Ignite Game Technologies and INDYCAR today announced the Silicon Valley-based video game company will develop the next official INDYCAR game and release it on its online racing platform, Simraceway.
The title will include all the teams and tracks from current and future IZOD IndyCar Series and Firestone Indy Lights races in live, full-size re-creations of each season, authentic vehicle physics affirmed by four-time IZOD IndyCar Series champion Dario Franchitti, and millimeter-perfect tracks produced by highly-accurate laser-scanning techniques. While its launch date is yet to be announced, Ignite will be releasing details of its full feature set shortly, as well as a range of INDYCAR content, including the brand new 2012 IZOD IndyCar Series car.
The company also stated that the game will be powered by its brand-new, proprietary “Skillquant" technology. Skillquant, the world’s first 100 percent accurate, real-time player skill quantification system, is able to precisely match players in order to give them competitive online racing experiences, regardless of whether they are beginners used to playing arcade games or hardcore enthusiasts regularly driving sim racing titles.
The game’s authenticity has been enhanced by significant involvement from two IndyCar legends, Franchitti and the late Dan Wheldon, who won the 2005 IZOD IndyCar Series championship and two Indianapolis 500s.
Franchitti is currently overseeing development of the game’s vehicle dynamics, which will boast simulation-grade physics. Working alongside Simraceway’s Head of Racing Physics Nico Rondet at the game’s permanent, real-world testing facility on Infineon Raceway, the Scot has already begun shaking down the virtual IZOD IndyCar Series car — a rigorous process that was aided by the fact he had just completed the shakedown for his real Target Chip Ganassi Racing car on the same track. Wheldon, who tragically lost his life at the end of the 2011 season, played a key role in getting the project off the ground, as well as helping make the company’s S1 Steering Wheel — which will be supported by the game — a reality.
Having already started work on the title, Ignite is planning to use it to take the racing game genre in a new direction, with special emphasis on its in-car authenticity and more closely linking its virtual events with the real-world ones they mirror.
“Securing the license for a series with the glamour and prestige of INDYCAR represents a real coup for us and a clear sign of our intent for the Simraceway platform," said Ignite CEO Jonathan Haswell. “Not only will our players be able to enjoy exciting, on-demand races and prize-based challenges, they will soon be able to take part in completely authentic re-creations of some of the most celebrated events in motorsport, including the Indianapolis 500. We’re particularly excited about the innovative plans we have to blur the line between virtual and real-life racing."
On the subject of the game’s expert guidance, Haswell added: “We’ve been truly blessed to be able to call on two drivers so engrained in Indy car folklore. Dario will ensure our players experience the real deal when they’re out on the track while the importance of Dan’s help over the last few years cannot be overstated — without his expertise and enthusiasm, we simply wouldn’t be here — and we plan to recognize his unstinting support and valued friendship in the game."
“I’m really enjoying working on a project as ambitious as Simraceway," added Franchitti, “and I’m naturally delighted that the team behind it is producing an IndyCar Series game. Having spent some time shaking down the DW-12 in the simulator and seeing the ambition of the people behind the game, I have no doubt that it’s going to be a massive hit. I’m excited about doing my bit and helping to complete the work begun by my great friend, Dan Wheldon."
Remarkable detail: SRW’s tester and IndyCar driver Dario Franchitti is racing with a Logitech G27 with pedals and not with a floating “SRWii wheel". Seems that real drivers still prefer a proper steeringwheel with pedals!