Motorsport Games has confirmed that a new NASCAR game will be ready for 2021, and it will not be a continuation of the Heat series.
NASCAR 21 will represent a fresh start for NASCAR simulations from Motorsport Games and will be powered by Unreal Engine and Studio 397’s acclaimed rFactor 2 physics. Motorsport Games acquired Studio 397 and rFactor 2 in March this year. The 2020 NASCAR Heat 5 was built with Unity.
“What is very exciting is that we have worked with the rFactor team on 397, which has been known for its physics, and also then switched engines from our previous engine to Unreal, and then combined the two,” Motorsport Games’ George Holmquist tells IGN. “Using the Unreal engine only provides graphics [and] the gameplay to more of a AAA style of play. More than the NASCAR Heat series we’ve had before. I think this is something our customers are looking for. If you’ve seen the screenshots at this point, it’s definitely a step up from our previous franchise. ”
Holmquist’s optimistic fans will find much to like about NASCAR 21’s planned level of visual fidelity and handling quality, but he’s also keen to see players stuck to the paint functionality added to this racing reboot – arguably the “most in-demand feature outside of the core game. . ”
“One of the biggest things fans have asked for is more customization,” says Holmquist. “We have always had the opportunity to make a custom car and things like that, but we really spent a lot of time bringing a legitimate paint booth to the game. I think this will be one that fans will be very excited about. It has become very good. We spent a lot of dev resources on here. We have already made many cool schemes, just to test the paint booth right now. ”
“Malingsboden is what people have asked for directly in society, and that is something we deliver in this first iteration of the new franchise.”
Holmquist is aware that NASCAR is regularly seen as a bit of an acquired taste by people outside the fan community, but feels that it is probably one of the simplest racing formats for potential new fans.
“NASCAR is either loved or not appreciated,” Holmquist admits. “There doesn’t seem to be much of a middle ground with fans.”
“From an accessibility standpoint, we actually believe that NASCAR’s oval racing is helping to really get people into our ecosystem, especially with the accessibility options that we include in this game.
“I think what is little valued is the proximity to racing. And the assumption that you just floor the gas and walk around in a circle. I challenge anyone to go to a NASCAR race and then see if that’s what you really feel, because it’s a whole different thing to see 40 cars go around the track averaging 160 to 200 miles per hour within inches of each other. It’s just a completely different experience. ”
NASCAR 21 will be the first of Motorsport Games’ upcoming series of racing simulations built in the wake of the Studio 397 acquisition.
“So there is definitely pressure,” Holmquist said. “There is internal pressure. There is external pressure. It’s partner pressure. There will definitely be pressure down. ”
“I think many people think we took a risk to change engines. We could have done what everyone else would have done, right? The easy route had been to make [NASCAR] Heat 6, add some quality of life features, sell it, keep going, turn the game over and over and over again. That’s just not what we want to do at Motorsport Games. There is a lot of pressure for this game, as you know, because we have the other games, like BTCC and other licenses that come on board, and of course this will be a reflection for consumers, the media – even our partners and future partners – of what our capabilities are.
“And obviously our goal is to create a portfolio of motorsport racing games that people really like and really spread the passion for games and motorsport, which is starting to get very similar, especially with esports.”
According to Holmquist, the studio’s approach to NASCAR 21 will be the foundation on which it is based.
“Unreal is not going to go anywhere,” he says. “RFactor physics will not go anywhere else, but will get better. So we also look to the future; that every game iteration – whether NASCAR, BTCC or so on – is going to get better and better. So this is our first flag on the ground. ”
“It is very important for us to ensure that this game is of a quality that users expect, and it is a step up from the Heat series.”
Motorsport Games has not confirmed a release date for NASCAR 21, but more details will be revealed in the coming months.
Luke is the Games Editor at IGN’s Sydney office. He’s more of a touring car guy, but he really likes Days of Thunder. A lot. You can find him on Twitter for a few days @MrLukeReilly.