While Formula 1 and NASCAR have enjoyed their own video game franchises with diehard followers for a while now, IndyCar’s been without one since 2005. Sure, the American open-wheeled racers have appeared in Forza Motorsport and sims like iRacing, but we’re talking about a dedicated IndyCar title. That’s changing in 2023 as the series’ leadership headed by Roger Penske has inked a deal with Motorsport Games.
The yet-to-be-named title will come to Playstation, Xbox, and PC in roughly two years’ time. Details are few and far between, though IndyCar and Motorsport Games’ joint press release mentioned esports events happening as soon as this year. At this point, we’re just waiting for some gameplay clips.
It sounds like IndyCar’s wide variety of race tracks will all be featured in the game, so we should get a mix of ovals, road courses, and street circuits. Indianapolis Motor Speedway ought to be fun, and maybe by then, Richmond will be back on the calendar. There’s gotta be people out there who wanna go short track racing from home, right?
Motorsport Games is responsible for diehard sim platforms like rFactor2, along with more casual titles including the NASCAR Heat series’ latest offerings. It’s anyone’s guess how the firm’s IndyCar game will look and feel, but given the capabilities of Microsoft and Sony’s next-gen consoles, there’s plenty to hope for.
This is a clear step toward attracting a younger audience for IndyCar, something series owner Roger Penske wants and needs to focus on. If the sport is accessible on a virtual level, it’s more likely to translate to real-life viewership and attendance. After battling through his first year at the helm in a pandemic-stricken world, Penske is looking to capitalize on IndyCar’s talented field and stellar on-track package.
A video game franchise is just one piece of the puzzle.
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