Remember When Imola Wasn’t DLC?

automobilista-imola-1988Oh Reiza, what have you done now?

For those who haven’t been following the post-release content plans for Automobilista, a piece of news we’ve been expecting for several months now was officially unveiled Saturday afternoon on RaceDepartment in the team’s October development update. The Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari – otherwise known as the San Marino Grand Prix Circuit or Imola – is set arrive in Automobilista as paid downloadable content. Reiza plan to include four different layouts of the prominent Italian auto racing facility, accommodating the multitude of both classic and modern totally not Formula One cars available for use in the simulator. Imola will join Interlagos, the Red Bull Ring, Jacarepagua, and Montreal as the fifth circuit to be given the evolution treatment by Reiza Studios; in which several iterations are offered to players to increase the number of era-specific complexes for the numerous old-school cars available in Automobilista.

As a sim racer, I genuinely enjoy Imola and I’m happy to see the circuit receive some much-needed love in modern simulators after it was dropped from the Formula One schedule in the mid-2000’s. The course layout relies heavily on elevation changes and natural rhythm sections, which combine to produce compelling on-track action in a wide variety of race cars regardless of the discipline selected.

But the inclusion isn’t without valid complaints.

automobilista-imola-2001Stock Car Extreme, Reiza’s previous title before embarking on the project now known as Automobilista, featured an unlicensed (but still extremely accurate) version of Imola circa 1988 – operating under the name Bologna – built into the game’s vanilla list of content. If you bought Stock Car Extreme seven or eight months ago when there was a fairly substantial buzz surrounding the sim within the  community, Imola was one of the many tracks you received by default. It wasn’t called Imola, but let’s not kid ourselves here – it was Imola.

gsc-2015-12-04-21-24-03-58There was nothing wrong or inaccurate with what was offered in Stock Car Extreme under the pseudonym of Bologna, and given that nobody seemed to give a shit about the alternate alias used to circumvent licensing agreements, Reiza would have had no problem whipping up a few more variants of the track – dubbing them Bologna Grand Prix and Bologna Historic, as they’ve done with Suzuka – and including them in the base Automobilista purchase. However, Reiza have instead yanked a piece of content found in the base Stock Car Extreme title, given the facility the proper name, and sold it back to customers as DLC for the new game. Developers from other video game genres are crucified for these practices, but once again the sim racing community has turned a blind eye to these acts because of lame excuses such as “the team is small” and I want to support sim racing.”

gsc-2015-12-04-21-07-54-61Had Automobilista been a significantly different title compared to Stock Car Extreme, and the track requiring serious re-working for the new platform, I could at least understand why it was necessary to yank vanilla content from one game and sell it back to sim racers at an additional cost. However, as I dive deeper into Automobilista during my own spare time, I’m coming across rather enlightening discoveries, such as mods from Stock Car Extreme flawlessly integrating into Automobilista by merely changing the extension of one text file. In theory, you can essentially make your own piece of Automobilista DLC and save yourself $5 by copying the Bologna track files from Stock Car Extreme, into your Automobilista folder.

Sim racers are more or less paying Reiza Studios extra to change the name of a track they already had, and given the abundance of unlicensed tracks already in Automobilista, was it even necessary to pursue the Imola license in the first place? Sim racers really didn’t seem to care that old versions of the Red Bull Ring are called the Spielberg Historic instead of the Osterreichring, so why did they feel the need to do so with Imola?



72 thoughts on “Remember When Imola Wasn’t DLC?

      1. I told you at the time, giving does not make you gay, its receiving, which you and your mother do plenty of for me, I also said leather, as thats easier to clean up,and would save your mother the hassle but do you listen? do you fuck,your poor bloody mother is getting sick of it son.


  1. what’s baffling to me about this business model is that, while the core gets updates, sure, not even a scrap of new content is thrown to anyone unwilling to shell out for DLC. isn’t a ‘formula trainer’, ideally, the literal basis of stock content? what ties it so inextricably to britain (does anything, other than release window)?? why is something so practical & all-inclusive mixed in a bag with a gtr 720? in this case, why couldn’t the previously included ’94 (or whatever) layout of imola be included free, & if you want the other layouts, you pay the $5?


    1. When it comes to DLC, I swear RRE is the only one who makes sensible packages. Yet everybody hates their pricing scheme because you can buy the packages piecemeal at greater cost.


      1. The main issue is that it’s a mess and it’s hard to understand what you’re getting and how it will affect the price of other packs. Also magic space bucks. Also it gets expensive. Fuck that business model.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Love how you “forgot” to mention that is 4 layout of Imola, 1972, 1988, 2001 & 2016 and also that the gfx of the track is improved compared to the Stock Car Extreme

    So yeah, listen this ass clown and save yourself 5$.


