Why There’s No Alternative to iRacing

ams-2016-10-15-10-27-05-51This one might cause problems within the community, but then again there’s no better way to start the weekend here at PRC.net.

Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past eight years, or are just getting into sim racing beyond the mass-market titles such as Gran Turismo or Forza, you’ve probably had a nagging question on your mind that your fellow sim racers have all failed to answer: why is iRacing the only option on the market for structured online events? Sure, isiMotor titles may feature an objectively superior set of physics, and in terms of popularity there certainly seems to be a large group of dedicated users indulging in what Assetto Corsa has to offer, yet after eight years of monopolizing the online racing landscape, nobody else has has even bothered to try the iRacing approach of throwing out all single player elements, and focusing solely on building a highly competitive online career.

From an uninformed perspective, you’d have every right to believe that the rest of the developers in the genre were all genuine retards for not embarking upon this path. Here you have a single company exploding in popularity and reeling in enormous sales for capitalizing on something that’s become much more than a passing trend despite their underlying physics engine not being very good, and somehow everybody else in the genre is still stuck in 2007, continuing to re-release their own renditions of rFactor and Race 07 with slightly different variations of content included within the base package.

It’s a real head-scratcher of a situation. Rival developers are able to acquire licenses for Ferrari, McLaren, Lamborghini, and even Porsche based on sheer sales figures alone, yet the giant corporate entity dominating sim racing by focusing on nothing but competitive online events has not appeared to even be a blip on the radar for other teams in the genre, with nobody stopping to say “maybe this is something we should look into.” Truth be told, unless you have invested in iRacing, you have been purchasing the exact same racing simulators for an entire decade. In 2008, you most likely picked up GTR Evolution alongside Race 07 for a jack-of-all-trades simulator featuring many GT-spec cars, and a plethora of random tracks from across the globe. And in 2015, you without a doubt purchased Project CARS, again a jack-of-all-trades simulator inspired by the same physics engine powering Race 07, bundling a variety of tracks with several modern GT-spec entries and a whole bunch of other random vehicles – like the Radical SR8 that was also in Race 07.

Regardless of what title you purchase, online racing is more or less dead aside from private leagues. Offline racing is unsatisfactory due to an artificial intelligence that just doesn’t quite cope the complexity of modern physics engines. The sad reality is that if you’re sim racing on a budget, there is nothing to be lost if you’re forced to pick up Race 07 over Project CARS, Assetto Corsa, or Automobilista if the decision comes down to your personal finances. Meanwhile, iRacing has been on the market since 2008, and is reeling in more new users than ever before. In fact, one of iRacing’s least popular cars, the 1978 Lotus 79 Grand Prix entry once piloted by Mario Andretti, has seen more unique drivers over the past month than Automobilista has ever had simultaneous active players since graduating out of Steam’s Early Access platform. Even the average sim racers are now starting to clue in that this is kind of odd.

reddit-threadWe have now been made aware of the exact reason complaints like the one you see above on Reddit have become commonplace. The reality is that developers have actively been trying to create a legitimate alternative to the iRacing experience because they know they could offer something better at a fraction of the cost; the people who have the knowledge and talent to do so, continue to reject the offers developers have made.

As many of you have probably discovered by now, a whole host of users have took it upon themselves to re-create the iRacing experience of structured, competitive online events within other modern racing simulators, indicating that building a system similar to the iRacing service isn’t the insurmountable task it is believed to be. Sim Racing System by Sim Racing Portugal have done a rather phenomenal job implementing this format into Assetto Corsa via the use of an in-game app that seamlessly integrates the program into the main menu of the game, while Tim MacArthur’s Race2Play has opted for a traditional web-browser format that will make iRacing members feel instantly at home. Once again, I stress that both services function extremely well, immediately rejecting the belief that creating an application similar to iRacing isn’t a task only made possible by the brightest team in the industry, but rather by anyone who puts their mind to it.

