GTR2 as a Bargaining Tool

264156_screenshot_big_01Editor’s Note: A couple of hyperlinks have been added to convey relevant information, and a sentence or two regarding 10tacle’s knowledge of the original SimBin split have been updated.

What if I told you that the most trusted name in sim racing was just that – a name?

There’s a very definitive aura surrounding both the GTR franchise itself, as well as the developers listed on the package – SimBin. Released during the height of sim racing’s supposed Golden Age – an era of feature complete simulators sparked by Sierra’s Grand Prix Legends in 1998 before sputtering out in the mid 2000’s – the officially licensed virtual counterpart of the FIA GT Championship became a cult classic piece of software known for it’s unprecedented realism, even as the series remained a relatively obscure alternative to more established motorsports in European markets.

Whereas Grand Prix Legends rocked the video game landscape by introducing virtual auto racing fans to the concept of a hardcore, no-nonsense driving game when the technology was just barely able to handle it, GTR2 refined that sort of unforgiving experience to absolute perfection. No, the Ferrari’s which adorned the cover of the game weren’t absolute death traps to drive at the limit of adhesion, nor were dense forests and small hamlets hidden around blind corners of wide-open circuits; the game was instead bathed in an atmosphere unlike any other – rivaling projects of substantially larger budgets. Emotional orchestral scores and properly slick menus gave way to a downright beautiful racing game that pushed modern computers to their absolute breaking points, and when you finally got past the flash and pizzazz, your Saleen S7 screaming out of the final corner to begin your first true hotlap after everything had been tweaked to your liking, GTR2 held up its end of the bargain where it mattered the most – on the virtual racing surface.

ss_a42e011fa9d9f6dc4b8923d02ab80c06167aebe6-1920x1080SimBin were heralded as heroes, and some have even mentioned the game in articles with titles such as “Crap Best Sellers and Hidden Masterpieces” that otherwise focus on the exploits of major celebrities such as Justin Bieber and movies like Fifty Shades of Grey; the game captured several awards of great significance during a period when hardcore PC racing simulators were largely ignored in favor of mass-market titles that only vaguely represented an authentic driving experience. While the world was caught up in the frenzy of Forza Motorsport’s first release, a hotshot car-collecting game for Microsoft’s very first home console that looked to steal a bit of thunder, monolithic video game press entity GameSpot awarded GTR2 a score of 90%, and dubbed it not only The Best Game Nobody Played of 2006, it also won Best Driving Game period.

Exponentially more people were picking up a copy of GTR2 from their local electronics retailer and spending long hours getting lost in the cars and tracks of the FIA GT series, than were actually leaving their homes going to events on the real life FIA GT Championship schedule. YouTube footage from the 2004 season reveals a very empty Hockenheim Grand Prix circuit for the fourth round of the season, while someone claiming to have inside knowledge of sales to the point of previously being under a non-disclosure agreement mentions a few hundred thousand units were moved during a time when digital distribution straight up wasn’t a factor in the video game market. You had physical to go to the store and make the conscious choice to pay full price for an obscure racing simulator you grabbed off the shelf with your own two hands that your PC might not have been able to run in the first place, instead of merely capitalize on an eight dollar Steam sale.

It was a really, really big deal.

Unfortunately, the success of GTR2  – while beneficial for hardcore simulator fans desperately wanting a “killer app” that served to showcase the quantum leap in progress sim racing as a genre had made over the past eight years – ultimately had the complete opposite effect on the multiple companies involved. GTR2 is not seen as a celebration of the right people coming together and sharing a common goal of rocking the video game world with the little FIA GT racing game that could, but rather the source of a continuous war between two rival companies. Both want to be known within the industry (as well as to the general public) as the little indie developer that made it big by busting their asses and creating a truly compelling product, but the reality is that only one team can hold that honor.

jpgAnd because SimBin Studios UK have recently come out and announced GTR3 is confirmed to be in the pipeline – generating hype primarily by pointing at a game from ten years ago and saying “we’re bringing that exact product back” – it’s important for sim racers to know that calling this new racing simulator a direct sequel to GTR2 and writing SimBin on the box, doesn’t mean it’s a GTR game by SimBin.

And it also doesn’t mean it’ll be any good. Or that it’ll come out at all.

gtlegendsspd_1The SimBin team a solid amount of our readers know, love, and most likely hold in extremely high regard, actually split up very close to the end of GT Legends’ development cycle. A very lopsided fracture at its core, a vast majority of the team remained with Ian Bell and continued on as Blimey! Games (later to be re-named Slightly Mad Studios), whereas a small cluster of individuals – consisting mostly of Swedish sim racing enthusiasts – retained the SimBin name and became almost a Nordic version of Reiza Studios; an extremely small, nationalistic sim racing development team tasked with basically starting from scratch – but at least they had the name everybody recognized to reel people in.

An internal war still remaining largely behind closed doors, a victim of this split ended up being the Xbox 360 version of GTR, which was originally intended for a May 2006 release.

Shortly after the split, possibly in the fall of 2005, publisher 10Tacle Studios came to SimBin and asked the team for a sequel to GTR, as they (rightfully) believed the market was ready for the next game in the series. The few remaining individuals at SimBin had to reluctantly explain that the team was simply too small after the fracture to handle a project as large as GTR2, needing a bit more time to get on their feet as a company. 10tacle were unfazed by this, solely interested in producing a killer racing simulator based on the FIA GT Championship, and proceeded to contact Ian’s team at Blimey instead.