      1. Well to be able to use real Imola, they had to pay license fee.. Why would they keep old one of they paid for new one… And why should we expect them to give it us for free in this case…


    1. “also that the gfx of the track is improved compared to the Stock Car Extreme”

      Are you shitting me, the graphics still look dated and shit just like ALL ISI motor engine sims, with there shadowless oversaturated crap.
      I hope Reiza dies and goes out of business just like ISI that shit developer who knows fuck all about creating games, EVERY single racing title that uses that shot motor engine always struggle to make money.


  3. So Reiza can simply just change names of existing tracks, and they can use them freely no matter how accurate it is to the real life version? Reiza are always taking some kind of legal shortcuts to include content in their games. FOM came down on their asses for using liveries that are similar to real life F1 liveries, and I’m surprised that Porsche hasn’t taken action against them either. Stop being petty thieves.


      1. I am referring to when SCE had Imola in their game under a fake name, but the track was the same as it was in real life. They basically used the track without any permission at all, and Imola officials should’ve cracked down on them in the SCE days. At least PCARS modified Sakitto enough to where it was different than Suzuka.


        1. “They basically used the track without any permission at all”

          Why do they need permission? Do you need permission to recreate the appearance of any part of the planet earth? Since when does owning the copyright to a name and a logo entitle you to demand payment for the representation of topography?


  4. Is the Brit pack worth it? I recently bought the Porsche DLC for AC and I don’t want to waste money like that twice in a month.


    1. Brit pack is $19.99 while season pass is $29.99. Even if you want only one more DLC pack, the season pass is definitely the way to go with AMS.

      AMS with Brit pack is the only way you’re going to have Super Trucks crushing Formula Vees at Cadwell Park 😉


    2. Well i refunded porsche dlc season pass as after playing brit pack i could find enjoyement in not really well made porsche pack 1, felt to dull and disconnected .. If you like those brits pack these are probably best versions I’ve driven on in any sim and cars are blast.. Specialy mcr and catherhams


  5. I’d say that the price might be worth it if you consider that the 1972 track will be a first time appearence in any racing simulation and that alone might make up for the cost.

    But what’s the point?

    1988 track is free already for AMS (there is a conversion of Carrera.4’s entire F1 1988 trackpack available that does include Imola already among all the other tracks of that year).
    2001 track could be interesting, but there are already conversions floating around.
    2016 track might be nice but, again, there is a well done conversion from one of the Simbin games already.

    So in the end it would be $5 for 1 track + 3 tracks we don’t need as we already have them for free.


    1. If you counted every shitty conversion and ripped piece of content you could justify never paying for anything Reiza makes (or most other sim devs) that’s even marginally known in the racing world.


  6. Then don’t by it y’all.
    I paid, what, $80 at most and have Automobilista with any dlc and their next game plus any dlc for that cost.
    Compare that to how much I spent for rFactor 2 and its lifetime pass, assetto corsa and all dlc, pCars by itself or especially iracing.. I feel fine.
    Skip that next Starbucks trip if $5 is such a big deal.


  7. You have to pay because its licensed now (and there’s a couple more layouts). Simple.

    If it was unlicensed (and free), people would complain about not giving the track the money they deserve or whatever anyway. Remember the “Boxer Cup” ?

    Damned if you do, damned if you don’t.


  8. That awkward moment when you don’t know what else to complain about so you use shitty logic to find faults in a game.

    1. No one removed the track from GSCE. You still own the content you paid for.
    2. Automobilista’s content and road map were very well detailed, you knew what the base content was at purchase time. Why buy something you don’t agree with?
    3. The tracks and content are very much improved over GSCE versions, they have released tons of free new content and removed some, yes. In no way did they cripple Automobilista to make money with DLCs, if you did a full and proper comparison.
    4. They are releasing one new version of the track. So 3 improved versions + one new does not equal the same content as GSCE. For 5$, and way less with the full pass, it’s a very reasonable price.
    5. Other than your workaround, there are many great mod tracks and conversions you download for Automobilista, no ones forcing you to buy a DLC if you don’t want it.

    The base game is still improving and they are still adding content at no charge to you. How come you skipped over that?

    Seriously dude… And the last article bashing the AI using an unsupported mod? No the AI is not great, but it’s definitely not as bad as you claim it to. By your logic why not play every sim with the shittiest mod you can find and declare them all crap?


    1. > By your logic why not play every sim with the shittiest mod you can find and declare them all crap?

      Don’t give him ideas, he can be ruthless.


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    “I always felt with other wheels that something was wrong – that something was off. When we actually used the torque meter to measure the torque on those other steering wheels, there were some that had a high peak but would then drop off – they would only give the torque in spikes. So we went and redesigned it so that the torque delivery is linear.