ams-2016-10-15-10-26-18-07As a disclaimer, I have to state that we here at PretendRaceCars.net are sponsored by Race2Play (if you haven’t noticed already), and the amount we receive from them on a monthly basis more or less covers a Netflix subscription for both Dustin and Sev. The relationship came about after I experimented with the online racing hub earlier this year, discovering that the entire operation was in some aspects better than iRacing, though I would have liked for a the races themselves to have substantially bigger turnouts. Now with this relationship, obviously it means Mr. MacArthur and I have discussed a bit about Race2Play’s past when bullshitting back and forth over email, and with his blessing he has allowed me to share this piece of information with the community – which has been copied directly from Gmail and then cleaned up grammatically. This is the reason you do not see an alternative to iRacing on the market.

We have talked with all developers over the eleven years Race2Play has been in operation. All have wanted a part of Race2Play built into their products by default, but not necessarily talked about purchasing outright purchasing Race2Play. It was SimRaceway’s parent company, Ignite SG, that we talked with for four months regarding purchasing R2P in 2009. In the end, when we declined the offers, they went on and purchased rFactorCentral.

Back in 2005, we were in talks with Image Space Incorporated about licensing for our own sim. But the reality was that we are two guys operating on our own finances, and with no investors – just how we wanted it. We built everything from scratch, and we partnered with the National Auto Sport Association back then. We did really well for ourselves considering what sim-racing was before Race2Play – just avg-Joe leagues lucky to have 30 drivers with once-a-week race schedules. Everyone thought we would fail, but we only grew. By 2009, we were the only profitable company in sim racing, with even Image Space Incorporated being hit hard financially. SimRaceway had offered to buy us out at this time. We turned down the $740,000 offer and kept R2P as it was. Sim Raceway was doomed from day one. Their business model was massively unrealistic. Race2Play continued to grow, and by 2012 we had peaked. The era stretching from 2009 to 2012 were huge years for us.

Still, neither of us want to create a sim. We like the low-overhead business that Race2Play is today. We operate at an 85% profit margin and still have many paying members. We started this business model in sim-racing – or at least are the first ones to be successful at it – and now all the developers are getting their fingers into the pay-to-race business to one degree or another. Their problem – as you pointed out recently – is that they can only support their own sim. Race2Play can support all, and it is why we are still here ten years later.

There you have it. That is why there is no iRacing competitor. The online entity that is objectively the most prepared to assist a developer in creating a proper alternative to iRacing, simply don’t want to.

ams-2016-10-15-10-20-36-12There are some massive revelations in the information above, and I’ll list them in bullet points to ensure y’all can process them properly.

  • Image Space Incorporated could have potentially taken a different course for the original rFactor; rather than the game being an open modding platform for sim racers who love frequent trips to Megaupload and fucking around with INI files, it could have been iRacing before iRacing even secured funding for their project. Had this timeline progressed, rFactor Online would have secured the road racing side of the community, whereas iRacing would be free to expand upon the discipline of oval racing and refine the beauty of NASCAR Racing 2003 Season for an online environment.
  • SimRaceway could have been extremely successful had R2P taken the $740,000 from Ignite. It’s not like the isiMotor engine is fundamentally flawed, and everyone is in unanimous agreement that Stuart Cowie created some absolutely gorgeous tracks for SRW; a cohesive push to be an alternative to iRacing from the title’s inception, rather than this bizarre free-to-play rFactor where some cars cost almost a hundred dollars, would have been a major game changer.
  • Developers aren’t completely retarded. They are fully aware that iRacing is only as big as they are due to the fact that nobody’s tried to make something better. Sim racing developers want to dethrone iRacing, but the guys who would help make that possible, won’t play ball.

Question officially answered. You now know why iRacing is the only racing simulator out there that offers built-in competitive and structured online play.



105 thoughts on “Why There’s No Alternative to iRacing

    1. This. If ISI had set out to do iRacing it would still be in beta, lol. Simraceway would haved nickeled and dimed people worse than what iRacing does.

