To the shock and dismay of iRacers around the world, the news broke that iRacing’s Indycar license will not be renewed. In a post on the iRacing forums titled “Indycar License Changes”, it was confirmed that Indycar had signed an exclusivity deal with another studio, meaning changes to how the licensed content can be used, and that iRacing was working on securing a new license. What this also means is, the iRacing Indy 500 special event, in its official form, is no more. The reaction to the news by fans has been one of outrage and confusion.
The sport needs exposure, not this
Whether or not you like iRacing, restricting IndyCar’s presence in games is the opposite of what needs to happen. In a world where NASCAR can have official games + an official iRacing series, there is no excuse except for poor contracts pic.twitter.com/JmNzByvJJq
— GPLaps (@GPLapsJake) December 21, 2022
I wouldn’t have fallen in love with the 500 without iRacing – 2022 was my first, and 2023 will be my 2nd.
— Arjuna Kankipati (@ArjunaKankipati) December 21, 2022
First they took us away the 24 hours of Lemans, and now they take away the Indy 500 for most of the simracing users.
I know this isn’t lolipopland and this is business, but for me they crossed the line.
It’s hard to support Rfactor or any other @MSportgames with this decisions👎 pic.twitter.com/wUyWu6JwKQ
— Pablo Araujo (@PabloGz) December 21, 2022
Even multiple Daytona 500 winner, Dale Earnhardt Jr had his say
I don’t understand this decision by @IndyCar to not continue a decade long partnership with @iRacing. This is such a gut punch for that community. After all both brands accomplished together, including during the past few challenging years…🤷🏼♂️ https://t.co/fXl7D2K2gy
— Dale Earnhardt Jr. (@DaleJr) December 21, 2022
Following on from this announcement, it also came to light that broadcasts featuring the current Indycar content are no longer permitted because of licensing issues.
Why was the Indycar license not renewed?
The whole reason for this debacle is the new standalone Indycar game which is being produced by Motorsport Games. While it’s not clear in the forum post who the exclusive license has gone to, it’s been public knowledge that an Indycar game has been in the works and is set to launch next year. Motorsport Games is a company that is not in the simracing community’s good books. The company recently secured financial backing from an investor after its third quarter financial meeting showed it to be making big financial losses. This decision to give the rights to the Indycar game, alongside the official BTCC game, and the rights to the Le Mans series among others, to a company that is struggling financially, has left fans confused.
What does this mean?
This is not the first time that an exclusivity deal has left iRacing without a special event (iRacing Le Mans 24hrs). However, the devs at iRacing adapted to this and now run the event in an “unofficial official” capacity by not running it as a special event and not referring to it as the Le Mans 24. Expect the same thing to happen with the Indy 500 in some capacity.
The current Indycar content will still remain available to purchase and use but there will be no special events or broadcasts featuring these cars until a new licensing agreement is struck.
SEE ALSO: Gran Turismo World Finals End In Controversy