New Company Name, Same Horrid NASCAR Game

So the NASCAR license did change hands. Sort of.

The downfall of NASCAR games started with an European shovelware publisher known as Eutechnyx acquiring the right’s to America’s most prominent auto racing series, a bizarre decision considering the team’s lack of any reasonable proximity to the reference material, as well as NASCAR’s non-existent popularity across the Atlantic ocean. After a predictable string of horrible releases that quite frankly embarrassed both casual and hardcore NASCAR fans alike, key staff members jumped ship from the eternal dumpster fire responsible for Ride to Hell: Retribution and Auto Club Revolution, promptly rebranded themselves as Dusenberry-Martin Interactive, promised a substantial increase in the overall quality of future products, yet slapped NASCAR fans in the face by re-releasing NASCAR ’14 with an updated driver roster, calling it NASCAR ’15, and still crediting development of the game to Eutechnyx, at least according to Wikipedia.

With critical reception consistently falling below 50% with each yearly release, Dusenberry-Martin Interactive then hastily went out and recruited Monster Games, developers of the critically acclaimed NASCAR: Dirt to Daytona over a decade ago on significantly different hardware – supposedly giving them just six months to slap a game together. The result was a complete disaster; NASCAR Heat Evolution used engine sounds and car performance attributes from 2000, did not feature caution flags in online play, and in the end was a product so horribly unfinished, you’re unable to crash out and retire from a race. I have been sent over the catchfence at Daytona, only to head into the pits and regain the lead eighteen laps later. I’ve tried several times to enjoy Heat Evolution for what it is – a lighthearted NASCAR games with authentic liveries and tracks – and it’s just not possible. I always find myself heading back to the EA Sports offerings of the early 2000’s.

Unfortunately, what I’m about to write is not a poor April Fool’s joke. Once again, key staff members have jumped ship from the eternal dumpster fire responsible for NASCAR The Game: 2013 and NASCAR Heat Evolution, and rebranded themselves as 704 Games. Under the new moniker, a sequel to NASCAR Heat Evolution will be released this fall – the sequel to a game where the car is sent barrel-rolling if you do so much as brush the wall.

Seething rage does not begin to describe how I feel about this announcement; what appears to be largely the same group of individuals responsible for the officially licensed NASCAR abominations dating back to 2011 have basically taken to re-naming their company every couple of years to continue churning out garbage NASCAR products under the guise of “next year’s game will be different, we promise, see, we have a new company name and a totally different mentality”, a line of games no fans have ever been satisfied with and openly blast on the game’s official subreddit by comparing it to games released a decade ago – which has sinced moved to a new subreddit to reflect the change in the company’s name.

There is no long-winded rant to follow this news. This is silly, and it needs to stop. The NASCAR license needed to change hands, and this wasn’t the way to do it. Obviously I can’t sit here and label these guys as scam artists or anything, but as a consumer, what I’m seeing is the same company changing their name every few years to retain the license through what I assume must be some sort of loophole, only to push out horrid video games that upset fans and tarnish the image of the brand. NASCAR console games used to be absolutely awesome time-killers with compelling on-track action and an insane amount of shit to do after the festivities in victory lane – unfortunately, this is now no longer the case. Don’t give these guys your money for the sequel to Heat Evolution, and maybe NASCAR will figure it out for themselves that shit needs to change.

It used to be so much better; there’s really no reason for NASCAR games to go backwards despite extreme advances in technology.

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47 thoughts on “New Company Name, Same Horrid NASCAR Game

  1. Ha ha! No cause for alarm, this is excellent news. NASCAR imbeciles will get a game which will accurately represent their sorry “motorsport.”

    * rofl *

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  2. So….a series that is basically a shitty videogame gets a fitting virtual adaptation, and people are shocked?

    Holy shit, in other news, water is wet and all that. NASCAR is pretty much a shitty videogame version of ten years ago, I doubt the Thunder guys could make the current format fun at all, or be allowed to, rather, in today’s gaming industry.

