DiRT 3 is Now Steam’s Most Popular Racing Game

dirt-3So the online distributor known as Humble Bundle – a company in which a portion of the sales of Steam keys are donated to various charities – decided to give away the Complete Edition of DiRT 3 for absolutely no cost last night. The results? Nothing short of staggering. Almost 40,000 people are currently messing around in the 2011 Codemasters offering, establishing DiRT 3 as the most popular racing game ever to be released on Steam.

dirt3_game-2016-11-12-11-15-37-58It honestly couldn’t happen to a better title. While hardcore sim racers may turn their collective noses up at the increased presence of energy drink brands, the relatively new motorsport discipline of gymkhana, and a single player campaign mode aimed at mass market audiences, DiRT 3 is still a seriously good off-road racing game with virtually no tangible faults. Though the deal to pick up the game at no cost is now officially over as of ten minutes ago, the massive surge in online activity means buying a copy for the standard Steam asking price guarantees you’ll be getting a ridiculous amount of playtime out of the title.

For those who are just discovering DiRT 3 for the first time, or need an extra competitive edge against the abundance of people flocking to the game’s online servers, this is the setup I’ve been using since the game’s release in 2011, and it works across every single car on the vehicle roster.

dirt3_game-2016-11-12-11-16-31-68Now given DiRT 3 is obviously a Codemasters game from an era where they were hoping to cater to a mass-market audience, what’s going to happen for some of you who boot up the game after either trying it on consoles back in the day or coming into it with a wheel you didn’t own in 2011, is you’ll discover the default force feedback settings are absolutely atrocious. I personally have turned most of the sliders down to their bare minimum values, and the result is a game that drives quite nice – albeit a bit simplified.

dirt3_game-2016-11-12-12-15-12-04If for some reason you have passed over DiRT 3 completely thanks to your own arrogance towards decidedly simcade offerings, there is no better time to jump into DiRT 3. No other racing came currently on the market can boast a bigger userbase, and the Complete Edition bundles an excessive amount of content – all post-release DLC packs as well as exclusive pre-order bundles that never been previously made available – into a rally game eerily reminiscent of Microsoft’s own Rallisport Challenge 2. You will unfortunately have to deal with an art style revolving around a strange obsession with triangles, and a bit too much of Ken Block for anybody’s liking, but the sheer amount of stuff to do in DiRT 3 for your $30 is more than enough to offset any perceived negative aspects.


37 thoughts on “DiRT 3 is Now Steam’s Most Popular Racing Game

  1. I played it this afternoon and has game and fun value. And I only played online multiplayer. There were always people to race against, in different games modes. Either laps, drift points, infection (catch mode by touching other cars in a closed open space), rally cross, head to head. And you can even do hill climbs against other drivers, either each start at a different time and collisions are enabled or all at the same time but their cars are ghost/invisible. And it has plenty of varied rally/drift cars and tracks, even the stadium trucks.


      1. They are because a sizeable amount wanted this. They underestimated the multiplayer needs for console players, and possibly there was no time before release to properly develop and test it. Codemasters have been doing console games since last century. Kunos had one year to semi-port the game with a small number of people. When I say semi I mean they had to develop different things adapted to console, different than on pc, so not just a straight port (except in the physics, although an older version, and content), a semi-port, “half” specific development and “half” port.


          1. Like I said in my post above, they also underestimated what people in console land wanted from the multiplayer. And together with another fact that they are a small team, short time to develop, test, and release, they decided to leave it out and probably see the reaction if its actually needed/wanted or not. As they could have lost important time doing this before release and no one would have cared, but it was the opposite.
            Don’t see everything as black and white, either shill or hater, actually read.
            What is basic feature and all that talk, in software/game development is another. Nothing is as basic and easy as people on the other end of the spectrum (gamers) make it out to be. Do you really think developing online multiplayer is a 2 hour job? It isn’t, therefore is needed to see things from dev’s perspective, small team, small time, big feature (basic features aren’t small features).


            1. For any sim racing game it’s necessary to have private lobbies, so that people can run leagues or race only with their friends. Kunos must be fucking idiots if they “underestimated” this, as a good number of console racing games have this feature.

