iRacing is probably the single most professionally-recognized simulator in the racing world. It’s been used to replicate real NASCAR during the pandemic, it’s partnered with IMSA, even dirt track and open-wheel racers have found a home on its online platform. But that intricacy, the attention to every conceivable detail, has made for a high barrier to entry that’s forced iRacing into being a niche market player — far from the likes of Forza or Gran Turismo.
Now, a new purchase from iRacing Motorsports Simulations (the company behind the eponymous simulator) could change that dynamic. Hot on the heels of last month’s purchase of Orontes Games, the company has now bought another studio: Monster Games, known for developing cross-platform NASCAR and Sprint Car games.
The key phrase there is “cross-platform” — iRacing is an incredibly accurate PC simulator, but it’s only on PC. Monster Games’ experience in developing console titles, accessible to those without incredibly in-depth sim racing rigs, could point to new priorities for iRacing as a brand.
The press release from iRacing Motorsports Simulations makes sure to explain that “The iRacing development team will remain 100% focused on continuing to develop the core product, iRacing.” Any concepts for brand expansion, however, seem to still be on the table. It’s easy to picture a split between iRacing games for PC and for console, along similar lines as the Forza twins: Forza Motorsport for the sim-minded, Forza Horizon for those who want to hit bowling pins with Hoonigan race cars.
The iRacing team hasn’t confirmed any plans to expand the brand, but buying up studios isn’t an inexpensive endeavor. Multiple acquisitions, especially in such a short period of time, point to an expectation of new revenue — particularly, revenue from new products. In the case of Monster Games, that likely means more accessible console offerings. Y’know, games for those of us who don’t have their direct deposit sent straight to Fanatec.