      That said, I do like the Virtual Xperience Portal in AMS; it’s a first step. And Simracing systems AC servers get decent grids in the evenings at for GMT timezones. I also signed up for a Formula Vee race on Race2Play just now. Thanks for reminding me this exists.

      I also have a feeling Sev will have to pay for his Netflix from now on.


  1. If Sector3 wanted to dethrone iRacing, they would only need to copy the iRacing racing structure while showcasing two or three series every fortnight, while providing all the content for the subscription price. They kinda do that with the competitions already.
    Everyone would have access to the cars and tracks that are used in that fortnight’s events, and obviously participation would be very good. You wouldn’t have these cliques that render 80% of the content obsolete due to poor participation.
    Better physics, better FFB, better graphics, better sounds, more complete series, all the content included in the price of the subscription. Of course, their licences probably don’t cover any of that right now, but they should consider it in the future.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Sector3 is in a perfect position to be an iRacing competitor. They already have all the infrastructure and back end required to do so, they just don’t want to. It’s so frustrating.


    1. You’re underestimating customers and iracing with that foolish argument. The ones constantly complaining about sim racing, about the community, the games, are typically the ones who keep labeling other people and having a very narrow mind.


            1. Because this fanboys, haters, shills, army of any is a completely ridiculous talk and no one can win here or be right.
              So is just useless and intentional provocation because you can’t rationally talk with someone that has that kind of speech, any arguments you present to explain they aren’t fanboys or haters will be replied back with yes they are fanboys or haters or shills. Is a senseless talk. Instead of actually playing the games you like, you got talking bad about other games or those game’s communities. Parts of the sim racing community have to grow up in several aspects.


  2. I do recall an interview with some Codemasters dev and he said that F1 teams have very powerful computers for their (Very expensive as-well) simulators (rFactor Pro I guess) basically they use multi core pc’s on each of the four tires, plus a separate pc’s for vehicle dynamics, aerodynamics, and engine mapping. this pretty much relates with what Tim Wheatley (rFactor) once said that simulation requires huge amounts of computing power, considering all the above then your fave “sim” is nothing more than a very basic interpretation of the real thing. who knows, maybe in 10-20 years from now we’ll have that processing power in our homes.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Not sure what to feel and think. What “average joe” turns down $740k? I know I wouldn’t.

    Second- The real reason iRacing thrives is simply oval racing. Nobody else has made any real effort outside of shitty console Nascar ports.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I don’t think it was about the $740K. My best guess is that R2P caught onto SRW’s alleged shady antics and nope’d the fuck out of there because they saw potential legal trouble brewing.

      Then again, if it was indeed just a complete buy-out where Tim and his buddy could walk away with 360K each from some web app they created in their spare time, I’m definitely left asking questions.

      And that’s just one company trying to make a deal. Apparently everyone’s knocked on their door, so I don’t really want to fathom what was on the drawing board for more competent devs that eventually fell through.


      1. Are you arguing that R2P’s supposed refusal to work with various devs the reason iRacing’s online infrastructure has never been repeated/bettered?

        Regardless, I think you’re ignoring the development costs associated with its creation.

        I’ve heard iRacing spent anywhere from $8-20M before receiving a nickel in subscription fees, and only became profitable in the last few years.


        1. Just a heads up that if you own R3E and race in the [RR] servers, your statistics are being tracked for use in a future… um… update…

          iRacing literally needed to restart their company, re-hire everybody, find a new office, acquire licenses for content… basically create a new studio from scratch. If random fucking dudes can make this all work several times over to the point where there are competing organization apps, it obviously isn’t difficult.


