The End of the Road for Race2Play

r2pThe Golden Age of Sim Racing has claimed yet another victim – which obviously isn’t how that’s supposed to work. Marketed as a valid, free alternative to iRacing’s structured, scheduled, and ranked competitive online service for a host of modern racing simulators you can find on Steam, Tim MacArthur has announced his intentions to pull the plug on Race2Play for good at the conclusion of the 2016 calendar year. The announcement comes after an extended period of substantially decreased activity for the service, with car counts for traditionally well-attended event types dropping into the single digit range, and most scheduled races not seeing any users turn up at all.Though the brand is technically the longest-running online racing service in the history of sim racing – launching all the way back in 2006 when the original rFactor was still considered new and innovative – all good things must come to an end.

Formerly partnered with the National Auto Sport Association, and offered exclusive lucrative deals by many developers throughout their operational history, MacArthur and company continued to conduct business with the little guy in mind, allowing hobbyist sim racers to enjoy the service completely free of charge while offering additional goodies for those who helped foot the server bill.

rfactor2-2016-02-20-17-54-26-81Objectively, Race2Play as a service functioned quite well, in many areas improving upon the overall experience sim racers have grown accustomed to in iRacing. Though the overall format is essentially the same – using a website to register for online races at a scheduled start time, with the results being uploaded back to the website at the conclusion of the race – MacArthur’s Race2Play streamlined iRacing’s otherwise clunky interface, while adding various odds and ends here and there to make the service much more than a cheap knock-off of a product that’s currently dominating the sim racing landscape. Race2Play boasted many unique features not seen on iRacing, such as the ability for users to upload screenshots of events, scrapping the controversial safety rating system in favor of giving competitors the option of awarding either positive or negative reputation points, allowing sim racers to directly scout the performance of other drivers they’re scheduled to be competing against, and even generated post-race recaps using a basic algorithm to flesh out what would otherwise be a generic results screen.

Those who paid for the premium membership – again, much less than the cost of iRacing – were able to use the extensive library of supported games and even third party mods for said games to create their own online championships that anybody could enter, without having to worry about complicated tasks such as managing a server or calculating points; the service would handle everything automatically for you.

For sim racers who were looking to participate in a competitive online racing series, but unaware of where to start or what message board communities to sign up for in search of a private league, they could basically head over to Race2Play and have everything taken care of.

scx-race-r2pUnfortunately, despite an almost infinite list of positives, and no real drawbacks to the service, activity on Race2Play has declined to the point where owner Tim MacArthur has decided to cut the cord and end support of the website. As the banner on the side indicates, we recently became sponsored by Race2Play, but as of this writing Tim MacArthur has not responded to our inquiries regarding the specific reasoning of his decision. If we receive additional information, we will certainly post an update.

Until then, we can only speculate.

gsc-2016-01-09-16-54-13-40The sim racing community is at an interesting point in its evolution, cracking at the center and splitting into two distinct groups. The first mass of individuals have opted to jump aboard the iRacing bandwagon and refuse to look anywhere else for their online racing needs, allowing post-purchase rationalization to fully take over and restrict them from exploring what other options exist for online racing as a way to justify the enormous amount of capital they’ve spent just to rent content on a monthly basis from the team in Bedford, Massachusetts. Across the imaginary border, the majority of users who have adopted newer simulators such as Assetto Corsa, Project CARS, and Automobilista are simply not talented or brave enough to dive head-first into competitive online events, a theory partially supported by the abundance of Nordschleife track day servers that shift the focus to casual driving as opposed to high-intensity online competition.

Neither group want to cross over to the other side; iRacers do not want all the money they’ve spent on iRacing to potentially go to waste after trying a rival piece of software that offers more for less, and Assetto Corsa owners are too caught up in the relaxed atmosphere of living out their inner Chris Harris fantasies by test driving street cars at the Nurburgring to dabble in hardcore wheel-to-wheel competition. Stuck in the middle is Race2Play, which offers a fantastic service for basically anyone with a valid email account to register for and begin competing on, but as evidenced by the recent activity numbers, there just aren’t enough people using it to make it a viable business venture for MacArthur.

I would love to reveal that a deal has been made behind the scenes and the underlying software has been sold to a company intending to go toe-to-toe with iRacing, but unfortunately for our readers, there is no big story to break on this front. Race2Play is simply shutting down due to a substantial decrease in activity. The upcoming Baja 500 endurance race will serve as the service’s last marquee event.

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58 thoughts on “The End of the Road for Race2Play

      1. So PRC’s was the final nail in the coffin for R2P, i warned them that PRCs would destroy their business and look whats happened, how ironic.

