As most of you can probably recall from our announcement on the matter only a few months ago here at PRC.net, we’ve implemented a very basic disclosure page to indicate which developers have given us special access to their products, primarily as a way to be upfront with our readers about the simulators we’re writing about on a daily basis. Though this isn’t exactly required on a glorified sim racing blog and we’re basically free to do as we please, I feel it’s the correct way to conduct ourselves given the size of our audience, and the fact that significantly bigger outlets within this virtual ecosystem occasionally mislead their readers via content tainted by hidden deals dictating what specific information they’re allowed to publish. I’d prefer to lead by example, so we’ve given out a definitive list of developers who have provided us with complimentary evaluation access to their software that can be viewed by anyone, at anytime, with a simple trip to the disclosure page. This is something we’re not obligated to do, but it’s just easier for us in the long run if we openly put these details out there rather than try to hide them.
Today’s Disclosure Update revolves around our resident overseas meme magician Severin Austerschmidt, who has been given free access to the WMD program powering Project CARS 2 – which will be released later this year. The gesture came about primarily thanks to the behavior of several other developers within the genre of sim racing – such as iRacing and Kunos Simulazioni – actively ignoring or even belittling the input of real world drivers despite feedback from these individuals being the holy grail of modern racing simulator development. Though Sev can usually be seen in our comments section arguing with other readers about political ideologies, the German auto racing scene recognizes Mr. Austerschmidt as a former Formula Renault 2.0 driver who has beaten a factory BMW competitor during an M235i VLN test session, as well as participated in Audi’s TT cup talent search – meeting some of the racers currently appearing as AI drivers in R3E’s Audi TT cup package. After Ian Bell saw a few instances of major players in sim racing scoff at feedback from those with actual competition experience, Sev was given WMD member access to Project CARS 2 to demonstrate that not every developer is a massive prick who either ignore or outright chase away real drivers.
I’m sure many will undoubtedly spam the comments section with accusations of us selling out and acting as a viral marketing outlet for Slightly Mad Studios, but I’d like to remind our readers that several of our most vocal critics have wished for us to move away from outright slagging off developers, and doing our part to suggest improvements that can be made with each respective piece of software. Sev being recruited by the Slightly Mad Studios CEO himself to provide feedback on the upcoming simulator accomplishes exactly that. If I could impose a mandatory post quota for Sev, I would, because it means a lot for one of our writers to essentially be hand-picked by a developer to give feedback on their game prior to release. The gesture displays that some developers are taking what’s been expressed on PRC.net quite seriously, as opposed to others who write us off as elaborate trolls.
To maintain some semblance of professionalism behind the scenes, I’ve asked Sev not to feed either of us with information, images, and/or videos of Project CARS 2 in action. The recent leaks you’ve seen us post of Project CARS 2 have been linked to us by other readers that have come across them in their travels. Obviously, when you enter a program like WMD, there’s a basic Terms of Service thing you’ve gotta agree to, and it’s wrong of us to use Sev as a pawn to take advantage of a developer willing to genuinely listen to one of our people, just to snatch a few screenshots from the private forums and reel in extra clicks for a day or two at most.
We will still cover Project CARS 2 in our traditional abrasive PRC fashion that you have all come to know and love, as per Ian Bell’s request. If the game is good, we will say good things. If the game is bad, we will say bad things. And for the pCars 2 shills among us, you’re welcome to give him a kick in the ass on the WMD forums if he’s not actively giving feedback like he’s supposed to.