Reader Submission #131 – Illumimoblilsta

ams-2017-01-18-19-49-34-30Picking up a product from Reiza Studios is almost seen as a rite of passage within the greater sim racing community. Offering an all-around fantastic driving model that stretches the tried and true isiMotor engine to its absolute limit, both Automobilistaas well as its older brother Stock Car Extreme – provide a rock solid, no-nonsense sim racing experience free from many of the pitfalls currently affecting the genre. There aren’t any power tripping developers attacking their customers, overzealous fanboys defending the product at any cost, or delusional community members passing out fictional hero cards in Reiza’s neck of the woods; Reiza products are typically satisfactory racing simulators whose biggest flaws center around the fact that the technology powering them is tad bit outdated.

However, taking the plunge into what Automobilista has to offer isn’t for every sim racer. Though Reiza have made an admirable effort to flesh out the selection of content within their flagship racing simulator to appeal to international enthusiasts, the team have ensured the core focus of their software is essentially a love letter to the history of auto racing in Brazil. For every unlicensed Formula One machine that just barely skirts around copyright rules, or popular Grand Prix circuit operating under a fictional moniker, there’s an entire Brazilian series full of cars you’ve most likely never heard of, and every single obscure track on the schedule to go along with it. Yes, you can take an off-brand Holden Commodore around well-known locations such as Suzuka or Montreal, but a large portion of Automobilista’s content is intended to satisfy Brazilian motorsports fans first and foremost. Reiza took aim at a very specific niche market within an already niche genre, and merely allowed the game to speak for itself when curious international sim racers caught wind of it. Reiza didn’t necessarily care if people outside of Brazil liked the game, much in the same way EA Sports didn’t care if Europeans were gobbling up copies of the NASCAR Thunder series – it wasn’t built for them, anyway.

But has this approach paid off? Though Reiza have created an impressive racing simulator primarily for South American auto racing geeks – with a bone finally thrown to overseas hobbyists – today’s Reader Submission from Daniel Miquelluti paints a drastically different picture. Though Automobilista was created by a Brazilian developer and loaded with Brazilian content catering specifically to their fellow countrymen, in reality Brazilian sim racers are largely apathetic towards the title. Oops.


ams-2017-01-18-19-48-40-80Hey James (as well of the rest of PRC), greetings from Brazil! I want to talk for a little bit about the sim racing culture down here in South America, as I’ve noticed something that goes against what a lot of people probably assume about us. Here in Brazil, when some local YouTube personalities say they’re making the jump to a more serious simulator from either Forza Motorsport or Gran Turismo, many of them go out and choose either Assetto Corsa or Project CARS. Automobilista, the simulator a lot of you probably expect to be popular down here, has almost never seen the light of day in Brazilian YouTube.

In Brazil, a simple wheel like the Logitech G27 costs upwards of $190 USD used, to $313 USD as a brand new package. Minimum wage, again converting to American currency so your readers have a better understanding, is $281 USD per paycheck. That should make things pretty clear as to why sim racing in Brazil isn’t the most popular activity – a steering wheel is not even on the radar for many people. Just to be clear, more than half of our population earns less than minimum wage. So, if you’re lucky enough to have money to buy a PC, Xbox One , or PlayStation 4 ($470) along with a compatible wheel, only then are you entitled to enter the sim racing world.

Now, let’s enter the problem of how much each title costs. A regular AAA game costs between $30 USD and $59 USD on Steam. At the moment, purchasing Automobilista with the complete season pass converts to $43 USD. By comparison, Assetto Corsa and Project CARS routinely go on sale for much less, to the point where I’ve seen Assetto Corsa retail as low as $17 USD – a very good price that obviously attracts a lot of people, because most Brazilians are forced to shop smart when purchasing entertainment. It’s not financially feasible for us to buy a game which supposedly embraces our national pride and appeals to us directly, because Reiza have priced Automobilista out of reach of their own target audience. So aside from the hardcore guys, which every country has their own small group of, Automobilista hasn’t actually caught on with us. We then factor in the stereotypical sub-par Brazilian workmanship we’re known for – don’t worry, we’re not blind to our own shortcomings – so a lot of sim racers here see a Brazilian simulator on the market and immediately ignore it, because the general consensus is that products from North America, Europe, Asia, or Oceania are far more competent, because that’s usually the truth.