However, because sim racers had already associated the name SimBin with stellar products in both the original GTR and GT Legends, an agreement was made with all parties to keep the SimBin logo and namesake on the package, though the majority of the development would actually be handled by the group currently known as Slightly Mad Studios. At the time, it was exceptionally smart marketing. Blimey Games were essentially playing the role of session musicians in a manner similar Anton Fig filling in for Peter Criss during the downfall of KISS at the end of the 1970’s; helping to maintain a public perception of unity and consistent quality that would reel in customers without subjecting the project to development hell, as SimBin  at the time had less than ten employees on the payroll and just getting back together as a team, whereas Blimey were already a functioning company ready to begin work on the next project.

11Problems crept up almost immediately for both teams, when GTR 2 – as mentioned above – was not just a niche racing simulator intended for a fraction of a fraction of an already obscure community, but began winning awards from mainstream gaming websites that otherwise didn’t give racing simulators the time of day, much less Driving Game of the Year awards. Overnight, having GTR2 on your resume genuinely meant something within the industry in regards to acquiring future projects for the team, as independent developers churning out a critical and commercial successes thanks to a racing game centered around a series with empty grandstands in real life was basically the most ridiculous miracle story in the history of video game development, and publishers would obviously want a piece of that talent for the road ahead.

No sane person who was presented with millions of dollars on the table by a potential publishing deal would openly state “well, yeah, our name is on the box of this massively successful indie racing simulator, but we didn’t actually make it”, so this lead to a situation where both Blimey! Games, as well as SimBin, attempted to take credit for the success of GTR2; each attempting to push the other under the rug despite a very tangible business deal – and even Wikipedia – stating the raw facts.

gtr2-decalSimBin, or at least the new, Swedish-oriented SimBin, eventually did rebuild themselves into a respectable company, as evidenced by their numerous simulators released throughout the late 2000’s. Race: The WTCC game landed on store shelves shortly after GTR 2 arrived – raising a bit of justified suspicion within the community as to how the same developer put out two radically different racing simulators of varying quality in the span of a month – before embarking on a multi-year journey in 2007 with Race 07 and it’s abundance of paid expansions sold primarily through Valve’s radical new Steam platform.

No, they weren’t inherently bad games by any means, but most hardcore sim racers at the time believed they were missing that extra pinch of atmosphere and overall quality that shot GTR2 to the absolute forefront of everyone’s radar. You could either have a massive array of sports cars with a bumping orchestral score and some of the finest visuals ever seen in a PC simulator relative to the era in which the game was released, OR you could have… a Chevrolet Lacetti passenger car and some other obscure amateur track day warriors.

To their credit, SimBin realized that Race 07 was a bit of a dud, and made every last effort to flesh their flagship simulator out with an elaborate array of race cars from around the world – including an expansion pack that directly addressed their most prolific critics and introduced three entire classes of GT cars to the simulator under the moniker of GTR Evolution – but even though it said “…from the creators of GTR2” on the package, it wasn’t having its intended effects. Despite a complete re-structuring of the company from the ground up, and wrongly advertising that they were the team that had created GTR2, they weren’t actually benefiting from it.

3_1217Blimey Games, on the other hand, now operating under the more familiar name of Slightly Mad Studios, did benefit.

In December of 2008, only a few months after SimBin had released the GTR Evolution expansion for Race 07 to a very lukewarm reception, Electronic Arts pulled the covers off of the newest Need for Speed title to be released in the fall of 2009. Given the name of Need for Speed: Shift, Slightly Mad Studios had been recruited to build the absolute biggest game of their careers by the single most important entity in modern gaming: Electronic Arts. Guaranteed millions of sales almost by default, and assisted by an international marketing machine that will undoubtedly be studied by future generations of game design students, the title promised to be a drastic change in direction for the franchise, taking advantage of Slightly Mad’s experience with both GTR games, as well as GT Legends, to produce a quasi-hardcore simulator intended to compete against Forza Motorsport – now on its third rendition.

Regardless of how you feel about Need for Speed: Shift in hindsight (my buddy was so frustrated by one of the rival races he actually snapped his disc in half), as a company, the miracle story Slightly Mad Studios had achieved with GTR2 finally paid off; senpai most certainly noticed them. They earned the right to play in the big leagues.

gt_2By comparison, SimBin Studios, the team that had been running around with the “…creators of GTR2” emblem attached to their products in the hopes it would drum up additional sales knowing full well almost nobody at the current rendition of the company worked on GTR2, were already working on churning out a mass-market console game of their own. Dubbed Race Pro and bundling a majority of the content released for the PC version of Race 07 on one disc, the title looked to introduce hardcore sim racing to the Xbox 360 user base.

While some sim racers claim Race Pro was the game that finally convinced them to make the switch to PC gaming and dive head first into the world of hardcore simulators, Race Pro as a product was hardly a compelling alternative compared to a similar offering with the budget of Need for Speed. Plagued by poor framerate, visual fidelity which never matched the preview screenshots, a save game corruption glitch simply unacceptable for a developer to include within their software that far into the Xbox 360’s lifespan, and launched at a time where dedicated racing wheels for the Xbox 360 weren’t as common as they are now for current generation consoles, Race Pro was both a critical and commercial flop. Personally, I liked what it stood for and thought the game had potential with a proper aftermarket wheel, but it wasn’t something I couldn’t already get on the PC.

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With unflattering reviews of their mass-market console release prior to launch day, and the knowledge that their partner in crime was now playing on a world stage despite their own desperate attempts to convince the general public to buy their games solely because “we made GTR2, sort of…”, twenty four hours after Race Pro hit the shelves to basically no fanfare whatsoever, SimBin began digging themselves into a metaphorical hole and announced they were seriously looking into a lawsuit against Slightly Mad Studios for taking credit in the development of GTR2.