          1. James, you are confusing/conflating creating a MP app with the core simulation, iRacing did both, R2P only created the front end MP app and used off the shelf sims. They have no control over the content. They can utilize mods, but then users have to install then on their side on their own. R2P is dying, turnout is way down, they are eliminating guest entrants. I personally was a supporter and have never joined iR because of their actions on NR2003 mods, but Tim was/is an ass as far as his moderating and officiating, he lets his personal feelings get in the way of judging incidents…..and I would not be surprised if I’m not the only one who experienced this.
            R2P has not invested in making the website better, the pages, the layout is horribly dated, especially the calendar/schedule page…which is inexcusable in light of an “85% profit margin”. They got complacent, they got lazy, they did not engage the sim community intelligently (Tim was BANNED from NoGrip forums, how stupid!), they dropped their offers for free sim software with membership/upgrades….they stagnated, and the result is a slow death. No one is going to buy them for high 6 figures now, that window has closed. I’m sad about it because of what it could have been, but they blew it.


  4. I think before ISI or Kunos aim for iRacing, they should at least try to get to the level of basic functionality that Nascar 2003 had in terms of their lobby and ranking systems.


    1. No. They should aim for what is good today and in to the future.
      But maybe those lobbies and ranking systems are still used today, could you explain your ideas to see if they would fall right in today’s sims and audience?


      1. How about a master server with public lobbies, user accounts with incident and performance rankings, the ability to view/filter/sort servers by every parameter imaginable including rating/ranking requirements all done in a user interface that doesn’t make you vomit in your mouth.


  5. I suppose the other developers don’t really need any reason to not challenge iRacing other than that isn’t the direction in which they want to take their products. As long as they sell a lot of copies, they don’t care. In reality, they likely don’t want to deal with building the infrastructure to make that happen. Just because the big names in sim racing today haven’t made a strong push to dethrone iRacing doesn’t mean someone else won’t in the future.

    I have to say, though, turning down three quarters of a million dollars? Yikes. SRW turned out to be shit but that wasn’t a foregone conclusion at the time, and even if it was doomed to fail, I’d still take the money. I’d be shocked if these guys have made anywhere close to that with R2P on their own.


    1. The fact that all major players in the sim racing genre actively approached R2P at one point or another means they certainly are interested in building an iRacing killer.


      1. Approaching R2P could have just been testing the waters. I mean, how serious were those negotiations, aside from the ones with SRW? I don’t necessarily see that as an indication that the devs are actively pursuing a means of competing with iRacing. They might be interested, but there are obstacles that have likely put them off the idea. Otherwise, you’d think they could come up with an alternative to integrating R2P into their game.


        1. Approached them, found out it would cost somewhere over $750k to include, said “our total game budget to add 40 cars is $150k” and dropped the concept, I figure.


  6. Sorry but I call bs,there’s another reason behind why they haven’t done this yet.
    As you say it’s not that hard on the grand scheme of things to create an online structured server group,he’ll most games already use that.

    I wouldn’t be suprised if they were scared of some kind of lawsuit from iracing.
    Pls discuss while I stir my pot.


    1. They don’t do it because iRacing is horrendously unprofitable and required a massive capital investment. It lost money for like 7 straight years, barely broke into the black by shitting out broken GT cars, then raised prices.


  7. I call BS.
    750K would outright pay for a sever farm and infrastructure. Or damn near. And spending significantly more than that not a problem for PD or Turn10 or CM.
    Next speculative off target article please.
    Iracings has no rival because cliques and clique racing is where most gamers live. People want to control the environment they participate in and leagues provide that.
    Iracings is for the top 10% that are talented enough and have the true competitive chops to compete.
    The rest get to play in make believe leagues with a hand full of their closest buddies. And whatever fish//noobs they can reel in

    League racing sucks and is not a truly competitive environment. Which is what most gamers want.
    Everyone wants to be a winner or on the podium at least. League racing provides them the chance to dictate that. Instead of earn it playing under a sanctioning body that isn’t them.
    When are you going to write about the BS that is clique/league racing?

    I highly recommend Vroom racing as a great example of that kind of garbage, but they are all the same.


    1. I don’t think dissing leagues in general like that is fair because there is different kinds of leagues.

      Some are very competitive, some aren’t. Some are run by cronies, some aren’t. So you do have to find one that suits your taste. That can be tedious, I know.


