It's not looking good for Motorsport Games, the developer behind NASCAR 21 Ignition that also acquired rFactor 2 in 2021. The company’s financial troubles are well-publicised. But now things have apparently gone from bad to worse.
Motorsport Games' board of directors have reportedly resigned, casting doubt over titles like the officially-licensed IndyCar and BTCC games.
Motorsport Games’ board of directors reportedly resign
This is allegedly due to a dispute about raising funds for the struggling company. For reference, in Q3 Motorsport Games raised $1.2 million in revenue but made a $7.5 million net loss.
In an internal email seen by Insider Gamer, CEO of Motorsport Games reportedly told employees that the resignation of the board leaves “our organisation in a non-compliant position with NASDAQ, however there is a 45-day grace period for us to present a plan on how we are able to remedy this, along with the possibility of an additional 180-day extension.”
“I want to assure all of you that each of these changes have been carefully made in the best interest of the business and the team, in the effort to create a strong and sustainable organization so that we fulfil our mission; to create a virtual racing ecosystem where each product drives excitement, every esports event is an adventure and every story inspires."
What will happen to the BTCC and IndyCar games?
The situation casts doubt over the officially-licensed British Touring Car Championship and IndyCar games Motorsport Games is currently developing. It's a shame because fans have wanted to see these IPs represented in racing games for years.
The BTCC game was originally announced in 2020 and slated for a 2022 release but was pushed back until 2024 back in June. Motorsport Games said the delay will allow the team to utilise technology from rFactor 2 and optimise the experience.
IndyCar, on the other hand, was announced last year as part of an exclusive deal and is due to arrive in 2023. But with no official screenshots or videos, the future of the officially-licensed IndyCar and BTCC games looks uncertain.
Going forward, one possibility is that these IPs could be sold as exclusive rFactor 2 content rather than standalone games. After all, rFactor 2 already has a wealth of BTCC and IndyCar content. This would cut costs and bring BTCC and IndyCar content to an established player base rather than selling a standalone game to a niche audience.
It’s a different story on consoles, however. rFactor 2 is PC-only, but the BTCC and IndyCar games were originally planned for PlayStation and Xbox as well. With Project CARS scrapped, there’s a distinct lack of racing simulations on console.
One exception is Assetto Corsa Competizione. But while it’s a brilliant racing simulation, it only offers GT racing. The BTCC and IndyCar games would help fill that gap, but this may no longer happen unless the IPs are sold to a different developer.
Codemasters is the most obvious choice. In the 1990s, the British studio released officially licensed BTCC games as part of the legendary TOCA Touring Car games before they evolved into TOCA Race Driver and GRID franchises.
It would be fitting, then, if Codemasters reclaimed the BTCC license after over 20 years. A new Codemasasters BTCC game would also complement EA’s officially-licensed F1 and WRC games.
KT Racing is another strong candidate. After losing the WRC license, the French studio is looking to branch out and make racing games based on other disciplines. Acquiring the BTCC and IndyCar licenses would allow KT Racing to diversify its racing game portfolio beyond rally games.
Alas, this is pure speculation for now. We won’t find out what the future holds for the BTCC and IndyCar games until we get official news from Motorsport Games, but it’s not looking hopeful right now.