This should explain why Automobilista is not the most popular title by any means in its home country. The sim racers who do play the game absolutely love it, which can be seen in Brazilian reviews of the game from the avid fans, but according to Steam, Automobilista has only sold 5,000 copies here. By comparison so we have some proper metrics, Project CARS sold 13,500 on the PC alone – and that’s with a failing economy, where most can barely afford a nice PC or game console. So to summarize, very rarely can Brazilians afford a fancy wheel, Automobilista isn’t all that affordable compared to other racing games, and most of us believe international goods to be of a higher quality than what we ourselves can produce. Yes, I’m aware there are a few good private Brazilian communities. But by and large, Automobilista is nowhere near as popular down here as sim racers think.

czbfzbnuoaeiv8l-jpg-largeI’d also like to address another topic that I’ve seen brought up on PRC – the cultural problem, to be specific. Each new generation has an increasingly bigger problem with manners than the one before it. Some of the “rich kids” who can afford to sim race think they can do whatever they want, and when they go on the internet, it’s nothing more than an elaborate toy for them. It’s the perfect place for them to go wild and laugh at the expense of others. Sadly, a part of our online community is actually proud of the HUEHUEBRBR reputation, and play up on it for comedic effect – which doesn’t work well in sim racing, because most of these games require a base level of sportsmanship that our countrymen don’t always possess. In fact, the impunity culture seems ingrained within the country as a whole; you can rob or kill anyone and leave jail almost instantly in some situations.Yes, there are nice parts of Brazil, but the bad parts are very bad.  It’s why many people understandably protested our Olympic games this past summer.

Though I will say, if you get to know some of the hardcore guys, you’ll find some great people just trying to race clean and respect others drivers.

Thanks for giving me this platform to speak today.


superv8_automobilista_1Thanks for writing to us, Daniel. I’m very intrigued to see you’ve actually confirmed something I’ve written about in the past – the lack of any sort of tangible userbase for Reiza’s products. Automobilista’s Steam numbers are absolutely horrid given how many contributed to the crowdfunding campaign in 2015, and the abundance of people claiming to sink countless hours into the simulator on Reddit’s sim racing section.

amsWhen I’ve pointed this out in previous articles spanning PRC’s two-year history, some of our readers claimed there was this hidden group of Reiza supporters that simply hadn’t redeemed their copy of any Reiza game on Steam, but were rather operating on a traditional DVD they placed inside their disc drive – meaning they weren’t counted in the metrics – to the point where I began joking that sim racers were intentionally disconnecting from the internet and treating their love of Stock Car Extreme as some Illuminati-like club nobody was allowed to know about. It’s fantastic to know, straight from someone that’s involved in the Brazilian sim racing community, that I wasn’t missing out on top secret Illumimoblilsta meetings – even Brazilians by and large don’t care much for a game built specifically for them. Sure, there are private leagues like you said, but a group of fifty guys from one website all traveling from simulator to simulator over the years is just that – fifty guys.

Which is really shitty, because now we’ve had an additional level of confirmation stating a developer invested a solid chunk of their money and time into helping improve the state of sim racing, only for it to basically go to waste. Call me salty all you want, but I will never forget the absolute frenzy sim racers went into after Reiza unveiled the Holden Commodore V8 Supercar for Stock Car Extreme, only for three consecutive online leagues (two on Race2Play, one on RaceDepartment) to fold because nobody actually wanted to play Stock Car Extreme, and those who did could barely keep the vehicle under control. Throwing money at Reiza during their crowdfunding campaign was like this extreme hipster status icon in the sim racing community, because it turns out nobody’s actually playing their game in the end.

grab_158I also appreciate the explanation behind why Brazilian online culture as a whole has become so toxic. If the internet is only a toy for rich kids and wealthy families, I can understand how it’s essentially become a virtual high class suburb instead of a means of communication everybody uses for work and/or play. There simply aren’t enough people “logging on” (to bust out a term from the 90’s) for others to wise up and say “being a jackass is only funny in moderation, stop spamming HUEHUEHUE BRBRBR in the chat you fucktard.”

Though I will say, however, some of you motherfuckers are fast. It’s just shitty that an equal number of you wind up in EmptyBox videos as comedic relief.

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69 thoughts on “Reader Submission #131 – Illumimoblilsta

  1. It is easier for most people in South America to download a cracked version of Grand Prix 4 or rFactor (1) and play that, as hardware is often less capable of keeping with the more recent games, than to buy a more recent game. The visual quality or accurate representation outside of GP4 aren’t as important as amount of content available.

