Reader Submission #88 – The Senna Game

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Recent events within the sim racing scene have obviously shifted the focus onto Reiza Studios this week here at PRC.net, but today we’ve received a Reader Submission drawing attention to a title many virtual drivers may have forgotten about. Tyler W. from Australia has written to us regarding a sim the Brazilian developer first announced all the way back in 2011, and has suspiciously been abandoned. To coincide with the release of the Senna film, Reiza Studios had planned to make a mammoth racing simulator centered around the phenomenal auto racing career of Brazil’s greatest race car driver. It’s now April of 2016, and this game is nowhere to be found. What happened?


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Good day, PRC.net staff! I’ve seen you guys are posting a lot of stuff recently about Reiza Studios, and I know you don’t want to spam your readers with anti-Reiza stuff, but I found this to be interesting.

Back in 2013, when Codemasters’ F1 2013 landed on store shelves, there was a minor controversy. The Classic Content contained some stars of previous Grand Prix generations, such as Schumacher, Berger, Prost, Alesi, and Hill to name a few, but it failed to acknowledge arguably the greatest driver of all time: Ayrton Senna. Now there were a few reasons suggested as to why he wasn’t in the Codemasters title; one of them being that his name and likeness had already been licensed out to a game at the time – and I’m not talking about Gran Turismo.

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Reiza Studios announced in October of 2011 that they were, in conjunction with Senna’s foundation, would allow us to “virtually relive the Senna experience”, and that the project would see Reiza “combining a brand new game engine” with a “meticulous research process”to essentially re-create Ayrton Senna’s entire career within a racing simulator. So basically, at the same time the Senna documentary was made, Reiza said they were going to make a game that coincided with the film’s release. You watched Senna’s life, and then you got to play it. This sounded awesome considering the first iteration of Game Stock Car had just came out.

There’s just one little problem: The game was meant for release sometime towards the end of 2012. At the time of this reader submission, it’s now April 2016. That’s four years since the game was meant to be released, and five years since the title was formerly announced. In that time, Reiza has given one update. One lone update on a game carrying the name of one of the greatest race car drivers in history. And all they really said was “don’t worry guys, just because Gran Turismo has the license for his name, doesn’t mean we’ve stopped working on it! We have the rights for Senna content on the PC!”

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Sure, this all seems a bit insignificant now, but think about this: Getting licensing for the Ayrton Senna name can’t be cheap, and neither would be making an entirely new engine for said game. Oh, and I guess you can throw in the licensing for individual tracks and other vehicles into that mix as well. What’s to say that the whole reason Reiza now seemingly have no money is because they spent all of it trying to make the Senna game, which has never seen the light of day as far as I’m concerned. Is the whole reason they’re using isiMotor to power their titles due to the fact that they’re “waiting for the new engine to be completed”, although it seemingly never will be? Now they are 100% focused on Automobilista and Reiza 2017.

There are probably more things to come out of it as well that I’m not thinking of, but one thing I do know, is that it’s pretty sad the team behind Angry Birds have released a racing game featuring Ayrton Senna in it, while Reiza are still yet to complete the Senna game.

Thanks for reading, hopefully you found this interesting enough to post on PRC.net.


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This is actually a very valid question to ask? What did happen to this game, and more importantly, why aren’t people asking questions about it.? We can obviously sit here and dissect the type of content Reiza Studios are selling us – and whether what they’re doing is legal – but at the end of the day, most of their commercial releases have been worth the purchase, and a hardcore PC racing simulator centered around 1980’s Grand Prix racing would have been pretty sweet. Now admittedly I’m not any kind of Formula One fan, but on paper this sounds like the next Grand Prix Legends – faster cars, better graphics, designed to run on modern hardware, and compatible with a plethora of sim racing peripherals. While Grand Prix Legends was a virtual time capsule back to the Jim Clark era, the Reiza title would have served as an interactive storybook; retelling the epic Senna vs. Prost battles that Formula E can only dream of producing.

But what I find most interesting about the whole ordeal is buried deep within the fine print of the articles linked above. In 2011, Reiza were able to announce that they were building a brand new game engine, and supposedly had the financial stability to work hand-in-hand with the Senna Foundation to deliver a product that sounded pretty damn cool on paper. In 2016, this game doesn’t exist, they are relying on crowdfunding campaigns to fuel development, and they’ve announced a long-term commitment to the dated isiMotor engine. Look, I get that plans change and shit sometimes goes haywire, but the initial plans compared to the eventual outcome are polar opposites. These guys went from announcing a huge Senna simulator, to re-releasing rFactor with a more polished set of default content, over and over again.