Wikipedia lists that SimBin did not create GTR2; that credit goes to the team at Blimey! Games, who are now known as Slightly Mad Studios. Yet after landing a multi-year deal publishing deal with Atari for a multitude of otherwise uninspiring touring car games based on the same technology which powered rFactor – including the failed Xbox 360 game in Race Pro – the team at SimBin believed the correct plan of action was not to create a compelling product which lived up to the game they claimed to help create many years ago, but instead seek genuine legal advice in an attempt to sue the team who did.

These are the kinds of legal threats that cost actual money.

sueA little over a year later, just enough time for any private legal matters to play out naturally, Henrik Roos, the former Dodge Viper in the FIA GT Championship depicted in GTR2, revealed that SimBin as a company were in extremely serious financial trouble, and major investors had spontaneously backed out following unspecified “unsuccessful business ventures.”

This is sim racing. It’s basically the same 3,000 hardcore users purchasing every game, playing it for a week, and then going back to their simulator of choice. Games that sell poorly come out all the time, and rarely do they tank a company. Rarely would one or two hardcore racing simulators sink a team that focuses exclusively on hardcore simulators.

You tell me what happened.

untitled-5According to VGChartz, the two games in the Need for Speed: Shift sub-franchise spearheaded by Slightly Mad Studios sold a combined total of six million copies; though I’m guessing these numbers aren’t entirely accurate, and a member of SMS themselves may soon find themselves in our comments section violating their non-disclosure agreement to ensure we got this number right. Regardless of whether the combined total sales figure is six million, or sixteen million, that’s a lot of fucking money in the bank accounts of Slightly Mad Studios – an elaborate reward for their miracle rise to prominence as an AAA game developer.

With nervous suits at Atari looking on at one of their developers, wondering why “the miracle team that created GTR2” was instead shitting out stuff like Race Pro and endless expansions for their aging simulator, it’s understandable as to why the folks in Sweden were becoming a bit trigger happy with their multiple legal threats in an attempt to re-write history and calm the concerns of their overlords. I mean, just comparing screenshots is enough for someone at Atari to start questioning that something wasn’t quite right with what they’d been advertising their crew to be capable of.

gt-legends-comparisonThe Swedish incarnation of SimBin first announced GTR 3 during the Christmas season of 2011, subsequently teaming up with VirtualR.net to unleash a tidal wave of information which teased the new title, but the influx of news and ground-level hype suddenly stopped in June of 2012 – only six short months after it had began.

gtr3-teaseWhen SimBin finally did reveal their modern flagship simulator to the general public, it ended up being a barbaric slap in the face to all sim racers who were patiently expecting something every bit as hardcore as the sequel to GTR2 the team once announced across all major sim racing media outlets. Though Sector 3 have done their best to whip the game into a traditional racing simulator over a period of years, in the very beginning RaceRoom Racing Experience was a a desperate attempt at churning out additional revenue for the company, as the game first arrived as a free-to-play racer where fictional cars, tracks, and even liveries forced users to first purchase “funny money” before any micro-transaction took place, giant corner markers obstructed the trackside scenery, and the application initially failed to include anything aside from an online hotlap competition – with no head to head multiplayer component in sight.

All of this, from the team that promoted themselves as the guys who created one of the most difficult and demanding racing simulators of all time.

Yeah, no.

raceroom-racing-2The entire process of shipping out a game that went against every single ideology the company once stood for screamed “we are on the absolute breaking point as a company”, and SimBin indeed went bankrupt only a short time later – later re-emerging as Sector 3 Studios. Across the planet, with their CEO now residing in Singapore and development handled primarily over the internet rather than in a tangible office, the team that really did create GTR2, Slightly Mad Studios, jumped into the fray on both the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 with Project CARS, eventually moving a combined total of two million units.

Sector 3’s most recent update for RaceRoom Racing Experience has the artificial intelligence recklessly smashing into one another. Users are still unable to manually adjust the tire pressure of their race cars.

bankruptThree thousand words later, what does this all say about the upcoming multi-platform release of GTR3 in 2018, created by a team with the name of SimBin Studios UK?

It says that GTR3 might not even happen.

The team who built the critically acclaimed GTR2 – a title that so many of you once fell in love with either a decade ago, or just a few months back thanks to a flash Steam sale? That crew is now known as Slightly Mad Studios, and whether you’re happy with how Project CARS turned out as a racing simulator, or are constantly run into crippling issues that can be easily documented with the PlayStation 4’s Share feature, these guys are still making racing simulators and doing their thing.

SimBin, on the other hand, sold a whole bunch of payware mod packages for a fancy re-skin of rFactor, have already failed once at making the transition to the console racing platform, ran into long-term financial troubles shortly after announcing they would sue Slightly Mad Studios, announced GTR3 for the first time before revealing it to be an atrocious “freemium” racing game loaded with intrusive micro-transactions which no sim racer would ever want in their library, finally went bankrupt, and then announced GTR 3 again during a time when their other game, RaceRoom Racing Experience, is still missing features found in Race 07 from almost a decade ago.

I love the kind of on-track product sports car racing provides, and I love the idea of heading out to Wal-Mart to snatch a copy of GTR3 for my PlayStation 4, ripping off the shrink wrap as if I was thirteen years old, and being greeted with an elaborate sports car racing experience after throwing the disc into my console. In a genre filled with many simulators that throw a whole bunch of random cars and tracks at you with no clear focus, this is something I’ve personally been demanding for quite some time, and so has the overall sim racing community. We all really want GTR3 because of what it represents.

But can SimBin Studios UK actually churn out GTR3 as intended, after such a ridiculous, unstable, and blatantly idiotic history?

Probably not. There’s a chance this game may never see the light of day.

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113 thoughts on “GTR2 as a Bargaining Tool

  1. I have to say that Raceroom doesn’t deserve this much hate for its actual state IMHO, it’s actually my go-to sim for racing the AI and i really like their car selection.
    They’ve also now changed many things in the mictotransaction system and you can get quite a lot of content for a nice price.
    But i have to say that i really dislike how unreal engine looks, no game can get it to look realistic.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I suggest you go on youtube to go and see the virtual architecht video’s running on the unreal 4 engine.

