It’s fair to say that NASCAR 21: Ignition had a rocky launch last year. At launch, the game was plagued with glitches and core features were missing. Recent patch updates have fixed some of these issues, but there’s still room for improvement.
In a community update, Motorsport Games has released a road map detailing future NASCAR: 21 Ignition updates and sequel plans.
NASCAR 22 cancelled for PC and consoles
As shown in a Motorsport Games March 2022 investor presentation, a NASCAR 22 game was originally planned for PC and consoles. These plans have now changed. Instead, the next NASCAR game sequel will be NASCAR 23.
Conversely, a NASCAR 22 game will still release on Nintendo Switch this autumn with “improved visuals and new features over last year’s NASCAR Heat Ultimate Edition+.”
NASCAR 21: Ignition wasn't released on Switch, so the 2022 Switch game could be an updated version of last year's game.
NASCAR 2022 Season Expansion
To fill the void, NASCAR 21: Ignition will be updated with 2022 content in a NASCAR 2022 Season Expansion. Releasing on PlayStation, Xbox, and PC in September, the Season Expansion will feature all 2022 NASCAR Cup Series teams and drivers, three Next Gen cars, and the 2022 regular season schedule.
In addition, the 2022 Season Expansion will feature an updated race HUD and UI as well as Fanatec wheel support. Three DLC packs will follow the Season Expansion in October, November, and December with alternative schemes.
Since it launched last year, NASCAR 21: Ignition updates have added Stages, private parties for online racing, and a new mode allowing you to test drive the Next Gen Ford Mustang at Daytona International Speedway.
The next update (patch 188.8.131.52) will be a next-gen console update for PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X|S. Originally planned for April, the next-gen update has been delayed until June according to the community update.
When it arrives, patch 184.108.40.206 will include cross-gen multiplayer, PlayStation 5 activities support, and a fix for an issue where players were appearing under the car in Career Mode.
NASCAR 23 coming in mid-2023
As for the sequel, Motorsport Games is using lessons learned from NASCAR 21: Ignition to move “in a new direction with the next NASCAR release.”
While NASCAR 23 will still use Unreal Engine, it won’t be based on NASCAR 21: Ignition’s shaky foundation and will borrow tech from KartKraft and rFactor 2. Motorsport Games is targeting a mid-2023 release date for NASCAR 23.
Releasing a 2022 Season Expansion for NASCAR 21: Ignition instead of a fully-fledged 2022 game means more time and resources can be allocated to making NASCAR 23 a more polished game.
“Without moving to the Season Expansion for the 2022 season, our development process for the NASCAR console game would have been much more restricted and would have limited our ability to take a renewed approach to the product,” NASCAR Brand Manager Jay Pennell wrote.
“In order to get into a better rhythm and cadence for future years, this step needed to happen.”