completely legal either…Someone care to dig that up?


      1. To James,

        That`s like saying ; No problems here your honor, i was just holding that bag of crystal meth for my friend over there, i wasn`t actually selling it.

        It`s both illegal, and if you`re going to be a white knight about stuff like this, it might be wise to clean out your own closet first, or keep your mouth shut at all. I bet that if somone really really wanted, they could sue your ass one way or another for linking ripped content like that.

        And that comment actually could be used to prove you were doing so. I thought you were smarter then that.

        I bet no company would go after you since you`re not as important as you think you are, but it might be a lesson for the future, the internet doesn`t forget and people will always find something on you…


  17. DLC claim is just a claim until either Reiza submits or claimant withdraws or court decides. This will drag on for a while because NOTHING has been decided other than Steam followed their own policy upon being notified by claimant.


  18. Difference is, we weren’t calling them “The Hungary Pretendschleife” and selling them inside a retail game for $40 on Steam

    No steam sales for Reiza now… your goal was accomplished.


      1. Ohh interesting,

        The polygon article that’s basically about prc’s coverage was on the front page of MSN today (not that I’m normally on msn). I was like wtf haha


  19. Glad that FOM took action on Reiza. Reiza can’t get away selling a game featuring F1 cars with liveries very similar to the ones in real life.


  20. So…

    – FOM didn’t take down anything on BATRacer, that was Ferrari, and only Ferrari.
    – Unlicensed Formula PretendToBe1’s is in every simracing game, including Stock Car Extreme – only AMS is down.
    – Renato said that the anger was misplaced – pointing towards someone else than FOM.

    But let’s not think about things that doesn’t support your view, eh? 🙂


    1. Renato implied someone tipped FOM off, rather than they found out about Automobilista on their own.

      Which is, you know, highly unlikely, considering they go after indie games as well.


    2. – FOM didn’t take down anything on BATRacer, that was Ferrari, and only Ferrari.

      Even if it was Ferrari (which is obiviously true, read the damn URLs/title James), FOM could go again against BATracer because after that incident they went to skirt the trademarks.

      Even the Team Wales liveries is also skirting trademarks as well; recent (2014?) ones have the similar sponsors Ferrari actually had.


  21. A wild theory appears. If the delisting is not because of F1 liveries, I have another factor: the title’s similarity with another racing game, Capcom’s Auto Modellista:


  22. Ive no horse in the race and always enjoy reading PRC, but ive looked pretty hard and can find no ‘meltdown’ nothing that even resembled a meltdown from this Renato guy ?
    Can anybody point me to the meltdown?


  23. Remember when Papyrus did this exact thing with GPL back in ’98? What a bunch of scum suckers, to charge $60 for intellectual theft. Let’s go after Kaemmer next, he’s the only one who hasn’t “melted down” yet. Hopefully we can band together to finally destroy the moral scourge known as “sim racing” and really make the world a better place.


  24. Renato said this in the Reiza forum earlier on Monday:

    “So just to give you all an update – we´ve received some constructive feedback from the party who raised the DMCA claim – while we´d prefer it to be more specific, it is enough for us to act on to ensure they are satisfied and the game is safe from further similar complaints.

    We hope the game will be reinstated as soon as we manage to complete these modifications.”​


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