      The loft in london video is a nice example of what the engine is capable of. Its all in the developers hands..

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        1. No they are not. They are rendered real time. In some demo’s you can change the lighting, time of day and move or interact with objects. That engine is really powerful…

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          1. Again with your bad interpretation.

            I said nobody cares (no one is mad) about what Simbin or ex-Simbin did with their older games on court dispute. This isn’t our fight. But, isn’t the fight about GTR2 over now, long time ago?

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            1. Not when you revive the GTR franchise and try to piggyback off the accomplishments of a completely different studio to generate hype. It’s important to know the history.

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  2. I take it Sector3 will drop all offered content on James’ Raceroom account.

    “James is an ass, and we won’t be working with him again.”

    Now it doesn’t really matter, the PRC team is on SMS payroll now.

    Liked by 1 person

        1. It reminds me of shit like this https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mCigiEuRvrA

          The last screenshot with the tree looks specially bad. Showing off that material makes them look like a bunch of excitable children who have just started playing with the Unreal editor and have to show everyone all the cool things they’ve done, even if it’s just throwing borrowed assets with prepackaged shaders and doesn’t even look good. “GT3 cars racing at Spa” is not a concept that needs mock-ups. It’s the most vanilla thing you could show in a racing sim today.

          Liked by 3 people

      1. Backtracking?

        “During the visit to the Manchester HQ, I was lucky enough to join the very small handful of people who have viewed the very very early “proof of concept” video featuring a car and track from RaceRoom in the Unreal 4 engine, and I’m seriously impressed. Despite the short video only having been created to see how the engine works in a racing environment, and having been created as a low profile R&D exercise, the footage I witnessed was simply mind blowing. With RaceRoom sounds, PCars graphics and Simbin attention to detail, GTR3 could well turn out to be the racing game we’ve all been waiting for.”

        “Warren Schembri said:

        Am I wrong to be reading too much in the second picture that each car has “Blancpain” at the top of the windshield or does it maybe suggest a series which might feature in GTR3?

        Paul Jeffrey: Don’t read too much into the cars 🙂 It’s a ‘proof of concept’ shot using borrowed assets from R3E.”

        That’s from last Tuesday’s announcement.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Totally agree here, at least they should re-consider it now that PRC has been bought out by SMS like VirtualR, it’s only going to be shilling for pCARS2 around here, disguised under some gentle criticism and then shitting on anything remotely competing… I guess this blog is done…

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  3. SMS did anyway shit with PCars. They fucked. They shit on consumer, and they have the money to market and to buy people (James?) and other net specialised sites. They are not even now the same guys at simbin. RRE is far more serious. They may have an horizon working like This. SMS NEVER MORE.

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    1. These shills are out of control. Is this what they were talking about when they said they were being flooded with job applications at Simbin UK?

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  4. GTR2 was the second title I bought years ago. It was a big upgrade from Race 07 for me. Ok, then I also bought rFactor. Actually GTR2 is only a funny old game for those who are not looking for any simulator. But months ago I found a mod at Nogripracing in the forum that take me to the next level of racing simulation. GTR2 is still alive for me.

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  5. “Shortly after the split, possibly in the fall of 2005, publisher 10Tacle Studios came to SimBin and asked the team for a sequel to GTR, as they (rightfully) believed the market was ready for the next game in the series. The few remaining individuals at SimBin had to reluctantly explain that the core GTR team 10tacle were interested in, had actually split off during the “off-season” and became an entirely different entity, now operating under the name of Blimey! Games. 10tacle were unfazed by this, solely interested in producing a killer racing simulator based on the FIA GT Championship, and proceeded to contact Ian’s team at Blimey.”

    You’ve done quite a bit of research for this article but this bit is way off. 10tacle owned Blimey! so they were fully aware of the split. I also suspect plans for GTR2 started well before the fall of 2005.

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    1. To correct the previous comment, 10Tacle didn’t own Blimey! until Feb 2006 but they were fully aware of the split prior to this.

      Like

  6. http://www.virtualr.net/simbin-studios-to-shut-down#comment-1522847073
    and following comments.

    Ian Bell:
    “Sorry Jay but we as a group in SMS now did absolutely everything on GT Legends and absolutely everything on GTR2 with the exception some textures on two cockpits.

    It’s never sensible to try to remove honest CV’s from people. You know as well as I do that the only reason SimBin got any mention on GT Legends or GTR2 was purely contractual.”

    Liked by 1 person

    1. This is what I mean that all of this information is just out there in public.

      Not my fault people can’t do 30 minutes of research and shout SHILL if it makes them feel good.

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  7. Racedepartment mentions that cool licenses are getting acquired which makes me wondering, would something like WEC be possible to acquire?

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  8. I remember playing the first GTR game & then I purchased a new 64bit processor but the Starforce copy protection was only 32bit so didn’t get much more than a few months play out of it. Was so pissed at Simbin that i refused to ever buy any of their products again. So missed GTR2.
    Probably just as well as I avoided becoming an anti-social sim geek through my 20s. Then went brought Project Cars not realising its the same guys.
    Enjoyed the article, read bits & pieces through forums but good to have the story in one relatively accurate article.

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    1. Modern era-DTM is trash anyway.

      Mid ’80s to early ’90s was the best era for German racing, as far as DTM is concerned.
      Then, DRM in the late ’70s to mid ’80s was glorious with Group C and Group 5 monsters racing together.

      Nowadays what you have in DTM is a fake and cheap copy of what it used to be. They claim the cars are different from each other, but as years go on, it’s just single line spec racing with the occasional bash and dash here and there, like in the lower formulas.

