While browsing through Instagram at work yesterday, I happened to come across a post regarding Race2Play’s upcoming Baja 500 special event, and promptly posted an article about the one-off marathon later in the evening once my shift had ended for you guys to discuss. I grew up on off-road titles like Monster Truck Madness 2, and given how some sim racers are growing tired with the admittedly stale offering of online GT3 endurance events, I thought it would be a unique event to talk about, serving to drastically offset iRacing’s recent virtual 24 Hours of Le Mans and their inevitable 24 Hours of Daytona to follow in February. Four wheel drive trucks in the desert are an entirely different ballgame compared to sleek European sports cars, I think we can all agree on that.
Instead, we were met with an onslaught of angry readers – a mix of trolls and readers with legitimate complaints – who were upset that the post seemed to be a forced viral marketing endeavor for Race2Play rather than genuine excitement for a really interesting online race where no one driver was guaranteed to even cross the finish line. I’m still a bit bewildered by the overwhelming negativity – especially as this is literally just some website holding an endurance race without a flock of McLaren or Audi sports cars on the grid – but I also believe some valid points were made among the hostility. We have a reputation for being a damn-near impossible site to deal with, but on the business end of things, we do make deals from time to time. No, the Baja 500 post was not part of a grand conspiracy to force people to migrate to Race2Play, but I at least understand why people would come to that conclusion.
To set an example within the genre, and maybe the industry as a whole, we’ve created The Disclosure Page; a simple list of all developers and entities who have provided PretendRaceCars.net with either specialized access to their product(s), or miscellaneous advertisement partnerships which directly benefit us financially. This allows readers who question our sudden praise towards a certain developer, title, or external entity to immediately check whether we are somehow affiliated, biased, or unable to comment on the monetary value of a product from a genuine consumer standpoint. While admittedly not the perfect way to implement disclosure on PRC.net, as there’s no external way to fact check what we’ve written as the absolute truth, I’d rather have some sort of mention regarding our various affiliations up front, instead of having our readers question why there’s a whole bunch of Thrustmaster wheels showing up in the background of our YouTube videos.
With each new free copy of a game we receive, or sponsorship deal we come to terms with, we’ll let you guys know with a Disclosure Page Update; and while these posts will often be short and fairly boring, it at least lets our readers know what articles to expect from PRC.net in the future. For example, if Kunos Simulazioni provide us with a free key to the second Porsche DLC pack, we can let people know that we’re working on a review if they’re on the fence in regards to the purchase. A bad example? Of course, but the raw data displays there are an impressive number of viewers coming here on a daily basis, so it’s important we cater to the people who have made PRC what it is today.
We hope our contemporaries follow suit.