      1. If it’s just shitbait then he’s good at what he does and deserves some credit. If he thinks he’s some sort of journalist posting crap like this then he’s fucking retarded.


  8. Stefano from Kunos said, they don´t want AC to be an iRacing-competitor, even SRS is working like a beauty, the point system making much more sense than in iRacing, but just not enough people for full grids. It´s so ridiculous, but that´s what i suggested: ask for donation to pay for promotion. Even ISR.tv will promote it if you pay them. Promotion just pays off and many people working in this business like me. Without it you can have the most innovative product in the world, but nobody takes attention.


    1. Yeah how bout we back up for a second and remember that Stefano doesn’t even want multiple light sources in AC so of course a project like organized online racing he’ll make excuses as to why its not worth their time.


      1. He doesn’t online leaderboards either, and this is coming from 2014. He said that in his company he doesn’t have devs that like or can commit to this kind of services. At least he’s being honest with the things he know they won’t do or don’t like to do. Doesn’t mean in a future game they don’t find other way or other type of similar thing to do, be it online leaderboards or scheduled racing system.

        You write like sim devs owns us every feature and every system. There is a reason why Kunos opened the game to allow modding to make online leaderboards, scheduled racing system, apps, cars, tracks, etc. because they know people always have different ideas and desires, so they let people create those for the game and for everyone else. But you.. devs must do everything, they must spend all the money and man power on everything. Otherwise I’m gonna write bad things of them in a blog.

        About multiple lights source, he doesn’t want them because in the early development process of the game he didn’t see worth to make rain and night system since enough player base wasn’t there for it. He wasn’t wrong back then, more so when he had to take examples of his past game, netkar pro. Just that AC turned in to a different kind of beast compared to nkpro. So perhaps for a new AC it can be justified such game functionalities.


        1. Nice comment, “Anonymous” and same opinion here. Kunos will release 1.9 soon and 2.0 will probably not be a free update. By the end of the decade, probably earlier we get, what we need. People like “James” think, that everything is for granted, what´s very stupid.


  9. I appreciate being able to read the information in the article, because I think this is exactly the kind of stuff we would never know about if it weren’t for PRC.

    That said…I think this falls well short of being “the reason there isn’t an iRacing competitor”. It definitely highlights some contributing factors, but I don’t see any of this as being an absolute roadblock to a determined/competent dev shop creating an iRacing competitor.

    I think a lot of this comes down to, whether you love iRacing, hate it, or fall somewhere in between (I’m firmly in the last category, myself), you have to tip your cap to David Kaemmer. He is a very clever dude and a savvy businessman. He saw an opportunity, made a plan, and then went out and executed (all of which is far easier said then done).


    1. The iRacing concept is dumb. They increased the subscription-prices to 110% this year (or 110$), lowered the savings for multiple-purchases and still have the “same price for all” policy, which is just not affordable for most people living in countries without a dollar-press. Steam-Game-Prices are staggered to the average income of an economy and iRacing with it´s strict Full-Name-User-Accounts could do the same, but they are just dumb.


    2. “I think this is exactly the kind of stuff we would never know about if it weren’t for PRC”.

      Stating some wacky opinion as fact in an assertive manner is not the same as knowing about stuff!


  10. I seriously fail to grasp what your problem is, so called “simracers”… If you want to race online, just go and race instead of running your mouth. As long as there is at least some basic connectivity implemented in a sim, you should be perfectly fine. It just looks like you are making excuses no to.
    I personally am happy ISI didn’t go for an iRacing clone. Last thing I need is them being focused on how to please the MP crowd instead of working on the physics side of things.