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      1. Raceroom DTM 1992 is nice, I like it. But that’s mostly because 1) the game manages to run on my old laptop and 2) those cars don’t go too fast for me. So the hard core crowd probably plays something else.

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  9. As I said last time, “Cautiously optimistic”.

    When I was fresh to the ‘scene’ of sim-racing, I would’ve been ecstatic – all the promo stuff looks/sounds fantastic. But now we’ve got games that are stagnating, developers with their own individual problems, and a community with little to no common sense.

    Like it ain’t perfect, but PRC & it’s varying writers have a point, sim-racing is not where it should be.

    Que the “MAKE SIM RACING GREAT AGAIN” guy.

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    1. Then where should it be? Start a sim racing company and do stuff, then we will see. PRC & it’s varying writers only talk from their point of view. If you are included in that pov, good for you. But is the rest of the community after that as well?

      To me it sounds like this blog and its circlejerk want to boss around the sim racing games and the community. I haven’t seen anything other than bitching.

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      1. Not stuck in a loop of being over-hyped, leading to an underwhelming delivery, and resulting in blind fanbase defense/silencing as the real-world series these games are based around/for continue to move forward.

        And that’s not saying I want sub-par yearly-releases either.

        At least here, some people know what they want. We’ve seen that the community doesn’t really know what it wants – PCARS is a good example of that, where how-many-people showed ‘the community’ is so spread-out in what they want, there is no way to cater everyone?

        And if all you’ve seen is bitching, I’m guessing you missed the attempt of a league?, the ‘sim-racing for dummies’ PDF they put together, the straight-forward reviews they’ve done, knowing they were stepping on toes – but doing so to help developers find issues to address?

        If all you want to see is negativity, of course that’s all that’ll be there, but take a step back and look at the whole picture, sim-racing is not what one could of hoped for back in early 2014 – you know, before ‘tire-model’ was a hotword.

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          1. A.K.A what GTR3 might bring to the genre – If it doesn’t become the ‘Half-Life 3’ of said genre.

            Otherwise we’ll have to hope PCARS2/ DiRT4/etc live up to their hype.

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        1. Hyping/being excited is a natural thing for everyone. Not even this blog can help hyping up stuff. But I don’t think being negative all the time helps, nor showing a lack of empathy or giving negative support to the devs will help.

          Is it possible to give good feedback and make reports, and giving your opinion without sarcasm, irony, arrogance, without being a shmuck. Perhaps the sim racing environment will then be softer and players+devs can actually help each other with game/simulation problems.

          How making negative articles that damages the image of sim racing or of certain companies will help make better games and make this genre more attractive? It has exactly the opposite effect. I’m not saying you need to be fake happy, just do and tell things from a more neutral standpoint rather than with extreme negative-positive bias.

          “And if all you’ve seen is bitching, I’m guessing you missed the attempt of a league?, the ‘sim-racing for dummies’ PDF they put together, the straight-forward reviews they’ve done, knowing they were stepping on toes – but doing so to help developers find issues to address?”

          I guess PRC is incapable of actually seeing what current and future players in sim racing want. League on race2play – boring. PDF – boring. Straight-forward reviews – boring. Anyone can do a straight forward review, no need to bitch about problems every other article.

          What’s really arrogant from the part of this blog is that each sim racing sub-community can identify the problems of their games (and were actually reported in the forum, like it should happen), but then this blog makes articles saying the community is just fanboys and they don’t want to see the problems in the game. When that “fanboy” community is the first to tell the devs the problems and bugs they found. But what this blog wants is these people to bitch about problems every god damn day. There’s more than that, there’s actually a game you can play, a simulation to enjoy, beyond the problems and missing stuff. Don’t tell me you will only enjoy after they fix and add everything, because that’s a lot of bullshit.

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          1. “Not even this blog can help hyping up stuff.”
            >You’ve completely missed the point of this article.

            “Is it possible to give good feedback…”
            >Have you seen any of the recent AC tire-behavior articles?
            >They literally say “Good Job Kunos, don’t mess it up”.
            “…and make reports”
            >Now you’re falling for the free Q/A-testing scheme I was.
            >”Pay for the game, then tell us what’s broken, Yay!”
            (You’re welcome for the chuckle James, I get it now.)

            “..the sim racing environment will then be softer”
            >-insert ‘did you just assume my hardness’ meme-There’s players & devs who are already ‘best-buddies’ (i.e. Stefano & Renato’s respective cliques) who block-out clear criticism, last thing I want to see is sim-racing become a ‘everyone gets a trophy’ sport – Yes that’s the stubborn American in me.

            (The whole 3rd paragraph)
            >I’m guessing you’re talking about Domino’s-boy?, that or SRD or one of the other crazies.
            >In which case, how is “These guys are crazy, people, stop for a second when you see these things developing and question them” translate into “LOL LOOK AT DIS BOY, CREDIT-CARD DEBT TO GO SIM-RACING HUEHUEHUE”?
            >Like, what I’m recalling from memory, most of James’ thoughts run along “This guy is not helping the community”, vs “LELELEL MAKE FUN OF THEM”
            >Don’t just read between the lines (as you’ve said you are) to see what you’re after, but rather actually see what the article is about as a whole.

            (5th paragraph, I’m getting lazy)
            >Has essentially stated wanting more straight-up ‘friendly’ reviews thus far.
            >Calls straight-forward reviews “boring” – do you not see a contradiction here?
            >And brushing-aside my points as “boring” doesn’t dis-prove yours any less. 😉

            (6th paragraph)
            >If each community-branch does as you say…
            >>why does AC have a massive save-glitch on XB1 being ignored? (Hard mode: no MS blame)
            >>why are the AC forums so clearly one-sided, PC-users are openly mocking console players – without initial consequence I might add – but yet if you state that a part of AC feels off (Fredrik), you can expect to get aggressively be-little’d by the head-developer himself?
            >But hey, iRacers chiming-in on the short-comings of the old NR2K3-code are now apparently the only ‘fanboys who don’t want to see the problems in the game’, because it’s not like AC players won’t hear a word about a proper flag-system… oh wait.

