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Note: Since first posting this the press statement was removed because Motorsport Games broke their own embargo (oops). I was asked to remove it until the press embargo was lifted, and did so even though I did not source the news through an embargo (I saw it live on their Web site). The embargo has now been lifted.

Original post:

Motorsport Games today announced they have entered an agreement to buy Studio 397 and the rFactor 2 product. The studio will not be renamed.

This comes just days after the announcement Motorsport Games had taken over KartKraft and it’s creator, Black Delta. Motorsport Games and S397 have worked together before on the 24 Hours of Le Mans Virtual race, as well as the Formula E Race at Home Challenge, both of which were operated by Motorsport Games using rFactor 2.

Having worked for Studio 397 in the past, and knowing the hands-off approach Luminis took to everything, I wouldn’t be surprised if most of this deal works out heavily in the favor of the developer where basically we’ve seen Luminis simply replaced as a controlling company by Motorsport Games. It’s worth noting that Motorsport Games hold licensing in many different areas of motorsport, including WEC, and perhaps saw last years 24 Hours of Le Mans Virtual race as confirmation that they could put the series license in safe hands with the Dutch developer.

It’s also worth noting that Motorsport Games has a parent company, Motorsport Network, who also went about business in much the same way, buying motorsport.com, autosport.com, Autosport Magazine, The Autosport Awards, Autosport International, GP Racing Magazine, Motorsport.tv, Motorsport Images, Motorsport Tickets, Motorsport Games, Motor1.com, InsideEVs, FerrariChat, Canossa Events outright, while also holding shares in Formula E, Motorsport stats, Motorsport Jobs, Motormarket and Giorgio Piola’s technical motorsport drawings.

Here is the full text of the announcement:

Motorsport Games Enters into Binding Term Sheet to Acquire Developer Studio397 and its rFactor 2 Simulation Platform
Studio397 brand and name to remain under Motorsport Games banner. Updates and iteration of rFactor 2 to continue under Studio397

MIAMI, FL — March 3, 2021 — Motorsport Games Inc. (NASDAQ: MSGM) (“Motorsport Games”), a leading racing game developer, publisher and esports ecosystem provider of official motorsport racing series throughout the world, announced today that it has entered a binding term sheet to acquire Studio397 BV, the company behind the industry leading rFactor 2 racing simulation platform, from Luminis International BV. The acquisition will see Studio397 continue its work on rFactor 2 while also developing the physics and handling models for Motorsport Games’ forthcoming projects. Motorsport Games expects to utilize its resources and expertise to enhance the rFactor 2 offering, especially in areas highlighted by the racing community.

Studio397 and Motorsport Games have long worked in tandem, with rFactor 2 providing the simulation platform for the highly successful 24 Hours of Le Mans Virtual race, as well as the Formula E Race at Home Challenge, both of which were operated by Motorsport Games. It is expected that Studio397 will retain its name and branding with the existing development team and management will remain with the studio.

“We have been working with the team at Studio397 for a long time on both game development and esports. This is an acquisition that, when completed, makes complete sense for all parties and we are delighted to have them agree to join the Motorsport Games family,” said Stephen Hood, President of Motorsport Games.

“Studio397 has a clear passion for virtual racing and together we recognised an opportunity to work as one team to advance the genre to the next level,” continued Hood. “We see this as great news for the sim racing community as we can now leverage the best elements of the rFactor 2 platform, combine it with our foundational use of Unreal Engine (developed by Epic Games) and layer in the additional components our talented teams have spent the last two years developing. Our aim was to start out with a product that had heart and soul. When the planned acquisition is completed, we can operate safe in the knowledge that another piece of an ambitious puzzle has been secured.”

“After growing rFactor 2 in the last five years, we are excited to take the next step with Motorsport Games, advancing rFactor 2 and integrating its advanced simulation technology into future projects. We share a common ambition to be the best at what we do,” said Marcel Offermans, Managing Director, Studio397.

“This planned acquisition is another clear signal of our intention to establish Motorsport Games as the leader in the virtual racing space. We continue to utilize the capital committed by our shareholders to aggressively pursue our goals,” added Dmitry Kozko, CEO of Motorsport Games. “Securing rFactor 2 and the expertise behind will be a huge advancement for us. We will bring our experience and knowledge to help maximize the potential of the rFactor 2 platform while also having exclusive access to its best-in-class technology for our future projects.”

“The level of simulation and the feeling of driving offered by rFactor 2 is second to none,” shared Fernando Alonso, Motorsport Games shareholder, Alpine Formula 1 driver and two-time Formula 1 World Drivers’ Champion. “I am delighted that Studio397 and rFactor 2 will be joining our Motorsport Games family and I am sure that we will enjoy a great deal of success together.”

This latest announcement from Motorsport Games follows a string of exciting developments, including the upcoming acquisition of KartKraft from Black Delta and announcements of forthcoming games based upon the iconic 24 Hours of Le Mans and the British Touring Car Championship, in addition to the company’s existing NASCAR projects.

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