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  1. The service was a good idea, but a service like this needs to be incorporated with the game to actually be successful and people in general are to incompetent to actually make it enjoyable to use. If the sim is great the people will still suck.

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    1. PRETEND RACE CARS KILLED R2P, can’t say they weren’t warned.

      Anybody else like to pay PRCs to destroy their brand step right up…….

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  2. Race2Play is where 90% of the drivers are either borderline mediocre or just devoid of talent. I think a lot of the drivers that are on the edge of “alien” don’t stick around for too long because of that.

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  3. Seems to me they should have taken the $750k from SRW when they had the chance. There’s no money in a service like this unless its integrated into a game.

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    1. Totally worked! ::Trollface::

      Kyle Knapp raced past the checkered flag a razor-thin 0.000 seconds ahead of Charlie Parker to take sixth place.

      Charlie Parker raced past the checkered flag a narrow 0.000 seconds ahead of Andy Graydon to take seventh place.

      A whisker-thin 0.000 seconds separated Andy Graydon ahead of Rick Knapp at the checkered flag for Graydon to take eighth place.

      A narrow 0.000 seconds separated Rick Knapp ahead of Hugo Ramos at the checkered flag for Knapp to take ninth place.

      A tight 0.000 seconds separated Marek Skrzypczyk ahead of Ray Nelson at the checkered flag for Skrzypczyk to take 12th place.

      Mattias Norling held off Marek Skrzypczyk at the finish line by the tight margin of 0.000 seconds to take 11th place.

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    1. With an attitude reminiscent of a model train enthusiast upset his mom didn’t bring him a plate of chicken strips to his domain, it’s no wonder online racing activity has declined. The community has been overrun with literal manchildren.

      Liked by 1 person

          1. Yes and thats exactly what im getting at, they gave you money to help destroy their brand, not long after sponsoring you they fold?
            I saw people warn them right here, their association with PRC looks like it was the final nail in the coffin for them.

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      1. Actually im laughing, not upset at all james, you are projecting your ‘thrown my toys out of the cot’ attitude onto others again.

        The simple reality is that you and PRC’s destroyed R2P and now you are sad about it lol

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        1. “I’m happy that a service provided at no extra charge to the sim racing community intended to get people away from the forums and actually driving with each other online is closing its doors for good because they gave $40 to a news website I don’t like but shitpost on every day regardless.” – You.

          This is why the genre is dying. Manchildren who aren’t even here to race.

          Liked by 1 person

        2. Ok big man,prove your claims,why did prc kill it,I can’t see a single piece of evidence to back your claims up,debate come on,or are just going to result to inflammatory remarks because your a left-wing faggot

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  4. I don’t need to run a blog to tell r2p wasn’t going anywhere. But this blog insisted in the idea that r2p was the 2nd coming of Jesus, but the sim racing community wasn’t paying attention. On the other hand, this blog insists on the idea that Assetto Corsa is the worst sim racing game to every exist. I can only lol at this blog and its authors.

    And I called it in the last article where you were advertising for r2p and its baja 500 race, that if very few people are using r2p is because r2p is wrong, not the people. The same way I can say if AC can’t sell to millions of people is AC’s fault, not peoples fault. But probably for now selling to a couple hundred thousands is enough for the game to keep going and expand perhaps to a new game in years to come. But r2p wasn’t doing enough to secure a future for themselves. They preferred archaic everything, the same way james, associat0r, hexagramme, hash, mallorqui, insist that AC must change to be like the archaic sims from 15 years ago, the same way the modern (read archaic) sims of today based on rfactor technology aren’t thriving. Can AC do it better for its current and future users? For sure it can, and should keep trying to do.

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    1. Just like Darin Gangi archaic that DD toy wheels and iRacing is the da best..though ISR a more nicer than PRC that they willing to shill other games that dont use isi engines like AC and etc.

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    2. You are a sycophant, if “newer” means stripping every thing back to bare bones, keep it, Kunos have done nothing special accept pump out DLC, AI still a joke, multi grids still near broken,Im still driving in a fish bowl with clouds rotating around my head, brake simulation is simplistic trash, the cars feel too stable,safe and un-dynamic, really shows with historics, track conditions is more like a stop gap but they seem to be finished there, contacts finally improved but still worst of the bunch, and public racing in AC,despite being populated, is still full of trolls and wreckers, complete lack of tracks,and every DLC they drop serves to split community even more.

      No serious sim driver spends much time on this title,its Buy DLC, spend an hour hotlapping, hop on server get trashed log off game.

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      1. At least we know you’re way out of reality. Then how come AC has more concurrent people in game during its lowest 24h point (between 4am to 7am) against rf2 and ams during their entire 24h?