            (Second-to-last sentence)
            >You’re going to get tired of hot-lapping and playing bumper-cars with A.I. eventually, trust me, I thought the same thing.

            (Last sentence)
            >Try telling that to XB-One owners of AC who can’t even save their game settings.
            >Or PS4 owners who can’t have private lobbies to race with their friends.

            Liked by 1 person

            1. ” >”Pay for the game, then tell us what’s broken, Yay!” ”

              Then why do you make criticism at all? So you’re basically saying that players shouldn’t report problems and give suggestions because they paid for the game to play it, not to tell the devs what to update.
              But isn’t that what you’re doing with your criticism? You’re also entering the free q/a testing scheme with your criticism and bitching article after bitching article.

              Like

              1. Missing the point again…

                And instead, you’re trying to spin my words around – yet I’ve never said anything of what you’re implying.

                Do you buy video games to enter a faux-Q/A, or do you buy video games to have an option for unwinding & relaxing?

                I’m part of the later, a paying customer that shouldn’t have to deal with problems 3, 5 & 7 just to get car A on track B with feature-list C.
                Am I saying it should be perfect with no exceptions?, no. But I also shouldn’t have to clear Automobilista in my Anti-virus just to play while waiting for Reiza to seek whitelist, or whatever they called it.

                And since when did commenting thoughts while on the shitter equal criticism & bitching?

                I’m just voicing an opinion man.

                Like

                1. Look, if you don’t want to be bothered reporting problems, why are you bothering criticizing the game? It ends up to be the same thing, with the first being nicer, and with the second often going into the bitching territory (especially when repeated ad nauseam), because very few people in sim racing actually know how to criticize properly or to make neutral reviews without a negative or positive bias from the author.

                  Like

                  1. It can also be said, that very few people in sim-racing know how to actually handle criticism as well. 😉

                    Case-in-point, both head developers of Kunos & SMS – though the latter has lately been more open about flaws & issues than the former, oddly enough.

                    I & others bother with criticism, because as James kinda put it, if people don’t point out flaws & errors – then what reason would developers have to make better games, when everyone is already licking their boots, and guaranteed sales by fanfare alone?

                    But I shouldn’t have to spend more time on the forums, trying to voice a concern, than I should actually playing the damn game in the first place.

                    Like

                    1. This is a new one, but not new when coming from this blog’s circlejerk. So Kunos can’t handle criticism?
                      Then please explain to me how have Kunos updated their game since early access if they can’t take criticism? Why have Kunos changed game and tyre physics after feedback in the forums? Does this sound like they don’t listen to people who can properly criticize? No.

                      What they don’t accept is when people make bad criticism and just get pissed, they should ignore it, but are humans too. Often they ignore it, but some particular cases they deem too much.

                      James complains Kunos keeps working on a science project. James complains Kunos doesn’t take feedback. How can you win this guy when he contradicts himself so much. – The continuous work on the game’s simulation part is several times due to people giving feedback in the forum and the devs listening to it.

                      “I & others bother with criticism, because as James kinda put it, if people don’t point out flaws & errors – then what reason would developers have to make better games, when everyone is already licking their boots, and guaranteed sales by fanfare alone?”

                      Again with your generalizations. That “boot licking” community is the first to tell kunos the game problems, bugs, suggestions, etc. Only after that this blog collects some of that stuff and makes an article with material reported by the “boot licking” community by saying AC fans are fanboys and Kunos doesn’t listen to feedback. To me that’s a lot of dishonesty from this blog and its author.

                      “But I shouldn’t have to spend more time on the forums, trying to voice a concern, than I should actually playing the damn game in the first place.”

                      You and the circlejerk are spending quite a lot of time bitching in this place and other forums, more than actually playing the damn game. More contradictions.

                      Like

                    2. No, not Stefano. But apparently prc, its authors, and the circlejerk can’t handle when people think differently. Isn’t that what you accuse every sim racing community of? That we can’t handle your different thinking and criticism, well, neither you guys can handle when we think differently than you or criticize this place.

                      Like

                    3. Well, even though there’s clearly no saving you from the Kunos defense force at this rate (seriously, this is one hell of a defense-force, I’m laughing) I’ll humor you one last time.

                      Refering to your first response, on how could they update w/o critism – how about the fact there’s also how they ‘update the game’, not from criticism of any kind from anyone, but by simply being provided updated performance data – such as the case with the AMG GT3 getting updated CoG data?

                      Explain how a manufacturer going “hey guys, testing is done for 2016, here’s some better data” is the direct result of someone posting at their forum. It simply can’t be done – because it was a game-improvement that had no correlation to a consumer’s criticism.

                      Seriously, it’s a videogame, I’m not even sure anyone here would pick-up ‘what’ the difference was w/o looking into the game data first. So good luck breaking that one.

                      But while you’re ranting of contradictions, your claims follow suit as well – that ‘continuous work’ of theirs, you mean how we had to go through numerous tire model revisions, just to end up back where the game felt like during early-access?, all that work just to end-up back at square one?, come on – now you’re just blinding defending them here.

                      Like

  10. Try Speed Dreams 2.2.1, it’s a free sim made years ago and has a little bit of everthing. Graphically really outdated, but pretty solid in the physics department.

