The future of sim racing

234
England
Merseyside
What does everyone think the future of sim racing games is going to look like? The further delay of GTR3 got me thinking about it. I was looking forward to it, and I still hope it comes out of course. But being a GT3-based title, it begs the question; what was it going to offer that ACC doesn’t already do pretty well? What gaps was it going fill in the sim racing landscape? How many times can we get excited and wait 4 years for a new rendering of Spa or Silverstone? Sim racers crave realism and authenticity, and there’s only so many circuits and race cars in the world. (I suppose I’m talking mostly about sims in the new console generation. Sure, we all know PC is the gold standard, but let’s stick with the accessible end of things for now, as the spec wars and modding scene just complicates matters). I think there is a load of room for improvement in rally sims, where I firmly believe that things like open world environments with user created stages, road sections and recce cars are the future there. However, this is a thread for another day. So what about circuit sims?

This train of thought also led me back to Project Cars 2. A flawed title, definitely. But I think in the end, it got more right than it did wrong. Since upgrading to Series X I’ve revisited it a fair bit, and it is night and day compared to on previous generation. The cars (for the most part anyway) feel excellent, and there is no more weird loss of physics when racing with large grids or day to night transitions (which look even better on XSX). There are certain cars and classes that still feel borderline undrivable, especially after playing ACC for so long, but seeing as I’ve never driven a real GT3 car at full chat I can’t really comment on which is the more authentic experience. But for the likes of LMP, GT1 and single seaters, I honestly don’t think PC2 has ever been rivalled on console. And I do include Assetto Corsa in that. I don’t want to join the PC3 hate train, but I do feel that it was a huge missed opportunity, and particularly console sim racing has taken a hit and left a huge gap in the market. I feel that a new title with a multi-discipline, motorsport-focused sim approach with the depth of PC2, with all of PC2’s issues addressed and new features such as driver swaps or even some licenced series added, would be the ultimate grail as far as I’m concerned. Perfect this formula, and there would be no sequel needed. Once you get the base game right on something like this, all subsequent energy could be put into new content, officially approved third-party content and whatever else. That’s a game-as-service that I’d be more than happy to shell out for over the years. This is pretty common on PC, so why not on console too? Have developers considered striking a deal with modders? Surely everyone wins that way? AM2 seems like it’s heading in the right direction with tracks and cars outside of the usual and is based on PC2 mechanics, I’d love to see it on console soon!

So, where do you think sim racing is headed? What will be the next innovation besides physics and graphics tweaks? Sorry, I didn’t mean for this post to be anywhere near as long as it turned out to be!
 
571
Czech Republic
Czech Republic
Maybe complete packages will come? Last years were golden age from physics perspective but it needs more. Complete package with good gameplay built on great physics? That could be it. There is a lot of unused potential in many recent games.

Good thing for me is I can always start AC1, PC1/PC2, AMS1, rF2 and be happy. There is no real rush for sims and maybe market will clear a bit.
 

MagpieRacer

Aaand across the line..
Premium
12,755
England
Wymondham, Norfolk
MagpieRacer
People have so many different expectations and desires thaybits very hard to games companies to fulfill them all. Certain types of sim games have definitley become less popular this gen and more niche so it will be interesting to see what does come in the future.
 

AudiMan2011

Scottish
Contributing Writer
12,485
Scotland
GTPlanet
Street-King-07
Quattro Saltire
I think sim racing needs to move away from trying to shove many different cars and series into one game and new games should come out only focusing on specific series the devs choose to tackle. That way more focus can be put towards making a quality product without having to worry about loads of other content.
 
528
Eric-Cartman_No1
Games are becoming too big and expensive to make that i doubt you'll see niche titles like sims anymore.

How long does it take to make a game now 4 5 years. Its brutal.

All we'll see is titles that sell well to justify the development costs.
 

LeGeNd-1

Premium
6,717
Australia
Australia
GTP_LeGeNd-1
I hope I'm wrong but I'm a bit pessimistic.

Graphics keep improving but that just makes games more difficult to make. Modelling cars and tracks just takes longer and longer, at the cost of developing actual useful features. Rally games for example suffer the most from this. There is no way you can model a full rally with hundreds of kms of stages in the detail required for modern games.

Long development requires money, and that means releasing games incomplete and then selling DLCs or subscriptions like iRacing. Small devs may not be able to stay afloat and we've seen big companies like Motorsport Games mopping up all the licenses, at the cost of other games potentially not being able to use the cars from the series.

In addition, there's a lot of focus on esports now, which is fine on its own, but sometimes that means game development decisions are biased towards certain features, and that doesn't necessarily improve offline gameplay.

Finally, there's the looming future of electric and autonomous cars. Will car manufacturers still be so willing to license out their gas guzzling models for games to use? Even if they're not polluting virtually, they're still a form of advertising and I'm not sure they want to send a politically incorrect message.

Physics and peripherals (wheel, motion rig, VR, etc) are the only aspects that I can see continuing to improve in a good way. But if all the above factors are not sorted, it's all pointless really.
 
234
England
Merseyside
Any more thoughts on this? Been thinking about it a lot lately. Is there any reason why console developers don't go for a long-term approach with racing sims? I'd be perfectly happy to pay full price for a solid base game, and still be happy to throw money at DLC for 5 or more years, as long as the game was constantly worked on and improved. I'm no economics or game development expert, but that method seems like a better way to make money than, for example, three whole separate titles with mostly the same content.
 

MikeV27

Premium
2,726
Canada
Ontario
MikeV27
I think sim racing needs to move away from trying to shove many different cars and series into one game and new games should come out only focusing on specific series the devs choose to tackle. That way more focus can be put towards making a quality product without having to worry about loads of other content.

This.

Although, I do like what Codemasters is doing by including F2 alongside F1. It would be really cool if they included F3 cars one day as well.
 
Last edited:
2,611
North Korea
Best Korea
Any more thoughts on this? Been thinking about it a lot lately. Is there any reason why console developers don't go for a long-term approach with racing sims? I'd be perfectly happy to pay full price for a solid base game, and still be happy to throw money at DLC for 5 or more years, as long as the game was constantly worked on and improved. I'm no economics or game development expert, but that method seems like a better way to make money than, for example, three whole separate titles with mostly the same content.

Same thoughts as before, basically wanting a dedicated sim for something besides GT3/GT4/WRC/F1/NASCAR; ideally, early 60's and before motorsport.
 
1,677
Poland
Gdynia
MroczMR
This.

Although, I do like what Codemasters is doing by including F2 alongside F1. It would be really cool if they included F3 cars one day as well.
Same with ACC having GT3 and GT4. I think feeder series should be included but I also prefer more focused racing sims instead of full blown "everything in one package"
 

kjb

1,320
United States
Cary, NC
mrbabyboyd
I think there is a place for both types. I do think focused sims can be fun. I would enjoy an LeMans focused sim that would include current and past race cars but I also love the everything in one