    Even when you play with the wheel for hours at a time, the torque delivery will remain stable.”

    -Kazunori Yamauchi (GTPlanet Interview)


  10. I bought AMS for 20 bucks when the days of indiegogo campaign. I recieve all DLCs for free. 20 bucks.
    This article is full of shit.


  11. instead of rubbish like this james, why dont you instead review every sim on the pc atm. With your honest opinion, you have mentioned you have partook in real racing so you have a great comparison there. Make worthy reading not this click bait stuff, we all knew that imola was to be dlc for the fact it was licenced…

    cmon man..


    1. Well, we all know your opinion will change within the week 😉

      Joking aside, they are quite close but I disagree that rf2 consistently provides better racing against AI. Depending on the track and what you want to drive, of course.


  12. Nah, Imola is not needed and I would rather have something more obscure/new.

    That said, I ended up paying a very small amount for AMS+all DLC due to the campaign.

    Even so, not a big fan of seeing content held back.


  13. Old Imola content in the last game was one version. New DLC is 4 versions licensed and made prettier and I’m pretty sure you couldn’t figure out how to make the GSCE track work with the new stuff in AMS, like the rubber line.

    So really this is just another idiotic article where you deliberately (or through your own incompetent ignorance) manipulate the information to make it look like something you can shit on because that’s your thing apparently. I think it must be some weird mood you get into because its two articles in a row where you were unbelievably full of shit even for your own standards.


      1. I’m crying my eyes out over here for FOM, Porsche, and Imola. The licencing fee from Reiza was the only thing keeping the track from total bankruptcy, I’m sure.


      2. “Doesn’t change the fact that Reiza stole from FOM, Porsche, and Imola.”

        They stole nothing but perhaps infringed on the exclusive rights to the likeness of some liveries and names. Meanwhile Imola doesn’t own the rights to the topography or appearance of their track, they just own the right to the copyright of their name and logos.

        Do you really think that circuits own the right to the camber angles on their paved circuits? If Red Bull buys a mountain does that mean anyone who tries to create a topographical map of the mountain is stealing from Red Bull? If you say yes then you’re a fucking retard.


        1. Track layouts can be trademarked. Why? Because the race tracks/sites exist and operate as a business entity and the track and layout are a property of that business.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. Then they’re not stealing form the track owners, the track owners are benefiting from irrational trademark laws that probably aren’t even guaranteed to hold up in court if they’re ever challenged. Trademarks are not patents though and are absurdly easy to get in comparison meaning its likely in most countries you could challenge it but who would? The people who buy these things would never have the money to and as it turns out many don’t even have the money to license it.

            So I see no theft, except perhaps by the wealthy who can bully the term “ownership” into whatever meaning they want.


  14. ” nobody seemed to give a shit about the alternate alias used to circumvent licensing agreements ”

    Well James, you certainly have given a shit in the past. Remember your articles on the whole F1 livery debacle with Automobilista being briefly removed from Steam?

    But I’m with you on this one, I can do without the official name and price tag. Corporate logos and licensed names don’t really enhance the experience much.

    On the other hand it’s only $5 and there’s lots of decent free conversions out there already if you’re broke after splurging on a direct drive, so there’s not much controversy here.


    1. “” nobody seemed to give a shit about the alternate alias used to circumvent licensing agreements ””

      Maybe nobody cares because its dubious whether there’s any licensing required to copy the physical layout of a place on the planet earth so long as you don’t infringe on copyright names and logos. The only reason you’d be wary of doing an imitation with a non copyright name is because if they try to sue you it costs you more money than its worth meaning that its not illegal to do so but its definitely not cost effective to do so if you think you’re going to have to defend yourself in court.

      This is the reality of what copyright and patent is about – most of the time the threat of legal action greatly expands the boundaries of the rights people have beyond whats actually legal because of the inherent power and force of litigation backed by money.

      So if they want to license a name they have to pay, but they likely don’t really need to license the right to recreate a place on the planet earth, or else I’m pretty sure Google maps should be getting sued by every circuit owner, as should wikipedia that illegally reproduces the layouts of many circuits without permission etc etc.


  15. i was disappointed to see bologna being dropped for AMS, because i bought GSC just in Time to get free access to AMS. I never played gsc myself, so i don’t know the quality of the track but i simply bought the season pass on the first chance.

    now i payed 19Euros for upcoming dlcs, even though i already own FTrucks and Bologna/Imola and those were already in my possession in an older game.

    Yes i could have copied the old version from gsce to AMS but then the AMS Features would be missing. If people are boycotting quickconverted tracks that are not from pgirathon, people are not using thos tracks because they can feel that the tarmac is different.

    i only use completly updated tracks and the nordschleife conversin by EEC


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