    Like

      1. It technically isn’t, in fact. More dead than LFS, which is an achievement on its own to do worse than that.

        But I tried it yesterday for the first time, and it wasn’t that bad. I can’t find a way to drive anything but the definitely-not-Jaguar XJ220, and it wasn’t bad. It actually drove better than AC and pCARS.

        Like

  11. I do think the game will come out eventually. I believe it’ll show up eventually, although don’t be surprised if it doesn’t end up coming out in 2018. However, I agree that there is reason to be skeptical as to the quality of the game, but it’s just too early to make any judgments about that. So there’s not much of a story here, not yet anyway.

    Like

  12. omg and you were the last person i thought would suck from the Ian Bell weaner of truth , does that mean you will be removing the R and adding a 2 to the websites name ?

    Like

    1. looks like your disclosure page is missing some vital info ….. like works for SMS but im sure it will come to light sooner or later

      Like

        1. no perceptions to shatter , so you going to man up under your sudo name and tell your readers the truth ? the article contains many truths , and also many slants /alt facts … but your stance changed too dramatically between articles , so something changed and reading between the lines , it looks like you have taken the 30 peaces of silver from SMS and have wrote a beautifully biased article
          Are you the new virtualR?
          smells that way ……
          better check your shoes you may have walked in your own bullshit

          Liked by 1 person

          1. The article I did on the GTR3 reveal had two main themes.

            1. A single series game will be a nice change of pace.
            2. There’s no need to panic when a developer says they’re trying to appeal to a console audience.

            This article addresses the fact that it might not come out at all.

            Like

  13. Bannon knows the NOSE — particularly as he was involved in the banking industry.

    Good God — I turned on the Talmudvision to see Tucker tonight, and Jews, Jew, Jews!

    Jews on the left. Jews on the right. 2 out of 3 “experts on anything on the corporate media channels are kikes. I already was aware of this fact, but I was blown away AGAIN. They’re so immersed in the bureaucracy and NGO’s I’m ready to go full bowlcut.

    Anyone that isn’t aware that these slimy fucks are the root of evil needs a red pill prescription tout suite.

    “It’s our moral imperative to take in refugees. Didn’t you see that poem on the Statue of Liberty written by a fellow Chosenite.”

    Liked by 2 people

  14. If SimBin just updated graphics and a few other features – as it is being done lately with many classic games – and released something like “GTR2 Remastered”, it would arguably still be the best sim in the market today.

    Like

  15. Yet, the team that created GTR2 created the mess that is pCars. But like you state in the article – they at least release something to this day, and have pCars 2 in development as of now. Will it be GTR2; I don’t think so. But hopefully it will be a step in the right direction.

    I think that when the “two” companies “split”, the chemistry that was in GTR2 went out the front door and never returned – for both studios.

    I actually spoke to Henrik Roos a while ago about Simbin and tried to get some info about this matter but he was pretty reluctant to talk about it at all.

    On a side note, Raceroom is also my go-to sim and have been for a while. Very good experience and like day and night from just a year ago. But whenever I boot up GTR2:

    – 24 hour time cycle
    – Full weather effects
    – Multiclass grids
    – Boner

    Where are these features that were implemented in 2006 today, 11 years later?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Those features are stuck in 2006 because you wouldn’t like simple looking rain and night in 2014-2017 sims.

      People complaining that games 10-15 years ago had all those features and more. But maybe the devs should build a game looking exactly like 15 years ago, that way you’d have enough fps for a full grid race in rain.

      You can’t simply bring the argument that sims many years ago had more stuff so it should be easy to do it now. Is exactly the opposite, is harder to do such features nowadays because they are more taxing for the fps performance and more difficult to simulate. Devs could do simplistic looking and simplistic simulation of rain, night, and other stuff. Just like sims 15 years ago were. But would you like it in 2017?

      Like

      1. Stop making excuses for them. Making a game take place at night is not particularly more difficult today than 10 years ago, and rain has always been more of an artistic challenge than a technical one. Making it so that the water forms puddles and affects the surface of the road locally is a more advanced affair, but most people would be satisfied with a wet road with different grip globally.

        Those excuses are even more unacceptable when we are talking about the same people making the games throughout the years. They’ve had all the time in the world to adapt to new technologies and techniques and learn how to structure their shitty code to accommodate the needs of a racing game, making it modular for future improvements. We are not talking about teams going from making 2D puzzle platformers or corridor shooters to developing MMORPGs and open world action games. They’ve been making cars go around closed tracks for their entire careers; you’d think they would have learned a thing or two in that time.

        Liked by 2 people

        1. Are you working in game development to say what is unacceptable or not? Give me a break cobretti. These know it all forum experts.

          And what if is just a game development/business decision to not make x y z feature?

          Like

          1. Did sim racing save your life? I don’t understand why it upsets you so much when people voice their complaints.

            Complaining brought back cockpit views into Codemasters games despite all the apologists riding codies’ dick crying “5% of users” or “wasted resources”. It made EA add a manual transmission in Need for Speed. F1 2015 was absolutely trashed, with even sites like IGN jumping on the bandwagon and adding it to their lists of worst games of the year, and they bounced back with a much better game after listening to the criticism.

            Complaining works. Circlejerking and telling “haters” to file a ticket in the support forum doesn’t – it only makes the developers complacent.

            Liked by 1 person

            1. Follow your advice and don’t complain when people complain about things you say. You can’t?

              Again with the labels, apologists, fanboys, shills, haters.

              Can’t you realize everyone has different opinions and wants/don’t wants for the game? Why is the stuff you complain about more important than the things other people want or don’t want? I doubt you can explain that without being biased.