              Liked by 1 person

  2. I suspect there’s a DiRT 4 coming up at some point, as there’s vague, random gossip on the Codemasters forums about something happening!


    1. That’s not much of a prediction: unless the whole company goes under of course there will be another Dirt game. I’m sure the reason they didn’t release DLC for Dirt Rally, even though they had a player base begging for new content, is to package it as a new game instead.

      If the games are good and not a scam like the yearly Fifa releases I actually prefer that model to the clusterfuck of DLC packages and physics updates that plagues other games.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. That’s fine, but it’s not like the next DiRT is sure to be more Rally than 3, they could easily split the realism and type of events so that once again we get something in-between like F1 or GRiD.


        1. They already came close to killing the franchise with Showdown before a small team of rally nerds rescued the brand with Dirt Rally. I can see them adding more events and slowly walking that same road again, but for now I’m optimistic about getting at least one more rally-centric game from them.

          Besides, with how little content there was in Dirt Rally, even if they make another hodgepodge with gymkhanas, buggies and trophy trucks they could still include more rally content as well.


  3. I just bought Sebastien Loeb Rally EVO from G2A for $8 and shits all over every DiRT game when it comes to proper rallying with realistic long and narrow stages, I don’t care about gymkhana and rallycross and other nonsense.


      1. Whoa… The first time I actually agree with you. But it’s probably just another one of your trolling attempts. Still, sometimes even you can surprisingly be spot on.


      1. Then why didn’t people mass play Dirt3 before this giveaway? Let’s look at numbers. There are two games people own, Dirt 3 and Dirt 3 Complete Edition.

        The giveaway was only for D3 CE, Dirt3 still keeps the same numbers from the past and today (owners: 980k; players in-game all time peak: 1251 2 years ago).

        Now for dirt 3 CE.
        Before the giveaway: owners 1,300k; players in-game all time peak 1546 12 June, 2016.

        Today: owners 2,259k; all time peak 40832 24hours ago.

        Which kinda tells us there’s a sizeable market for Codemasters racing games, Gran Turismo, Forza Series, and even Drive Club (although a part was free on PSN). But Codemasters racing games on PC, despite selling well, they aren’t massively played.
        In fact, if not for this giveaway, racing sims had more in-game and online activity, and not just one day, constantly over months, than casual racing games on PC.

        For quick comparison, Assetto Corsa on PC has 362k owners, all time in-game peak 7067 almost 2 years ago, and in 2015 and 2016 maintained between 1400-2300 in-game (concurrent users peak) every day, going over 3k in update days.

        The conclusion I draw is that racing sims can be as popular in terms of purchase as the codemasters, polyphony, turn10, and even slightly mad studios, because they maintain a good playing activity over a long period of time, but they are mostly limited in terms of development budget and development/artists people. Therefore they aren’t able to develop the things that really attract a mass of people, even if only a fraction stays to play it later. Dirt 3 attracted a mass of people but only a small fraction remained to play it, only that this giveaway had a different effect. A lot of people received it for free at the same time so a lot of people go in game at the same time, compared to a lot of people buying the game over 2 years and by the time it reaches 2 million owners, the people that bought it in the past aren’t present now to play the game with the people that bought it on the other side of the timeline.


      2. Peple like to spend tremendous amount of time with AC compared to DiRT 3

        DiRT 3:

        Playtime in the last 2 weeks: 00:36 (average) 00:10 (median)

        Playtime total: 08:35 (average) 02:37 (median)


        Playtime in the last 2 weeks: 06:22 (average) 02:45 (median)

        Playtime total: 56:38 (average) 10:32 (median)


      3. You would actually prefer Dirt 3 to “an unfinished mess like AC”? That makes me wonder what am I even doing here reading this blog. I mean, yes, AC looks pretty crappy from every angle, but to prefer Dirt 3 to it? Are you even being serious?


      4. I sink time into sim racing because I enjoy it more than any other game genre, despite its flaws.

        If you prefer the game aspects that a Codemasters title offers over realistic driving physics, that’s your choice. It makes this blog kinda pointless though.


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