Do I seriously have to jump ship from Team Penske?
That would be the question I’m asking myself today, as a press release from Dusenberry Martin Racing has arrived in my inbox detailing the team’s recent acquisition of exactly $8,000,000 in additional funding, which will be used to help develop the upcoming NASCAR 16 and future titles for the Playstation 4, Xbox One, and PC. PlayFast Games LLC, a Charlotte-based investor group, have been named as one of many entities which have contributed to the financial needs of Dusenberry Martin Racing, though the two particular names mentioned as part of PlayFast are a cause for concern:
2012 Sprint Cup Champion Brad Keselowski, and 2015 Daytona 500 winner Joey Logano, are both said to be involved within the development of all future NASCAR titles for Dusenberry Martin Racing. Their involvement in the creation of an officially licensed title makes perfect sense on the outset – Brad Keselowski has not been shy about his love of NASCAR Racing 2003 by Papyrus on several occasions – though the string of poor efforts by The Artist Formerly Known as Eutechnyx have suffered more flaws than mere input from the pros can fix. Insider info provided to us by a special source over in the United Kingdom notes that Eutechnyx literally didn’t care about these games; an ideology that clearly reflected in both the critical and user reception of the previous five titles.
Dusenberry Martin Racing is said to have inherited all assets and an undisclosed number of staff members from the Eutechnyx series of NASCAR offerings, indicating the help of Logano and Keselowski – both avid sim racers with valuable feedback – will do little to improve the final product when it hits store shelves later this year. When five straight games were released in a state slightly above shovelware quality, I genuinely wonder how two extremely talented race car drivers and veteran sim racers signed on for a project like this. Either they did little to no research about the current abysmal state of NASCAR video games, or Keselowski has taken the same approach he has with the sanctioning body itself – busting his ass to make a tangible difference.
I’d obviously like to be proven wrong, and have a killer NASCAR title which captured the undeniable magic of the EA Sports efforts from a decade ago, but our review of NASCAR 15 published in may of 2015 indicates Dusenberry Martin have a challenging task ahead of them if they want to win over the hardcore American Stock Car audience. Filled to the brim with technical bugs, gameplay gremlins, and a long list of inaccuracies, NASCAR 15 was the fifth officially licensed NASCAR title in as many years to send fans into a fury, demanding NASCAR to give the license to somebody – anybody – as long as it meant that Eutechnyx were no longer making these games.
Only time will tell how this all plays out. Optimism is certainly not a theme with our articles concerning modern NASCAR video games, but hopefully Dusenberry Martin will take note of the criticism Eutechnyx have received since their reign over the official NASCAR license began in 2011, and provide us with a product that will be the catalyst of many sleepless nights spent clutching our plastic steering wheels.