SimRaceway Returns!

hondahsv_frontthreequarter_logoOnly a few short months ago, the guys over at VirtualR reported the highly controversial online free to play racing game SimRaceway had gone belly up, with the official webpage displaying a practically blank slate, along with the social media accounts tied to the brand coming to a virtual halt. After a tumultuous time in the spotlight for all the wrong reasons, many hardcore sim racers who were privy to the inner workings of this random company showing up out of the blue and rubbing a whole lot of people the wrong way were glad to see it go, though it appears their decline has been short-lived. SimRaceway is back, but we’re not quite sure how this all came to be.

SimRaceway was simply not making money during it’s initial period of existence. Nobody cared about it compared to the other offerings on the market, and most avid sim racers merely ripped the various pieces of content that did seem to be worth a damn for use other isiMotor-based simulators. There were rumors of Ignite Game Technologies, the team behind SimRaceway, paying random rFactor modders for car models they themselves didn’t actually own, as those with a keen eye discovered rogue car models from Shift 2 Unleashed were appearing on the SimRaceway marketplace as finished cars for customers to purchase.

Is it possible the game has been resurrected thanks to an anonymous donor? Possibly. I highly doubt SimRaceway was randomly shut down for a few months to let funds from their racing school counterpart formerly operating under the Jim Russell name accumulate, because that’s just nonsensical. There is most certainly a story to be told regarding what caused this sudden shift in operational status from totally inactive to back on the market, yet due largely in part to how tight-lipped Ignite staff members are when it comes to SimRaceway – they’re certainly not transparent like the developers we’re accustomed to discussing here at PRC.net on a regular basis – we most likely won’t get to hear about it any time soon.

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What happened to SimRaceway’s Official IndyCar Game?

A few years ago, an official announcement was made regarding a proper boxed IndyCar simulation coming to PC from the guys behind SimRaceway. The game was supposed to feature both the current Verizon IndyCar Series teams, as well as the minor league Firestone Indy Lights series cars.

IndyCar

This game appears to have vanished into thin air. Some assets indeed have appeared in SimRaceway, as the game now features twelve cars from the 2012 IZOD IndyCar Series Season, and numerous tracks from that season such as Edmonton and Sears Point.

package

The cars seem to have been converted for use in Game Stock Car Extreme, but a dedicated game centered around the 2012 IndyCar season would have been a welcome addition to anyone’s racing sim collection. People still play IndyCar Racing II by Papyrus, and sim racing as a whole are lacking these dedicated games centered around one series in favor of titles like Race Room Racing Experience and iRacing which feature a smorgasboard of different cars and tracks.

SimRaceway totally didn’t buy their Facebook likes at all :^)

Earlier today I got a tip from one of my four readers (WordPress gives me that data) that a topic on the Assetto Corsa forums appeared in which there was a discussion that Kunos had bought Facebook likes for their fanpage, and with Facebook cracking down on some of these inflated numbers by removing them, one user claimed the amount of “likes” for their page had dropped significantly and that it was a sign Kunos had bought followers to make AC seem more popular than it actually is.

I don’t know how accurate this rumor is because the guy sending in the tip couldn’t provide any screenshots, which this blog relies on pretty heavily to spread rumors that usually turn out to be true. I also don’t see Kunos doing this sort of thing, as they’ve been almost the rockstars of this genre since Assetto Corsa launched in late 2013.

However, other developers have blatantly done this.

SRW1SimRaceway is based out of Sonoma Raceway and is basically rFactor with microtransactions. I don’t really care for it as RaceRoom and Race 07 are cheaper, Game Stock Car Extreme is of a much better quality, and rFactor itself has a much better vehicle selection for free. SRW’s hotlap competitions offer monetary prizes but are often exploited by leaderboard drivers with track boundaries that aren’t properly enforced, and trips to the SRW racing school only awarded to new members. The userbase is incredibly small and aside from it being the first racing sim to include Dallara’s DW12, the game rarely registers on anybody else’s radar anymore.

So 600,000 likes seems a bit excessive, especially compared to…

SRW3

SRW2And this gets pretty hilarious when you compare those 600,000 likes to other, much more popular entities, such as:

SRW4And…

SRW5Buying Facebook “likes” is a legitimate thing – to the point where sites such as AdEspresso have actively written articles about the dangers of throwing some $$$ away to make your product look more popular than it actually is.

adespresso2

Still don’t believe SimRaceway bought their likes? Here’s a comparison of two recent Facebook posts. SimRaceway, with 600,000 likes, and the Winnipeg Jets NHL team, with 300,000 likes. Check out which post has more activity.

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Whoops.

Would you pay $564 for rFactor?

rfactorI refuse to give SimRaceway much attention on here to begin with, because it’s a title that is utterly pointless in the current landscape of racing games. R3E has cheaper content and looks better, rFactor has glorious third-party mods and amazing online support, GSCE is made by Reiza, and rFactor 2 has dynamic track and weather effects. All four games are significantly cheaper and arguably of a higher quality than SimRaceway, even with Stuart Cowie in charge of track creation.

And fans of MadCowie can get all of his SimRaceway creations for rFactor, anyway. Google is your friend.

The entire roster of cars can be purchased for $300, a 43% discount, implying the whole set would cost $564 – more than the price of a next generation console, for a game released in 2005 with slightly different menus.

This car roster includes many duplicates, as all WTCC and IndyCar liveries are listed as their own separate cars. Then, you have a flurry of McLaren F1 cars, which some people would never even be interested in as some people just aren’t McLaren fans, and compact cars that will never be touched by anybody, ever.

You’ve got to be shitting me.