With less than a month until release and little footage shown, fans were getting concerned about Le Mans Ultimate. The official WEC game was slated for a 20 February release, but fans preparing for a delay after radio silence from Studio 397 and Motorsport Games.
Now, Studio 397 has confirmed that Le Mans Ultimate is still on track for a February release but will now enter Early Access.
Le Mans Ultimate Early Access release date announced
Originally set for a December 2023 release before being delayed, Le Mans Ultimate will enter Early Access on Steam on 20 February, priced at £24.99 / €29.99 / $32.99. Players who get the early access version on day one can buy the game at a lower price point, with “incremental price increases” planned as the game evolves.
Studio 397 will work with the community in a “collaborative process,” providing updates on builds, fixes, new game features, and quality-of-life updates. Early Access users can vote in polls, enter events, access forums, and give suggestions to the developers to help “shape future developments.”
A recent trailer showcased the Toyota GR010 being put through its paces around Portimao, but the Cadillac V-Series.R and Glickenhaus SCG 007 LMH still haven't been shown. The sudden shift to Early Access is a surprising move but it's the right one to temper player expectations if the game needs some extra polish amid Motorsport Games’ ongoing financial troubles.
At least this will help iron out any bugs, optimise the game for PC, and give the developers extra time to offer a more complete experience in the final game.
“Launching in Early Access is an important step in realising our ambitions ; we will launch features and content only when ready and up to the high standards we set ourselves,” said Dom Duhan, Head of Studio 397.
The official WEC game
The first official WEC game in over 20 years, Le Mans Ultimate will let you race all Hypercar, LMP2, and GTE class cars from the 2023 championship. This will be the first time that Le Mans Hypercars from Cadillac, Ferrari, Glickenhaus, Peugeot, Porsche, Toyota and Vanwall have featured in a racing game.
Players will race around laser-scanned circuits, including Sebring, Portimão, Spa-Francorchamps, Monza, Fuji, Bahrain and the iconic Circuit de la Sarthe that hosts the 24-Hour Le Mans, recreated in meticulous detail.
For now, Le Mans Ultimate is heading to PC only, but Studio 397 is considering porting it to consoles in the future depending on sales. Given that the final game doesn’t have a release date yet, PS5 and Xbox Series X|S versions likely won’t be out until 2025 at the earliest.
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