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  2. Irrelevant to this article, but…

    Why does James most often likes a post that has the same thinking as his.

    This just tells he wants to direct opinions in a certain path instead of being unbiased with his articles.

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      1. I don’t.. and now I understand. Facebook, 4chan, teamspeak circlejerk and trolling mentality. “Sim racers” everyone! These “sim racers” will save sim racing, one negative article at a time.

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  3. Lol, what a load of nonsense. First, comparing AMS price with DLC vs other games without DLC, good one. And also saying it doesn’t sell good enough, because it sold only 5k copies vs 13k of pCars. No shit, pCars had maybe 20 times more promotion than all Reiza titles combined together. It’s actually quite surprising that the difference is so small, if anything it’s doing rather well, in proportion (comparing total sales of both). Game’s pricing is more than correct, they are not going to give it for free because Brazilian’s economics are fucked because of their corrupted politicians. The game was released worldwide, not just for Brazil.

    People dont play AMS (or rF2) because 90% of “sim”racers can’t drive shit, so it’s better to spend their time driving horrible laps in some pretty Porches or BMWs in AC or pCars. That + the graphics.

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    1. Think of it this way: 13,500 units of a game that only runs on high end PC’s most Brazilians can’t afford, versus 5k units for a game based on tech from 2005 that everybody can run.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. A game that had all the promotion in the world (including all the virtal marketers like you claimed) vs a game with 0 promotion.

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    2. Any retard with a sim wheel can handle a car. We don’t have automatic cars here you know, we can drive with a toy wheel. The problem begins when you don’t have a wheel, after that most people stop at PCars at most, generally staying in Forza or Gran Turismo. The major problem with the price is when you compare the amount of licensed content and of course the graphics, beyond the fact most brazilians don’t care all that much about national race tracks. Why would a want to drive a “generic A model” in a track I’m not even aware of its existence when I can drive a Ferrari/BMW/Porsche etc in Spa? Only the physics purists went for it.

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      1. Yeah, I agree, but what is the problem with that? The target audience and the available resources are not the same for AMS and Project Cars, for example. The fact that people will be attracted to brands and places they heard of and have in a high regard (ferrari, porsche, spa!) should not be a surprise to anyone. The individual’s place of birth is irrelevant to this.

        If it pays the studio’s bills and keeps the fans happy and willing to bring in others who most likely will enjoy it and know that the slightly higher price comes with a much higher quality, I believe it is ok.

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    1. LFS devs recently unveiled a tiered pricing system. Brazilians are lucky to only pay £18 for S3, which is 70 BRL for them. (Us Indonesians are on the same price tier as them, which converts into IDR 300,000)

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  4. In my opinion, AMS may have good physics, but they aren’t the best, and certainly not the revelation some people seem to think they are. The graphics and art style are atrocious, and the content isn’t great. There really isn’t much reason to choose it over other, more modern titles with physics that are as good or better, have better graphics, and offer more diverse choices of cars and tracks. With this in mind, it is no surprise that there aren’t many people playing. It also comes as no surprise to me that given the economic reality currently facing Brazil, sim racing is cost-prohibitive. I think the same goes for many people in the United States and Europe, although the Brazilian situation is obviously much worse.

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    1. STFU with such idiotic talk.
      IMO AMS has the best mix of physics and ffb….so for those who value proper simulations that require knowledge and skill ( to drive really fast) AMS is numero uno.

      Reiza/steam should be smart enough to price their sw accordingly.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. SHOULD be.

        But, as we’ve seen in other parts of the world (Australia gets shafted), some things get marked up a hell of a lot honestly.

        Aussies get screwed over about the same as Brazilians tbh, …mostly because in some cases it’s cheaper to fly out of Aus, buy what you want and fly back with said item or software, than pay the ridiculous rates.

        Would that possibly work for Brazil, going across the border for instance to get…for instanc, PC parts and bringing them back across, or software, or a wheel set?

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          1. taxes are so high for imported items in brazil.. they want to protect internal development. In a globalized world that ain’t good. What if other countries taxed very high the items imported from brazil, not many would buy from them. Just like brazilians can’t afford to buy imported because the taxes are too penalizing. What does the government think, receive $100 tax multiplied by 10 000 imported items or $10 of 1 000 000?