      1. Then why other sim developers even bother with adding MP at all? They could invest more resources into improving the physics and the AI instead. Some come to quite lengths with it even. Is what S3S has to offer still very poor and outdated? Or maybe the problem is R3E isn’t good enough for doing flashmobs instead of racing? As it appears to me, as long as you have at least one other fellow racer connected, you can have a race. But no, “simracers” need a hundred. Plus all the far-fetched “flags”, “strategies”, “pitstops”. I think this kind of people should really just ditch their computers and go race for real just as James suggested. Please leave simulators to those of us mostly interested in the simulation itself rather than in finding out who’s the top dog on the track.
        Multiplayer can only be good in a LAN session anyway at these kinds of speeds and spacing between the cars. There is also the concern of cheating too.


          1. But is not an arcade game simulating racing. Is a simulation game simulating racing. So there’s the difference, first of all we are here for the simulation of the cars and tracks, then for the game. But since is important to attract many people to sell your products more, you need more than simulation, more of everything really but not too complicated and unfriendly.

            Liked by 1 person

          2. It’s SIMracing. If the “racing” part was the most important here, you could just skip the “sim” part and go race whatever provides the best MP environment for you. Basically, it would be an MMO with cars.
            Why it’s not called simdriving is because it just sounds “uncool”. Even though you don’t necessarily have to drive either slow or around an empty track. But the core of the package here is the simulation. It can lack multiplayer and still be called a simracing title. If it lacks physics, however, it’s just an arcade racer. And if you pick multiplayer over physics, you are not a simracer. You are just a racer. Being a racer doesn’t have anything to do with simulators.


            1. it goes both ways obviously. I’m a simracer because I RACE other people in racing SIMULATIONS. I’m not interested in racing people in trackmania or whatever. But simracing games are about racing, not just simulating cars on tracks. If they were, they’d be called simtrackdays. What’s the point in buying all this gear if you’re not gonna actually race the damn cars, whether against AI or in multiplayer.

              Liked by 1 person

              1. But we race them, that wasn’t the initial discussion you started after you replied to “Anonymous
                October 16, 2016 at 1:14 AM “, that we don’t want to race.

                We are here because of the simulation aspect, the content, then the features. If we were only interested in racing/competition, we would be playing any typical racing game no matter if sim or not, or any typical competitive online game. But we are here primarily because of the simulation of cars and tracks, and of course the racing aspect is important as people want more than just collecting cars and tracks. And other people like simulation but prefer to just drive plenty of cars and tracks or drift. If they wanted a regular racing/driving/drift game, they would be playing gt, forza, gta5, and so on.


                1. It’s actually a pity there are basically no sim titles with freestyle “gameplay”. Would be nice to have something like Beam.NG, TDU or maybe Forza Horizon or even City Car Driving, but featuring isiMotor or some other sensible sim engine.


              2. And what’s the point in racing? For me it would be just fine having long enough rally-style specials. There are some for AC, too bad not for the other sims. What’s with the assumption that if I need a sim, it should be necessarily about closed circuits, flags, hundreds of laps over the same route and hundreds of other cars congesting the bends? I just want to drive fast on ever changing public roads. You can go and have a trackday in reality, but you can’t just go and drive like a maniac on streets, right? Well, that’s what a sim could be of use for. And I don’t want to do it in arcades, I want a proper sim.


  11. Looks like the iRacing defense force is out again.

    iRacing’s dominance in online multiplayer is due to that sim racers don’t care about their wallets being raped, as they already spend thousands of dollars on sim equipment, when means they don’t mind iRacing’s ridiculous pricing model. Another reason are that sim devs have became so damn incompetent, that they can’t provide a properly functioning online multiplayer. It seems like online for nearly every sim is stuck in 1998.


    1. Why do you want to save money in life? As long as you secure food, shelter, health, rest can go to entertainment. Unless you’re a business, then invest in making more money.
      So for the normal person, you can spend money where you consider is worth of your money to receive entertainment in return. And is up to the companies to know their audience, what they like to spend on and how much.


        1. I guess is to put inside the coffin or burn it.. Or save everything you can so that your kids will enjoy life while you sacrifice yours for money -.- You can work a lot to make money, but do use your money for entertainment, after you secured food, shelter, health.


