A story I originally didn’t believe to be big enough to report on, PRC.net reader Ben C. has sent us a Reader Submission addressing the elephant in the room on this Friday afternoon. Kylotonn Games, creators of Motorcycle Club and the notoriously terrible WRC 5 have announced they’ve secured the rights to develop an Isle of Man simulator, set to be released at some point during the 2017 calendar year. Motorcycle Club boasts a Metacritic rating of 26, while WRC 5 fares slightly better at 62, though neither game warrants a spot in the library of any avid sim racer, and with critical reception this poor,
juan one must wonder how Kylotonn were able to secure an exclusive license such as this one.
James, your lamentations about shoddy developers being handed lucrative or interesting licenses continues. This time, it’s occurring in the under-represented genre of motorbike simulators. Last year’s RIDE was a typical milestone mess through and through – painfully average and laden with bugs that will never be addressed. MotoGP has been suffering the same fate under them for years as well. It seems that, in a painfully familiar way, we have to go all the way back to Polyphony’s Tourist Trophy, released for the PlayStation 2 almost a decade ago to find a decent offering in the genre.
Now comes another example. Kylotonn games, purveyors of the utter garbage WRC 5 and Motorcycle Club – both of which have already been thankfully forgotten and relegated to bargain bins/landfills everywhere –have for some reason been given the rights to make a licensed game based on the Isle of Man TT race, one of the most well-known motorsports events in the world, coming out next year on Xbone, PS4 and PC.
I suspect this is another case of lowest-bidder licensing deals made by organizations who have little to no idea about games, and believe that any game will be good and make money. I think I know the answer to this question already, but do the people in charge of these decisions not look at the pedigree and caliber of those they give these rights too? Do they not give a shit about letting their name and reputation be dragged through the mud?
I’m going to throw everyone off and play devil’s advocate for a few minutes here. What we’re experiencing in seeing all of these awful shovelware titles like WRC 5 and NASCAR 15 thrown at us, are little more than growing pains. The world of auto racing is slowly learning about the difficulties in creating a good video game, in the exact same manner that they learned about Hollywood over a decade ago.
Remember that weird push to mix the film industry with big-time auto racing? Didn’t work so well in the beginning. Adding a pinch of Tom Cruise to early 1990’s NASCAR resulted in a pitiful Top Gun spoof that is nowhere near as good as the famous quotes make it out to be – and the real driver the story was inspired by lived a much more interesting life. Crossing CART with Sylvester Stalone may have promised to give American Open-Wheel racing a much needed boost in popularity after the split between CART and the IRL served to confuse fans, but the end product was a bit of a mess. And don’t even get me started on that Will Ferrell movie – you know, that one. You had NASCAR trying to move away from the redneck stereotype, while simultaneously marketing themselves to an international audience by putting a helmet on the guy from Anchorman, and telling him to run around in his undies under the lights at Charlotte.
But then, it got better. Those in charge of bringing auto racing to the big screen realized that cultural marxist garbage didn’t work when real-world races were on average more compelling than any bullshit Hollywood action sequences, and as a result they completely revamped their approach. While those who have ran far too many virtual laps around Brands Hatch could occasionally point out when substitute locations were used during certain action scenes, Rush was awesome. As was Dust to Glory, Senna, and Snake & Mongoose.
I think the same thing will happen in regards to the video game experience. It may take a few entries, but eventually you’ll see someone from the WRC or Isle of Man look at how their official product has been received critically, and put their foot down sooner rather than later. Attributing the excessive list of bad reviews to “sexist pigs who want to vilify and harass women” may work to some extent in other genres, but certainly not here. Realistically, we’re going to get to a point in the future where the nephew of the marketing director says “Uncle Mohammed, the new WRC game is brutal and barely even works” – and in turn that will spark the change everybody is looking for.
As for now, yeah, I guess another shitty developer weaseled their way into an exclusive contract. I weep for sim racing and hardcore motorcycle enthusiasts everywhere… etc…