            Their import tax is 60%, this mainly goes to electronics. For books, clothes, and possibly more stuff the import duty is less or none. If you buy components and assemble locally is also cheaper than the final product to the consumer, but this is more for manufacturers not really for consumers. The high import tax doesn’t exist for Mercosul countries, but if all you want only exists in asia, usa, europe, and not in south american countries, then you will pay a lot again.

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            1. It’s not to protect anything tho, it’s more just to steal money from people
              I’m ok with gov taxing a product the same the other country is taxing your stuff, it’s fair. But Brazil is not even doing that, they just don’t want people traveling somewhere else and seeing they could have a better life if things were different.
              i.e US wanted to let Brazilians travel there without needing a visa. BR gov declined the offer

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  5. Aren’t there region prices for Brazil? Just like in Russia and other countries around the world where is cheaper than Eurozone, USA, UK, Switzerland. Do you pay in Brazil’s Steam the same amount of USD for a game as USA’s Steam?

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    1. We do have regional prices, but it lies on the publisher or developer to set the prices. Reiza chose not to adapt the game’s price to their own country’s financial reality. Shit, I still haven’t bought Automobilista because at sales it costs twice as much as Assetto Corsa.

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      1. It’s better to buy GSCE 2013 and upgrade it to SCE, with more functioning mods, than to spend the larger amount of money on Automobilista. There’s little to none multiplayer especially outside of locked league servers, modding knowledge is restricted, and the game is a glorified update of SCE. And it will die this year or early next year with their next release.

        Liked by 1 person

  6. I have to say, though (as a Brazilian), that having a shitload of Brazilian tracks is really cool. It may be niche as fuck, but we would never be able to drive’em in any other sim. Besides Interlagos, I mean.

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  7. Automobilista isn’t as dead as you think although it doesn’t surprise me that it’s not even number one in the market in Brazil.

    It’s easy to find good Club races and leagues for AMS if you know where to look. I recently did a very enjoayble Super V8 league at simracing.club and the Club races at Racedepartment are always fun.

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  8. The thing that always surprises me when I see iRacing videos is how many of the favelas are able to play it, it’s crazy that so many of them have enough money to burn that they can maintain a membership there. They could feed a good percentage of a Brazilian slum easily with their iRacing fees. I feel bad for all the family members they let starve just so they could buy the latest DLC.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Sure they have decided but it’s still important to highlight to the the rest of the sim racing community how many impoverished favelas die each day because of selfish brazilian simracers.

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    1. Favelas look poor on the outside, on the inside you have flat screen tvs, consoles, pc, iphones, and other objects.

      But are the iracing brazilians from Rio’s favelas or are they medium-high class apartment/house living brazilians, possibly in center city or suburbs? There are other wealthy cities in brazil other than rio, like sao paulo, minas gerais, brasilia.

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    1. Steam nuked that a while back AFAIK, at least from personal experience ages ago I was able to unlock Dishonored 1 early #nooceans

      Then it came to getting a region specific game to be purchasable due to shenanigans in my region….and….it wasn’t on Steam due to some bullshit reason, and the physical copies….STILL….required you to activate them on Steam but you couldn’t due to the steam codes not being added for my region….and the offficial line was go get a DVD copy…..

      So, I tried what you suggested above me anon about a VPN.

      It seemed to work well, the price came up in Canadian dollars, but when I hit add to cart….I got the not available in your region screen.

      GG Steam.

      So, playing devil’s advocate here for a moment.

      Let’s suppose somebody makes a Brazilian steering wheel that costs…say….$20 USD or whatever that equates to in Reals, would people actually want to get a wheel and play any racing sim in the first place, even if money’s not an issue? I’m n ot on about the hardcore guys, I’m on about the rest of the peopl;e even vaguely into games.

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      1. I had that issue about not being able to complete the payment aswell, although it was a subscription fee to a mmorpg.

        I discovered that while the website itself “recognized” myself as a russian and showed all the pages with russian text and especially russian prices, the payment wouldn’t go through because my Paypal account was actually set to pay in € so to sort things out I had to go into Paypal settings, tell Paypal website that I wanted to use russian currency as my “main” one, went back to the game website and payment went through. Going from €20 every 2 months to €0.50 every 2 months is a money safer.

        Try that with Steam if you’re using Paypal. It might work for you aswell.

        If not, see if you have a friend in another region (or if you know someone at all) that can buy it for cheaper so that he can “gift” it to you on Steam while you sent him the payment on Paypal.