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As one of our resident trolls have pointed out, they’ve released a stand-alone rFactor mod something like five times in a row. Meanwhile, the Senna game just sort of evaporated, and there’s never been a definitive answer as to where that project went. Even the larger sim racing news sites who happily ran press releases from Reiza announcing the title, have failed to do their job and question why this isn’t in our hands yet. How do you go from these mammoth plans and a deal with one of the greatest race car drivers ever, to churning out rFactor with better default content on a yearly basis – in some instances simply changing the name to generate additional interest. Meanwhile, there’s a goddamn Angry Birds Kart Racing game featuring Ayrton Senna. How did this happen?

I’ll let our readers jump to conclusions on this one.

 

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44 thoughts on “Reader Submission #88 – The Senna Game

      1. Reiza are glorified modders and plugin kiddies, don’t expect much from them. I feel sorry for the people who fell for this scam.

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  1. Seriously? They confirmed ages ago that their Senna game developed way beyond the original idea, and became what will be Reiza ’17.

    “RD: Any news or details on that rumored Senna game?

    Reiza: Can’t share much yet, but there will be a lot more info about it before the end of the year. One thing I could advance is that while Ayrton Senna will certainly be part of our next project, its scope has probably become too broad now to call it “the Senna game”.”

    This is from the interview here ( http://www.racedepartment.com/threads/interview-reiza-studios-unveils-its-crowdfunding-plans.107722/ ) from June last year, I found it on the first page of google after searching “Reiza Studios Senna Game”.

    Appalling journalism, guys…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. While i like that you have proof to back up your claim and its true that it was said. Why do we just stop there? Why not ask what happen to the game that featured quote unquote “an F1 Legend” name and was supposed to be a direct F1 game that was going to immitate 80s and early-mid 90s F1?

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      1. To me it sounds like he’s saying that Reiza ’17 is what the Senna game used to be, so it will contain all the Senna related content.

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      2. I see what you mean James does have that bit confusing but if you simplify it he really just wants to have the reader understand that Reiza has been playing a very shady game. Now does that translate into a company that cant make a good sim? No. What it does is show you that developers shouldnt be overly trusted when they dont keep their word or in this case they tend to renig on projects and never bring them up again…

        Liked by 1 person

      3. reiza guys hasn’t exactly proven themselves as innovators in any way, so i suppose a brand new engine was a bit too much for them to handle.

        damnit i regret backing them, ams=gsce=gsc2013=gsc2012. sucks that they can’t push the genre forward at all.

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      4. “What it does is show you that developers shouldnt be overly trusted when they dont keep their word”

        WTF is this? They said they were developing something and looking to release it. They never released it. Oh no, like so many other devs they had a project that didn’t work out as originally planned. That’s not lying, that’s not failig to live up to promises, its simply he way the world works.

        Meanwhile with their actual promises to players, such as the content of a crowdfunding campaign, they’ve been nothing but trustworthy. Easily the most trusted devs by simmers right now I’d wager, far better than PCars fans feel.

        Meanwhile this article acts like the game disappeared but anyone even half awake on RD knows that its’ been discussed a number of times and most AMS owners who care know that its going to be Reiza 17. This blog has shocking lack of knowledge, even for a tabloid.

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    2. So questioning why a game slated for 2012 featuring THE Senna name has taken so long with no real big updates or announcements (that was a single question in a large Q and A with a short answer) is considered bad journalism? And with Reiza’s recent rumours of money trouble and the fact the proceeds from the Senna game were going to have a portion go off to the Ayrton Senna Institute, how do we know Senna is going to be in the game in the way they’re talking?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. ” is considered bad journalism?”

        By posing questions as the entire basis of this article in the tone they are entirely because of a perceived lack of information that could be retrieved by a quick google search, yes we’re looking at bad journalism.

        This is a common pattern. This same site misidentified Reiza’s modern F1 style car as a 2016 McLaren when its been around since 2014 and you could identify that fact by looking for the release notes on RaceDepartment.

