IndyCar game delayed until 2024, or maybe never (3rd Update)
It may almost be time to stick a fork in the new IndyCar Game – it appears done, as in kaput.
A report from the IndyStar published Monday highlights the studio’s bleak financials that have led to repeated delays, loss of staff, multiple changes in its board, and even a new CEO.
Last week, Stephen Hood took over the role of chairman from Dmitry Kozko after the game developer saw negative cash flows of nearly $20 million in 2022. As the report points out, in the first week of February 2023 alone, Kozko had raised up to $11.32 million to support its many commitments with various racing series, but the cash burn has been fast and furious.
Can bankruptcy be far behind?
During a call to discuss 2022 Q4 earnings, Kozko told investors that Motorsport Games had experienced losses of more than $70 million over the last two years. More worryingly, Kozko said that he did not believe the company had “sufficient cash on hand to fund our operations for the remainder of 2023.”
So where does this leave IndyCar’s first video game in decades? Nowhere.
IndyCar president and CEO Mark Miles appears to be confident that a game is coming.
He’s not sure.
Because he signed a bad deal.
“My comment (at Thermal to IndyStar during preseason testing regarding the release of IndyCar’s first video game in nearly 20 years) was based on what they [Motorsport Games] were telling us at the time,” Miles told the outlet in Long Beach.
“And as they worked through their situation, how much capital they have, how much has been raised, and how much burn is there, they came to the conclusion they had to have a delay.
“I know for a fact that they’ve scanned every track [and drivers]. I don’t know if it’s just fine-tuning left or if there’s more to flesh out, but I do know a lot of work has been done. From what I’ve seen, it looks incredibly realistic. They want it to be what a track looks like, down to the signage and the surroundings, and that’s really important to us,” Miles added.
Meanwhile, iRacing got the IndyCar shaft – when IndyCar signed the Motorsport Games deal, iRacing was told to terminate IndyCar racing on its platform. This really pissed off all IndyCar fans.
Meanwhile, many are hoping the rumor that Liberty Media wants to buy IndyCar turns out to be true.
March 25, 2023
Meanwhile, the World of Outlaws released a badass sprint car game with the help of iRacing and it was so popular that they’re releasing a big update this summer.
IndyCar fans loved iRacing and the series has really given them the royal screw.
March 25, 2023
CORRECTION: We forgot that all references to IndyCar were removed from iRacing.
So now there’s nothing anywhere since this promise to IndyCar fans in 2021.
March 24, 2023
IndyCar fans have iRacing. They couldn’t care less about IndyCar’s new game.
Fledgling driving video game developer Motorsport Games has announced that its official IndyCar game has been pushed back to 2024.
Originally announced in July 2021, the first dedicated PC and console game of the American open-wheel championship since Codemasters’ IndyCar Series 2005 was slated for a 2023 release.
This has changed today, 24th March 2023, as announced on the company’s full-year 2022 earnings call.
“For our IndyCar game, we continue to make strides in our development efforts,” said Motorsport Games’ CEO Dmitry Kozko during the presentation.
“But we do not believe we will be in a satisfactory position to release it to the community this year.
“The IndyCar community has not had a dedicated game in over a decade and we want to make sure that our IndyCar game is on par with other major racing games out there, with enough features to keep IndyCar and other fans excited.”
Further context to the decision behind the delay was provided later in the call by the company which also has licenses for dedicated NASCAR, 24 Hours of Le Mans and British Touring Car Championship games.
“I think one point that we really want to make clear, that we touched on in our call, is that we really took a step back and took a serious look at the quality of products we deliver, especially when it comes to an IndyCar product,” explained Kozko.
“We want to make sure that the standard that the IndyCar community is looking for in their product is surpassed, we want to make sure that we exceed their expectations.”
Motorsport Games has since announced that it will not make further games based on its technology base and instead has enlisted the erstwhile KartKraft development team to create IndyCar wholly in Unreal.
“Our track record with Ignition doesn’t show that capability so far,” continued Kozko.
“So we essentially have to take even a higher standard to ourselves to make sure that when we do release that game, it starts a proper momentum.
“So for us, it’s an investment for the long run of making a decision, even though we are seeing the game in the proper stage right now.
“There [are] moving cars, there [are] tracks, there [are] certain elements that are supposed to be in the game. But we just do not believe that it’s up to par for what the community will expect…
“…We understand that taking extra time and extra investment into that will ultimately, in the long run, pay off for us.”
For the fourth quarter of its 2022 financial year, Motorsport Games’ revenue was $3.8 million, a 54% fall year-on-year. Gross profit was $2.3 million compared to $3.3 million for the same period in the prior year, a decrease of $1 million, while gross profit margin improved to 60.6% from 40.5%.
It still recorded a net loss of $4.8 million, compared to a net loss of $7 million 12 months earlier. —Traxion—