IndyCar Doesn’t Know if Its Video Game Will Ever See Light of Day
Developer Motorsport Games is “struggling to have the resources to finish the job,” per the CEO of IndyCar owner Penske Entertainment.
We've seen very little of Motorsport Games' first official IndyCar title since its announcement in 2021, save for a few work-in-progress screenshots of a single car. Yet both the developer and Penske Entertainment, IndyCar's owner, maintain that progress is indeed being made on the long-awaited racing sim, even as Motorsport Games has seen its chief executive depart, lost lawsuits lodged by employees over unpaid wages, and rumors continue to swirl about the disintegration of the studio's relationship with NASCAR in recent months.
The sign of life comes by way of Racer, which recently quoted Mark Miles, CEO of Penske Entertainment, on the status of the product. Miles said IndyCar representatives have seen the game and were impressed by it. However, he also admitted that the studio's ongoing financial troubles could mean nothing's ultimately delivered in the end.
"It’s still not clear how it will end,” Miles said. "I think a lot of really good work has been done with the current partner, Motorsports Games. They’ve put a lot into it. We’ve seen evidence of how it looks. It’s amazing.
"But they are struggling to have the resources to finish the job," the executive added. "So they’re working on other ways that other partnerships could be established to help them get it done."
Miles said he believes "it'll be clear by the end of the year" whether the game will ultimately manifest in 2024 or not. He also noted that Motorsport Games believes that the title possesses "a breakthrough technology in the market and will have relevance in other sports." It's unclear what that technology could be. Unless something's changed—which is entirely possible given the title's troubled development—the IndyCar game will utilize rFactor 2's physics framework, with Unreal Engine used for graphics rendering and the development team behind KartKraft aiding in the effort, per Race Department.
Insider Gaming reported former Motorsport Games' CEO and board member Dmitry Kozko's full departure from the company just last week; Kozko had stepped down from chief executive to the board in April. The website also reported that two of the company's employees recently won their case in a Russian court against the company over unpaid wages, and that earlier this year the development studio was looking to sell its NASCAR license to another publisher in order to raise cash to keep the lights on. The company's first NASCAR sim built from the ground up with in-house tech, NASCAR 21: Ignition, released with glaring bugs and to poor reviews two years ago.
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