        Maybe rf2, ams, and race2play have something that attract some people, but it doesn’t attract the other people. AC attracts some people and the other people.

        But having this feature, that feature, and this one, and that one, is not equivalent to what people really want. And they show that by buying and playing those games in low numbers. And using r2p in low numbers.

        And saying AC multiplayer is just trolls and wreckers is very disingenuous. Especially when most populated servers sort the players by safety rating and they manage to rule out the trolls and wreckers. But at this point is just your hate speaking instead of logic and evidence.

        Moving on, what you have to say about race2play? r2p had to close, rf2 had to be sold, ams had to resort community funding and dlcs.

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        1. why does dirt 3 have more players than Ac? Im a sim player in all genres, claiming the retarded masses arent playing means fuck all to anyone but investors and marketers.

          As for R2P closure, I just think “sim racers” are full of shit, they want a MP system like Ir, they get several, including R2P and no one uses them, even though they have tons more flexibility than IR MP.

          As for RF2 being sold and AMS crowd fund, for me the end consumer I couldnt give a shit, as both title as they are today, what ever negatives you want to say about them, they are still many years ahead of AC in features and physics regardless of content, RF2 and AMS feel like true driving sims, as opposed to ACs very VERY safe and boring cars, ACs issues very much effects end user.

          Also I dont hate inanimate objects or software, what I cant stand is the fan base of AC for the most part, they practically at pcars lvls, that ironically enough AC fuck boys try to shit all over, Kunos devs are pretty arrogant cunts too, but thats italian man boys for ya, so its hard to blame that just on Kunos.

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          1. “why does dirt 3 have more players than Ac? Im a sim player in all genres, claiming the retarded masses arent playing means fuck all to anyone but investors and marketers.”

            Is simple. A lot of people received a free copy of dirt 3 complete edition at the same time. Which means a lot of people went in game at the same time. If you check the graphs history you’ll see that before the free giveaway the numbers for dirt 3 complete edition were lower than AC. And you can check with Dirt 3, the numbers are lower than AC, because people received for free Dirt 3 Complete Edition; on Steam these are listed as two games.

            So as you can see, your attempts at discrediting AC with Dirt 3 failed. Nice try, Hash_V4.

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            1. why does dirt 3 have more players than Ac? Im a sim player in all genres, claiming the retarded masses arent playing means fuck all to anyone but investors and marketers.”

              “Is simple. A lot of people received a free copy of dirt 3 complete edition at the same time”

              Yeah so you are genuinely fucking retarded, the dirt 3 comparison was to make a retarded “this has sold more’ argument like you stupid cunts, I then followed up with what the actual point was, Im a sim player where all sims suffer low sold copies, in fact more hardcore the sim the less it sells FACT,
              Ill say again you sycophant stupid cunt, only ppl who cares about sale numbers are devs and marketers, oh and sycophant AC and Pcar fuck boys apprantly.

              Pcars sold more btw lol most be better sim, dont skip school kid you desperately need the education and socialsing

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              1. No, you’re wrong. A hardcore game can a sell a lot if is a really a good game that lets many people get involved. Counter strike, dota2, league of legends, etc. these are hardcore games. The skill ceiling is high. Yet the games are so good that millions of people buy them. And no, it isn’t just for the skins and cases, because a lot of people played them before they introduced these items. And years after these items were introduced millions still play these games.

                If rf2 were any good, it would sell a lot more. The difficulty of gameplay isn’t a direct relationship with sales. Is a common mistake to think, “oh, our game didn’t sell well, must be because the gameplay is too difficult”. That’s all BS. But if you want to keep thinking that, no wonder those games will keep selling low.

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                1. Counter strike, dota2, league of legends are you taking the piss, no no, those are childs play things, Im talking more about, DCS,steel beasts,combat mission, squad,falcon 2.0,silent hunter,Naval command, flight sims in general, space sims, not fucking DOTA my god I cant believe you actually listed those stupid arse games as “hardcore”, FFS why not throw NFS and forza into the hardcore games too lol.

                  No wonder you AC plebs are confused by titles like RF2 if you think childs games are hardcore, thats funny as fuck

                  And yes its a fact hard games dont sell, thats why for the last 20 years complex games and series like Rainbow six or ghost recon as just one small example, has been reduced to a point that a retarded 12year old can play, you are proof as well, by listing utter shit as Hardcore, Im still chuckling my arse off at that lolol,go home kid.

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          2. Dirt 3 currently as more players than all the sims right now, because it was given away for free on humble bundle site give it another week or so and no one will be playing it, so suck on that penis breath.