      1. Isn’t that on console? Despite not being perfect on PC, I never saw AI like that on pc.
        Having like 1.4 update AI + non PC patches + console hardware won’t make AI as good as the latest version on PC. Hopefully it gets much better with 1.9 and also gets transferred to console.


  12. If you want to make money selling racing sims then selling 1 million + games across PC and console is the best way forward.Difficult to do that with online racing only.
    If you want to make a nice racing sim with good participation and racing then prepare to lose millions for a few years before possibly turning a profit.There is a reason people complain about the costs of IRacing.You pay for what you get in life.
    I think the most likely challenge will come from Forza and Turn 10.If they continue to progress with realism then a structured Multiplayer could make sense.I think people would pay $10 a month for Forza Pro if the racing was Iracing style.They have some way to go…..


      1. Oh it is the renting guy again. Now I totally understand why you hate it so much, you’re from South America. AKA broke as fuck. You mad they took yer money bra?


  13. Me gusta este blog pero lo que afirmas es absurdo y cobteadictorio. Primero decís que hacer un sistema como el de iracing es fácil ya que muchos lo han replicado. Luego decís que la culpa es de R2P por no vender el sistema como si fueran los únicos que pueden replicarlo. La verdad es que por menos de la mitad de lo que R2P quería vender su sistema muchos programadores estarían dispuestos a hacerlo.

    Saludos y felicitaciones por el blog!


  14. Do yourselves a favor and fire up AMS when this next update rolls through (shouldn’t be more than a week).

    Looks (new AO makes a big difference, try out hdr emulation sweetfx preset as well) and runs better, new content is nice and the AI has clearly improved. I’m thinking better than rf2 even, (probably some problem combos still but much less prevalent, at least some of the old problem areas have been fixed) the AI feels a bit more organic and unpredictable, they gave me some very realistic and tactical feeling taps but do not do penalty worthy stunts. they will go 3 wide attacking and continue to race you for position instead of one or more dropping out.

    I found that high aggression is more enjoyable though, at medium it seemed like the AI would lose confidence after being passed and fall back too much (AI quali seems a bit too slow now though with high aggression maybe instead of too fast like it used to be??).

    The new spotter is surprisingly good, it hit the iracing balance of not being too annoying but still informative. Still not absolutely perfect but good enough that I have felt like disabling it at all.

    Collision sample jitter is much better too.

    Taken as a whole, AMS really is the most complete competitive race simulator and arguably one of the most accurate. I think it feels better and handles different classes better than rf2 now (aside from some select nuances that apparently cost quite a bit in terms of performance).


    1. yeah..AMS Boxer is way more fun and dynamic than rf2 on rails Fail6 Boxer but that AMS Boxer is one ugly Posh to watch during replay..lel


  15. The real reason the iRacing total service have no competition is not what McArthur elaborates an not what most of the comments above suggests.
    It sounds strange but the real reason is that the global online racing sim fanbase is not large enough to support both iRacing and an alternative online racing sim service.

    That was the reason iRacing took about 5-7 years to break even – and thats the reason the daily active participation on the iRacing servers are still as low as between 1050 – 3500 drivers.

    And more than half of these active drivers are solely oval drivers which couldnt care less about Formula cars and/or simulations of modern “european/japanese” racecars.

    And because both AC, ISI, Codemasters and the console based racing game producers know this they dont want to waste money starting a competition which are bound to loose the battle before it is even started.

    Some of the comments above touches some of the reasons of the small global online fanbase.
    One is ofcourse cost.
    But the main reason is probably the same as James conclusion in the article about the iRacing’s Six Least Popular Cars – namely poor virtual driving skills between the avg online Joe.
    Thats the reason so few globally are ready to join an online racing sim where these skills are displayed.
    Hehe and thats the reason that even among the drivers who join this online service the most used cars and tracks are the easiest to control cars and the easiest track format to manage.
    This was also mentioned in the Least Popular Cars article.