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      1. But why should they be interested in a racing series with declining popularity which only appeals to a small niche market, i. e. North America? Doesn’t make sense make sense from an economical perspective. Let’s be realistic, the big players fare much better by obtaining licenses with worldwide appeal which translate to more revenue.

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        1. I understand the rationale behind having global appeal but doesn’t NASCAR have the 2nd highest figures behind the NHL? I would have thought those numbers even if it’s just North America alone would justify an investment? Hey I could be way off base here, just being curious. I’m not a hudge NASCAR fan but would definetly pick up a copy, just for a different challenge, if it were worth picking up of course

          Liked by 1 person

          1. If there was profit to be made, the big players would have gotten the license in a heartbeat. There’s a reason why Electronic Arts do not hold the license anymore and the latest NASCAR games were published by subpar studios.

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      2. It’s an image problem. Thanks to the politically correct crowd big software companies nowadays wouldn’t touch a racing series, which is normally associated with racist rednecks, with a ten foot pole. Sad but true.

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        1. Exactly, the pc crowd took all the fun out of racing. * sobbing * Why, oh why did it have to come to this??? * keeps on crying, then shoots himself *

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  3. Nascar Heat Evolution on ps4 is very bad. Graphics look like a ps2 game, physics are bad, content is very poor. How DMR can release a game like this. I’m never so disappointed by a game.

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  4. It is extremely unfortunate that this is allowed to continue as most but not all racing formats have moved forward all be it in small increments , this is bullshit that nascar itself is letting this crap continue they are also part to blame.

    As for the money grab for a absolutely piece of shit product / racing game that has nothing of what nascar actually has in it apart from driving around a oval ……..

    It is completely obvious from the developers that there is no care for what they are working on , just a cut and paste process year after year………. Its fuckn disgusting !

    I myself as I have said before, ” when I come across nascar on the TV I enjoy watching a little bit of it” I would love to have another capable racing sim/game to enjoy but that hasn’t happened in the last 10 years for nascar .

    What makes it worse is that they are not dealing with multiple manufacturers e.g 50 different cars with 50 different sets of physics , they are dealing with one and they still cant concentrate and work on getting one style of car right ……..

    I’m Australian and Nascar is not big here but if someone was pushing out v8 supercar games with this type of lacklustre care for the sport itself it wouldn’t see the light of day again after selling 5 copies.

    As for the company changing names every year its a disgusting business practice that I have seen in other industries that all ways rings alarm bells.

    Have a good day gentlemen .

    Liked by 2 people

  5. I didn’t put much time into the NASCAR Thunder games, but I did spend a bit with EA’s NASCAR SimRacing. Any thoughts on how those match up?

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      1. That’s all nice and dandy, but no answer to my question. So let me ask again: Does NASCAR have sim value?

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        1. If one doesn’t do a terrible job of making it a sim, yes.

          A bad oval racing game involves turning left.

          A good oval racing game includes tire wear, drafting (and generally a very good understanding of aerodynamics), competitive AI, and the little minutia that makes it actually difficult. Each and every corner requires its own line, and those are radically changing over the course of a race from the state of your car or the position of other drivers. There’s no one straightaway or turn to overtake; you have to constantly stay on the defensive because everywhere is a passing opportunity, all the time. There is no such thing as a comfortable lead. There is no one perfect line to stay glued to and do hotlaps on until you win. You can’t just plunk in a dozen superior parts and win by tech domination. (Well, you can get away with it in reality, sadly, but generally not in the simulations.)

          Even if you just consider it getting on the ground floor of things and don’t care for stock cars / ovals in particular, excellent titles like the Papyrus sims and Dirt to Daytona show pretty well that there is value to it if it’s done with loving care. It’s nothing really exciting on paper, but if it can deliver behind the wheel, that’s the part that matters.

          Liked by 1 person

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