After Motorsport Games laid off 40% of its staff last week, the future of the IndyCar game looked uncertain. The mass layoffs primarily affected Motorsport Games Australia, the team helming the official IndyCar game.
Now, Motorsport Games has put the brakes on the IndyCar game, with development suspended following the closure of the Motorsport Games Australia team.
IndyCar game development suspended
“Additional cost-saving measures have included the recent closure of our Australian development studio, with corresponding global headcount reductions, and the suspension of the development of our previously planned IndyCar game, to decrease operating expenses whilst also removing projects that are underperforming or are unlikely to generate revenue,” Motorsport Games CEO Stephen Hood said in the company’s third quarter 2023 earnings report.
Originally announced in 2021, the first official IndyCar game since Codemasters’ IndyCar Series 2005 was initially set for a 2023 release. It was then delayed until 2024 amid Motorsport Games’ ongoing financial troubles.
What does the future hold for the IndyCar game?
“Significant work and collaboration has gone into the development of our title with Motorsport Games,” Penske Entertainment, owner of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, said in a statement responding to the IndyCar game’s suspension. “We’re disappointed they do not have the resources to continue development. We’ll announce next steps in due course.”
With development suspended, the IndyCar game isn’t dead yet, but its future is still uncertain. In an earnings call, Hood confirmed Motorsport Games will retain technology and assets for the IndyCar game and is looking to “resume development of the title elsewhere in the business with greater oversight and tighter control.”
With the Australia team closed, rFactor 2 developer Studio 397 is the only team owned by Motorsport Games. However, Studio 397 is currently focusing on Le Mans Ultimate, which is now slated for a February 2024 release.
This means the IndyCar game license could be sold to another developer to raise cash and resume development, just as the NASCAR license was acquired by iRacing.
EA could be a potential candidate to expand its official motorsports games portfolio. Studio 397 could resume development after wrapping up Le Mans Ultimate. Alternatively, iRacing could pick up the IndyCar game after losing the license for hosting events like the popular iRacing Indy 500.
The IndyCar game’s suspension follows Motorsport Games losing the BTCC game license this week. The financial report makes for some grim reading, with Motorsport Games reporting a net loss of $3.5 million in Q3 2023 compared to a net loss of $8.5 million in Q3 2022.
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