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?
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.
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!”
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.
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.
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.