              Now comes the dev’s side. He will follow the complaints and wants/dont wants from everyone that purchased the game and other interested customers. He has the hard task of picking what will improve the game to let most people happy and actually be useful in the game, rather than just be used for a dick waving contest. But what the dev won’t do is create the game in the image of what a dude wants or in the image of a small group. If a group big enough wanted cockpit view in Grid Autosport and the dev considered is in the best interest for the game and its playerbase, they went and worked on it. Sometimes is not necessary for a group big enough to complain, as long as the dev considers it in the best interest for the game and its playerbase.

              Now lets talk more concretely about weather and 24h cycle, endurance features, timed races, reverse grids, warm up lap, cool down lap, manual pit limiter control, better spectator mode, functional (not just cosmetic) flag system, better penalty system, two-race format, forced pitstops.

              Devs know that a group wants and needs this stuff, they know a group wants but won’t use, they know a group doesn’t care but might use in the future, and they know a group doesn’t care and won’t use in the future. Afterwards they need to consider how much time and resources they have to build this and if the company is ready to take the impact of such investment.
              So based on this, they decide no because the company is not yet ready to create such things in the game+simulation and the public interest+usage/2 doesn’t compensate the company’s investment, as such they decide to use those resources for other things in the game that has more probable chances of being successful for the company, so that it grows and expands, hoping in the future they have the capability of creating a more complete game+simulation.

              I hope that you realize I tried to give a realistic analysis of the whole picture and not just bitch about the particular thing I want to see in the game. Not everything needs a complete analysis to be added to the game, but in sim racing games most features need a complete analysis before they decide to implement.

              Like

                1. Sim racing circlejerk at its finest. Is really odd how you say Stefano is a baby but I think is more evident that plenty of people in sim racing can’t take a no and need to cry when the devs don’t do what the circlejerk orders.

                  Apologist? No, dude. Attempt at analyzing things from several perspectives and not “I want, therefore make it happen no matter what”. That’s the problem of several people in sim racing, they are too needy, too impulsive, too obsessive, too demanding. No one has patience for guys like those, just take your criticism and build yourself a sim racing game using that criticism of yours. Not happy? There are more game options in sim racing. Not happy with the whole of sim racing? There are more game genres.

                  Like

      2. I much rather have a simulator which simulates the full spectrum rather than flashy graphics and random cars/tracks game we have today. However, with the development in technology from a decade ago I can’t see why we can’t have both weather and nice graphics?

        I see your point about the graphics development from a decade ago and that it might have been easier back then, but I don’t think we should protect the devs today like this. It’s like saying that “F1 cars have developed so much from the 70’s sowe should be happy with that todays cars should only have 3 gears and go 50 km/h because if we want to go fast and die we can just drive the cars from the 70’s.”

        The development of the games today focuses on content rather than functions. The problem is that the majority of people reason like you and rather have very nice graphics and are happy with that.

        I couldn’t care less if I see every raindrop in 4KUHDSuperfidelity or not. I just want the simulation implemented, albeit done correctly with correct rain physics and so on. In my eyes a legitimate claim that we as simracers should all demand if they intend to release a simulator.

        The big five-something games today are good in their own respective way, but they are not true simulators in my eyes. GTR2 was a true simulator, felt like a true simulator and gave you the whole package. That should be the goal to beat for every new so called racing simulator released today.

        Like someone stated earlier in the comments, release a renastered version of GTR2 and it will beat all games that we play today. That’s a sad thought…

        Like

  16. Since the sim racing community is so unwelcoming, James, switch your circlejerk over to brick rigs and driveclub. Those are the real sims with rain, snow, night, graphics.
    Take with you Chris, Another Chris, Sev, Maple. The brick rigs and driveclub communities will love you folks.

    Like

  17. I’ll just chime in here and say that I also really like R3E, and it’s one of the few sims where you can run not just one, but multiple cohesive racing series. The only thing it’s missing is rain (and night, though this is less important to me). You can quickly and easily set up an entire offline championship in less then a minute, with whatever custom rules you want. And you’re not stuck with just 2-3 different cars. And the FFB/physics is excellent. And the hardware requirements are minimal (not a factor for me, but worth mentioning).

    I dunno. I think Sector3 could pull this off.

    Like

    1. But the thing is, the only resource confirmed to be shared between Sector 3 and Simbin UK is the sounds guy. They said they would provide support in terms of handling and physics “if possible”, but that they’d rather hire a local to do those things.

      You’d think that making a single player focused variant of R3E with a new graphics engine would have been the logical choice, but that’s not what they announced. Instead they are assembling a new team of “talented race game developers” and basically starting from scratch, so we don’t even know who exactly is making the game. It could be a British equivalent of Kylotonn for all we know.

      Like

  18. I don’t think PRC has sold out to SMS. I think James and Ian have been chatting, and building a relationship. I’ve been lurking here for awhile, and that’s what I think.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Your opinion at PRC over SMS is from this time partial!
        That is too bad, cause you guys done a good job in the past. There is so many more to report (lauda interactive, simbin, world of speed…).
        You canno t do journalism if you are friend with some people you intend to investigating to.

        Like

  19. As someone who loved GTR2 when it came out, I always find it weird how well-respected it seems to be now when the simracing community pretty much shat all over it for the lack of simulation value.

    Like

    1. I think a lot of people didnt realize just how much downforce these cars generate, and there werent nearly as many drivers lurking the forums to say “real cars arent difficult.”

      YouTube also wasnt loaded with HD in-car videos back in 2006, so we couldnt exactly see how gentle the rides were.

      Like

  20. I hope people remember GTR 2 wasn’t flawless by any means, the AI was kind of dumb at times and at the time, it ran like absolute shit when raining at night.

    Like

    1. Agreed, sims 5-10 years ago had better AI and features. And now 10 years later gtr2 was the best? Nostalgia at its finest clouding judgment. Is funny how the new thing acquired by SMS is changing public opinion. 10 years from now this blog will remind us pcars was the best because was inspired by the nfs shift sim.

      Like

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