        Basically the authors here do not research anything. They only check their own preexisting knowledge and assume that’s all there is to know.

        “recent rumours of money trouble”

        Created by this very blog based on absolutely no actual facts

        “how do we know Senna is going to be in the game in the way they’re talking?”

        Because they have said the game has grown beyond just being the Senna game, not that the game has changed to exclude Senna.

        Reading comprehension around here appears to be focused around deliberately taking the most controversial interpretation possible from anything.

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    3. Again, typing this out for the third time:

      In 2011, they announced an officially licensed Senna simulator complete with a brand new game engine.

      It’s 2016, the Senna game is nowhere to be found, and they’ve instead released five titles powered by the isiMotor engine – a sixth will be on the way in 2017.

      Why the drastic change of plans? How does Angry Birds get Ayrton Senna before the official simulator?

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    4. No, Reiza 2017 is not what the Senna game will be. Reiza disclosed AMS as the rebranding of GSC with their next title being AMS2. They probably haven’t the slightest clue how to design the Senna game, tbh. That said, there is a bit of a reach in this article and the other about copyright, where a claimant can make any claims he desires not meaning they stand up in court. There are dozens or hundreds of daily items that compete sharing likeness, fyi.

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  2. It’s been obvious that a lot of the content developed for the Stock Car/AMS series was Senna related, why the fuck do you think they did an MP4/4 knockoff, a 90s F1 car (albeit, modeled on the 412T2 rather than MP4/6) and those 80s and 90s F1 tracks?

    The moving target development in public thing that is pervasive across the genre is annoying though.

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    1. I agree, very incompetent person with personality issues such as rudeness, blaming others for his own faults etc. I must laugh when people claims Reiza has more mature fan base than others but in fact they are all same others has just many times more customers but fanboysm is the same. Just say something negative and you will see the band of assholes.

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  3. This really is a ridiculous level of spam in the comments now.

    For real though, they said what’s going to happen with the senna title and have clearly utilized some senna assets in gsce and ams.

    If this was a crowdfunded project (the senna title specifically), I would have a problem with the long wait. Otherwise, consolidating separate projects into a single title is better for us.

    You really want to buy a senna specific title, or ask for more DLC? No.

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  4. *Release Senna game years ago*
    PRC: OMG!! it’s a damn mod for rFactor, how can you release a game for the greatest driver of all time being only a mod for rFactor

    *Wait longer till you have more experience and know you can do better and tell people the project is now bigger than just a Senna game*
    PRC (or a “user”): OMG!!! Why didn’t they release it yet???? Are they trolling us? Bunch of liars!!!

    You are such a depressed person man, this has cure, look for a psychiatrist

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    1. Think you missed the point of both the submission AND the response.

      In 2011, they announced a massive Senna simulation, complete with an all-new game engine. Clearly this would be much more than just an rFactor mod, so your point is moot.

      It’s 2016, and we have yet to see the Senna game. Instead, they’ve released five titles on the isiMotor engine, with a sixth planned for 2017.

      That’s a pretty drastic departure from their initial plans.

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    1. I’m amazed that you’ve posted multiple comments on this one submission which has a legitimate question. I don’t think you’ve been reading properly so I’ll do James a favour and I’ll even make it in capitals so you can read better:

      REIZA STUDIOS ANNOUNCED A SENNA GAME IN 2011 THAT WOULD BE RELEASED IN 2012 WITH A NEW GAME ENGINE. IT’S NOW 2016 AND THE GAME HAS NOT APPEARED AND THE SUPPOSED NEW GAME ENGINE IS NO WHERE TO BE SEEN.

      So what if Ayrton Senna is in Reiza 17? That proves the point of the article. Why has the Senna game gone from being the main centre piece of his own game with his own engine to being just a mode GT6 style in a isiMotor game? I love Reiza’s games but all that was asked is why the original idea, which was pretty much a huge money maker for Reiza, has changed or been abandoned?

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  5. I suspect the original plan for the Senna game was to do something like Gran Turismo – license cars from teams and so on without talking to the series they ran in, because there’s no way they’d ever be able to get an F1 license at an affordable price. Now that FOM is being a lot more aggressive than they used to be in enforcing their copyrights (whether legally correct or not, Reiza can’t afford to go toe-to-toe with them in court), that plan may not be possible anymore.

    Like

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