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Posted: Mar 12, 2024 @ 02:30 pm GMT-0600
Updated: Mar 12, 2024 @ 03:41 pm GMT-0600
Sorting Tags: bignews, Le Mans Ultimate, News - All, News - Software,

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Posting this item late due to sickness. Apologies for the gap in coverage (whole of February, 2024).

Last month Studio 397 released their first fully independent game, Le Mans Ultimate, into Early Access. While I missed the release, the initial hurrah, the hotfixes (though I will cover patches in a future news post), I’m really happy to see that this made it out the door and has potentially helped Studio 397 to keep going. Studio 397 were profitable, by themselves, and they never have deserved to be put at any financial risk.

I worked for Studio 397 when this title was first proposed by Dom Duhan back when Marcel Offermans was head of studio more than five years ago, long before Motorsport Games owned the studio. It really has been a long-term dream and I’m really happy to see that they made it happen. It plays to the strengths of the rFactor 2 engine that both Image Space Incorporated and Studio 397 worked on, and I’m happy to see that apart from a certain amount of Early Access issues (which occasionally still exist in rFactor 2 itself, admittedly), it has been a fairly clean Early Access release. Looking forward to seeing the product features promised, such as VR, to be fully implemented.

You can buy Le Mans Ultimate on Steam and play in Early Access today.

Release screenshots:

Release trailer:

View this video on YouTube: https://youtu.be/jAA5ibznlps and please consider subscribing to RSC’s main channel.

Press release:

OFFICIAL 24 HOURS OF LE MANS GAME, LE MANS ULTIMATE, AVAILABLE TODAY
Official game of FIA World Endurance Championship and 24 Hours of Le Mans
Registrations of interest break target numbers ahead of highly anticipated global launch of new game
Internally developed title leverages RaceControl, Motorsport Games’ Online Service platform to deliver complete product-to-play ecosystem

MIAMI, February 20, 2024, Le Mans Ultimate, the official game of the FIA World Endurance Championship, and 24 Hours of Le Mans (ACO), goes on sale in Early Access today. The game is the first officially licenced and dedicated 24 Hours of Le Mans video game for over twenty years, created by Motorsport Games Inc. (NASDAQ:MSGM) (“Motorsport Games”) development team, Studio 397. The adrenaline buzz of being able to drive all the cars and circuits from the celebrated Le Mans Centenary year in 2023 is now available to motorsport fans and gamers the world over.

Developed with extensive manufacturer support, including detailed collaboration with Ferrari on the Le Mans Centenary winning 499, to make the included cars as realistic as possible. With improved realism, handling and graphics – all Hypercars, LMP2 and GTE-Am models from iconic manufacturers such as Porsche, Ferrari and Aston Martin feature in the PC-based game, built upon Studio 397’s own physics technology, further advanced for this release. Players will experience the thrill of driving at circuits featured in the 2023 FIA WEC: Sebring (USA), Portimão (Portugal), Spa-Francorchamps (Belgium), Monza (Italy), Fuji (Japan), Bahrain and the legendary Circuit de la Sarthe in Le Mans (France). All recreated with the utmost accuracy, utilizing laser-scan data to capture every detail.

“This is a significant milestone for a business we have worked to transform and give focus to over the last several months” enthused Stephen Hood, CEO of Motorsport Games. “Studio 397 are recognised as one of the very best technology teams in the business. From powering bespoke racing simulators used within F1® Arcade, for Formula 1 using our Factor 2 platform to the launch of Le Mans Ultimate, the first officially licensed Le Mans game in over twenty-years, Studio 397 can now proudly call themselves a complete game development studio. The simplification of our business to focus on game, technology and platform provides complete ownership of an ecosystem rarely found at a company of our size. This will help realise our vision for how community will transform the experience of enjoying racing and driving games and dovetails nicely with plans for our Le Mans Virtual Series, the record-breaking esports property which last attained over 10 million views.”

“Finally, I’m pleased to say our partnership with the ACO has today been reaffirmed and at a wonderful time with the 24 Hours of Le Mans and World Endurance Championship enjoying incredible attention. Our immediate focus is now on continued development and expansion of Le Mans Ultimate to provide gamers with a world-class entertainment experience.”

The 24 Hours of Le Mans and World Endurance Championship is currently undergoing a renaissance with renewed interest thanks to the new Hypercar machinery. Last year over 113 million viewers across 196 countries watched the event across all platforms, as recorded by YouGov Sport, an increase of 2.5 times more than the previous year. It is expected the interest will grow as even more prestigious competitors such as BMW and Lamborghini join the grid in 2024, which provides a rich and appealing content roadmap for future game updates.

Motorsport and sim racing fans alike can start their endurance racing experience in two ways on day one – offering the perfect blend of offline and online racing excitement. Regular online events, powered by the latest version of our RaceControl service, which enables a multiplayer service that scales to potentially thousands of concurrent users, having exceeded well over 33,000 registrations already so far in rFactor 2, and many more expected in Le Mans Ultimate. The service provides the opportunity for multiplayer participation in ranked Daily, Weekly and Special Events that pair drivers with those similarly ranked for the best experience. Races run regularly throughout the day, providing an accessible, fun environment for players of all abilities.

Single Player mode Race Weekend will offer the chance for players to test drive the sophisticated machinery and learn the circuits ahead of customizable race events. Striving for ultimate realism, users will be able to adjust the time of day for day/night transitions, session duration and weather conditions before racing against competitive AI drivers.

Supporting the game early allows players immediate access to the game and the ability to provide feedback throughout its journey, helping contribute to future development priorities. Game development will be a collaborative process, with Le Mans Ultimate providing regular updates on the build of the game, fixes, features, content development and quality of life updates.

These updates will form part of the initial day one price offering and will see incremental price increases for new purchasers throughout the latter stages of the Early Access period.

For further information on Le Mans Ultimate visit www.lemansultimate.com or the game’s social media channels @LeMansUltimate. You can now purchase Le Mans Ultimate through the Steam store page. Strap yourself in, and fire up Le Mans Ultimate – https://bit.ly/LeMansUltimateOnSteam

About Motorsport Games:

Motorsport Games, a Driven Lifestyle Group company, is a racing game developer, publisher and esports ecosystem provider of official motorsport racing series throughout the world. Combining innovative and engaging video games with exciting esports competitions and content for racing fans and gamers, Motorsport Games strives to make racing games that are authentically close to reality. The Company is the officially licensed video game developer and publisher for iconic motorsport racing series including the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Motorsport Games also owns the industry leading rFactor 2 and KartKraft simulation platforms. rFactor 2 also serves as the official sim racing platform of Formula E, while also powering F1 Arcade through a partnership with Kindred Concepts. Motorsport Games is also an award-winning esports partner of choice for the 24 Hours of Le Mans and Formula E. Motorsport Games is building a virtual racing ecosystem where each product drives excitement, every esports event is an adventure and every race inspires.

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