            Race2Play failed because they concentrated on the old dated shit games that is ALL sims that use the crap ISI Motor engine, no body gives a flying cows shit about ISI and their dated old flawed broken game engine, only those that are brainwashed still claim the ISI motor engine is great, well I’ve news for you, no one believes that crap, so it died and the incompetent developer that is Gjon and his two incompetent cock suckers who doesn’t even know the meaning of evolution pawned their shit dated rFactor 2 IP to another shit company that has never created a single game before, 397 skill is in cloud based database software not games developing.

            Just for the record checkout HASH steam profile, his played assetto corsa more than any ISI shit motor engine sim, so he is as fake as Hilary Clinton election defeat rage.

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            1. Never said I didnt play Ac ya stupid cunt, the rest of what you wrote sounds like Pitcock\Mel dribble,reads like a spastic sycophant teen, “Brainwashed” eh, you are either mel, or pitcock is stealing qoutes off his favorite AC fuckboys again, in this case mel, do you have a kunos poster on your wall too?

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  5. You know James, you REALLY need an editor. First off, his name is Tim McArthur, not MacArthur. Second, if his profit margin at R2P was “85%”, he surely would have those “six figure” offers still coming in. It never ceases to amaze me how you were continuously posting online use data of various sims but couldn’t bring yourself to do a little investigating of Tim and Todd, their model and claims. If developers of software are to blame for the poor use of their product, how then can you shift the goalpost and now blame the users? If the product, R2P, failed…..don’t blame the customers…..blame the business.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. You were not arguing that they were “required”, you said:

        “the premium membership – again, much less than the cost of iRacing…”

        Premium membership at r2p works out to $175.20 per year……again, YOU REALLY NEED AN EDITOR.

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        1. And just to keep flogging the cost issue, if you were a premium member at r2p, you were still having to purchase the various software titles on top of the membership costs…..and still had to navigate a website that never evolved beyond an archaic style, ie the race calendar.

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  6. Something doesn’t add up. What’s the point of turning down a big wad of cash and elevate your product if it’s only to close doors afterwards? Did R2P take that massive of a dip in its user base in that time frame? Because it doesn’t make sense otherwise.

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    1. I believe this is when SRW had a bunch of investor money they were swinging around and decided to buy another system to make their own instead of building one from the ground up. I’m sure R2P decided against it since if someone wanted to buy it for that much, it could be worth something big in the future. A crude example would be Ronald Wayne who sold his 10% share in Apple (which is worth 60 billion now) for $800 dollars back in the day. Not saying R2P would think it would be this huge but something along those lines.

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      1. “A crude example would be Ronald Wayne who sold his 10% share in Apple (which is worth 60 billion now) for $800 dollars back in the day. Not saying R2P would think it would be this huge but something along those lines.”

        Seems connected in terms of analogy, but it isn’t. Apple is only dependent on itself in how much it can sell. Race2Play uses other games to give an alternative to multiplayer for those games. But they depend on others, if those games have sufficient multiplayer (pubs/leagues), then people will choose for whats more convenient (playing inside the game; that’s why leagues don’t grab thousands of users, people need to sign up somewhere else and keep track of another website to see when they can play, the regulations, etc. But leagues will always be doomed low amount of users,)
        And another reason is that Apple always evolved along technology, more, they several times lead the technology in terms of general public consumerism (new technology for everyone). Race2play stayed the same and remained disconnected from people, it didn’t become a central gathering for everyone who wanted to race in multiplayer. Everyone who wants multiplayer uses what’s inside the game, or as much they organize externally with leagues. After all this, there isn’t much space for race2play nor for racedepartment club events, but RD has more sources of income to sustain the website and some staff.

        I know now is easier to talk in hindsight. But it amazes me how several sim racing companies didn’t see this coming, be it for services or for sim racing games. The only ones that saw this coming and helped sim racing grow was iracing, project cars, assetto corsa. I don’t care what you think about the quality of these games/simulator, but for the other companies it seems sim racing market is still living in 2005. Only now someone is waking up (reiza) and doing something more. Maybe isi too, but is their next game more of the same 2005 mentality? If it is, then you’ll only please more of the same customers. You don’t grow with more of the same customers.

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  7. Man… what the hell. I had some fun races on R2P. I even made a mod that ran a few races before it’s demise, they never got to use the finished product unfortunately. I feel like iRacing gave the owner some cash or something. It may not have had the same amount of people in it used to, but, I feel like with some better advertising, such as advertising simply as better, and cheaper then iRacing (mainly because you can use iRacing with it as well), would have sufficed. I loved racing on R2P, and it sucks that it’s gone forever.

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