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  9. If Reiza games get such glowing reviews, shouldn’t Reiza17 be a big deal? Where’s all the fuzz for that game? Where are the leaks?

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    1. Reiza doesn’t cooperate with PRC for “leaks”, or anything else anymore, so you will see none.

      I bet now James will try his hardest to prove me wrong and then say pcars2 leaks were legit.

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  10. I’d just like to mention that Automobilista still is the most popular sim for league racing here in Brazil (although iRacing and RaceRoom are growing more).

    So, AMS/SCE is the most popular sim between hardcore sim racers arround here. A big chunk of the numbers from Steam comes from guys that buy the game (Assetto/PCars) just because of the graphics, play it for a month and never come back.

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  11. As most Brazilians Daniel Miquelluti ignorance keep out an important point: most games sold in Steam are close to 50% cheaper in Brazil and devs are ignoring the currency price drop for sometime already, if someday they wake up things won’t be cheaper here anymore. Also selling less is exactly what makes the price increase to pay the licenses duh

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    1. They incurred in much lesser costs than other devs to make this game, almost no licenses to pay. Origin games and some newer steam games have already adjusted to currency. State your arguments clearly and don’t insult others, its just unintelligent.

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  12. AMS vs PCars; AC etc;

    1. Revamped rfactor; almost from zero
    2. Generic cars; licensed cars
    3. Local tracks; world tracks
    4. Obnoxious art and menus; not top of notch, but definitely more polished and professional art and menus
    5. Almost no marketing; Lots of marketing

    Seriously, is not that hard to see why the costs were infinitely smaller, even after brazilian taxes.

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    1. now put together budged and amount of copies sold from each game, even the one with far less costs will become more expensive to sell. This is basic maths….

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      1. You are doing the reverse, one does not count after launch sales and divide costs by it, basic economics. If they were targeting just a handfew of players with money to spend on a subpar game ok, but in the normal world you want to minimize costs and maximize sales, the latter being achievied by correctly pricing and advertising your product.

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        1. Exactly, you don’t count after, you count before 😉 P CARS was made to sell a lot, AMS was not. And not even with all the marketing in the world Reiza would sell more copies, especially when the marketing budget is small

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          1. And I meant marketing/spectancy, I think Reiza was very realistic about how many copies they could sell, they don’t seem to live in a fantasy world at all

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    1. “transferring ownership of Assetto Corsa and Kunos away from the current founder members Stefano Casillo and Marco Massarutto”

      Did Stefano just get cucked out of his own game? I can’t imagine why he would think to give away his work to some leeches in business suits, so this must have been the other guy’s idea.

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  13. Hi James,

    This case is more deepest than you think. Daniel´s text made me want to write some things too. Look…
    In your origin, the Game Stock Car was financed (in part) by the official Brazilian Stock Car category administration. Currently, this category it´s a shame. Your cars not have a minimal real contribution of the automotive industry… they are the “same cars” with a different printed brand in your hoods.
    This categorie is financed by the GLOBO, a free-to-air television network of my country, and is one of the largest media companies in the world. However…with a very bad reputation at this time. Although it has never been good… (Search for “Beyond Citizen Kane” documentary).
    Back to the subject… The son of the main GLOBO sports commentator, is one of racing drivers in this category. Both do not have too good popularity in Brazil for several reasons that I can tell in other opportunity (Search for Galvão Bueno and Cacá Bueno). Both are not good at what they do even if one of them has almost 40 years of career and the other has 5 titles in the category. The development of game begins as a way to promote the category and your racing “drivers” (plural?!?). Now, It is what we see. Draw your own conclusions.
    Thank you for this opportunity.

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  14. James, thank you for the Super V8 league a year ago, I wish I could have made it to more than one race, though. Right now I’m struggling to find an AMS league to participate in, and I agree – that’s hardly immaginable considering how well Reiza was treated on their kickstarter campaign.

    I think Reiza really made a good effort to keep a community together – there’s the vx portal, the official servers, there’s even SRS that supposedly Reiza helped with, there’s fantastic content and decent features, but still nobody races in AMS.

    I own AC, rFactor2, AMS and GSCE and I can’t find a community to race with. rF2 is not that popular, almost nobody races in AMS and any AC league will require a small fortune in DLC content I’m not necessarily interested in myself. It’s no wonder everyone flocks to iRacing.

    Like

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