    So part of the reason there will not be an iRacing alternative is cost.
    But the main part is that avg Joe is so fucking afraid that his lack of skill should be revealed:-)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. +1 & Pretty much what I said
      Iracing is legit.
      And leagues provide the non legit platform the average Joe’s actually want and need to feel competitive.
      Most People want to win or dominate.
      Not actually compete.


    2. Pretty much spot on. Plus managing driver behaviour is a PITA, most sim developers have zero desire to get involved so provide the tools for league admins to assume the role. The iRacing market is still paltry compared to sales of single player games.

      The numbers are so low iRacing needs to charge a premium which the skinflint sim racing community have a meltdown over every few days so why bother, just let them do their thing whilst the other devs do theirs.

      iRacing existed because JH wanted it and could fund it, R2P existed to piss iRacing off. Is it really a surprise there hasn’t been a queue of companies wanting a slice?


  16. I can’t reveal sources (or any information) but keep an eye on what isi are doing next..

    Believe me when I say the title should read “when” not “why”


  17. iRacing is way past its prime now, sadly…
    I actively participated till early 2014.

    But honestly, as much as I loved the online races because how they are so well organized and all, at some point I could not stand anymore, how the cars drove.
    Back in 2008 iRacing was the next step in the evolution after GPL and NR2003, and those two titles were awesome when they came out, the benchmarks of the genre really.

    However, its very outdated now, I would go as far as saying, that specially the tire physics are unbearable.
    If it wasn’t for the money spent over the years, I’d propably would have stopped playing it much earlier, and I guess that many are still using it just because the spent a reasonable amount of cash, and do want to get their moneys worth out of it.


  18. Im not so sure iRacing is past its time – but I fully agree that iRacings tire model sucks.

    And after enjoying the much more realistic tire model in rF2´s Formula Renault 3.5 I had recently decided to let my 4+ years membership run out.
    But giving iRacing a last chance I bought their latest car the Nissan GTP.
    And now I have decided to give iRacing 1 more year 🙂
    Because there is something in the Nissans enourmous grip which hides most of the tire models flaws.

    As example:
    In the rF2 Renault the car REGAINS grip if you are able to control a slightly overdriving in a corner.
    In iRacing NONE of the cars I have driven are able to REGAIN grip in any realistic way – except maybe the Lotus 79 and now the Nissan GTP.
    Ironically enough a lot of different iRacers inside their forum does support this view by saying that when an iRacing car begins to slide because of slightly overdriving its easier to regain control by more or less stop the car than by anything else(countersteering and/or modulating the throttle).

    The “argument” against such critics is often that its only because such people dont know how extremely advanced the iRacing tire model is:-)

    Another reason Im in love with the Nissan is that it resemples my former old racing sim fiance – the GTP mod for NR2003.
    Because the behaviour of the Nissan is soooo close to a bastard offspring between the GTP mods group C Toyota CV-88, Jaguar XJR9, Sauber Mercedes C9 and Mazda 787B.

    Wrum Wrum


  19. I raced SRW because I wasn’t going to invest a bunch of money in iracing and find I didn’t like it or just couldn’t compete. SRW was free and you could earn credits racing to buy cars. I never spent any money with SRW but had a blast racing. From what I hear about iracing I don’t think I would be impressed with the money spent. Unfortunately folks looked at SRW as overpriced based on purchasing every car separately.


  20. You seem to be contradicting yourself James.

    “creating an application similar to iRacing isn’t a task only made possible by the brightest team in the industry, but rather by anyone who puts their mind to it.”

    “The online entity that is objectively the most prepared to assist a developer in creating a proper alternative to iRacing, simply don’t want to.”

    So anyone can do it, but it won’t happen because the 2 only ones that do it won’t play ball?

    You can bet R3E can do it. They just need to pull their heads out of their collective ass.


    1. What about a rookie game developer like me. This article is mainly what motivated me in the first place to compete against iRacing in an attempt to create a viable alternative.


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