The official Le Mans game has been a long time coming. Back in in 2021, Motorsport Games announced the development of an official Le Mans game slated for a 2023 release date. Two years later, we finally have a name and the first official details for this year’s WEC game: Le Mans Ultimate.
Coinciding with the 100th anniversary of the prestigious endurance race, Le Mans Ultimate is the official game of the 2023 FIA World Endurance Championship developed by Studio 397 and published by Motorsport Games.
Latest news - First Le Mans Ultimate footage emerges
Just a few days after the announcement, the first Le Mans Ultimate footage has emerged.
Filmed off-screen and shared on Twitter, the brief nine-second clip gives us a first look at night racing in Le Mans Ultimate from the in-car view. From the footage, the visuals and driving physics are based on rFactor 2 with a redesigned HUD.
Le Mans Ultimate is being shown off at Circuit de la Sarthe from 7-11 June, so we're expecting more footage to emerge online in the coming days. No official footage has been shown yet as Motorsport Games didn't release an announcement trailer.
Le Mans Ultimate announced
While rFactor 2 has hosted the 24 Hours of Le Mans Virtual esports event (though Max Verstappen would rather forget this year’s disastrous event), Le Mans Ultimate marks the first official standalone Le Mans game in over 20 years.
Studio 397, the developer behind rFactor 2, is handling Le Mans Ultimate's development. As a result, Le Mans Ultimate will utilise rFactor 2’s physics engine, with Motorsport Games promising “class-leading physics and performance”.
Arriving in December 2023, Le Mans Ultimate will feature official cars and circuits from the 2023 World Endurance Championship season, which hosts the legendary 24 Hours of Le Mans endurance race.
2021 saw the introduction of the new top Hypercar class in the WEC. For the first time in a racing game, Hypercars from Ferrari, Porsche and Toyota will feature in Le Mans Ultimate alongside LMP2 and GTE cars from the entire WEC season, competing on iconic tracks such as Spa-Francorchamps, Monza, Fuji and Circuit de la Sarthe.
Online endurance racing
Online multiplayer will be powered by Motorsport Games’ new RaceControl online platform for an “interactive multiplayer experience” providing both competitive and casual races and the ability to host private sessions.
Capturing the spirit of endurance racing, a co-op asynchronous race mode will also allow players to complete races with friends and teammates at times that suit each player. In the future, Le Mans Ultimate will be the platform for the Le Mans Virtual Series.
Release date and platforms
There’s no release date yet, but Motorsport Games is targeting a December 2023 release window for Le Mans Ultimate. If Motorsport Games delivers this target, Le Mans Ultimate will arrive before Motorsport Games’ IndyCar and BTCC games, which are delayed until 2024.
Le Mans Ultimate will initially be PC-only with content updates planned for the second half of 2024. Rather than an annual release, Le Mans Ultimate will “continually evolve” with regular updates as Motorsport Games wants the official WEC game to have a “lifespan longer than a yearly released game.”
As for a console release, Motorsport Games says it’s evaluating when to bring Le Mans Ultimate to other platforms, adding that the “performance of current generation machines makes this a real possibility.”
Fans attending the 2023 24 Hours of Le Mans can get a first look at an early build of Le Mans Ultimate at Circuit de la Sarthe from 7-11 June. Ten simulators will be on-site giving fans a chance to take the Porsche 963 Hypercar and Ferrari 488 GTE for a test drive.
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