With only a few hours of 2009 left, it’s once again time to take a short look back at the passing year and at what’s coming up in the next 12 months.
The past year has proven to be an eventful year for sim racers as there was no shortage of exciting news. The rFactor community has continued to release stunning mods such as Enduracer’s Endurance Series mod, Simbin has brought us RACE On and many other projects have been released or progressed very well. Once again, it’s nice to see that the community is quite healthy as sim racers have been given countless options to pursue their hobby this year.
Alongside the established simulations such as rFactor and Simbin’s sims, iRacing has been progressing in full force, adding lots of content and features to their online racing sim. 2009 was also the year of old faithfuls that are still going strong. Grand Prix Legends is still very much kicking, Live for Speed is working on fresh content too and netKar Pro has gained many new fans with a much improved new version and the Fiat Abarth 500.
The most-discussed title of 2009 was definitely Need for Speed Shift though. Slightly Mad Studios’ first title has caused a lot of buzz in the community and once again proven that clever modders can improve even high-polished mainstream racing titles. And last but definitely not least, 2009 was also the year we learned first facts about ISI’s upcoming rFactor 2 simulation.
For VirtualR, 2009 was once again a record-breaking year. Combining all visitors, the site has been read by over 4 million readers in 2009 (!), who left more than 20.000 comments. The success proved to be hard to manage as last March saw the first major downtime of the site when the first rFactor 2 previews caused the shared server to collapse.
Since then, much has been changed behind the scenes as the site is now running on powerful hardware that is badly needed to keep up with the still-rising demand. The front-end of VirtualR also changed in 2009 when the new design was introduced in July, I´m (surprisingly) still happy with the current layout so don’t expect it to change anytime soon.
So, what’s coming up in 2010? The new year is already shaping up to be very exciting as several great titles are on the horizon. With rFactor 2, Gran Turismo 5, Codemaster’s first Formula One PC game, Real-Time Racing and all the other usual suspects from the modding community coming up with new material, there will be no shortage of reasons to visit VirtualR in 2010.
With that being said, I`d like to thank all of you who have visited VirtualR in 2009 and supported me in one way or another. Thanks a lot to all modders, developers, commenters and everyone else who has taken an active role in our community – This site wouldn’t work without you! I´d also like to thank my past and current advertisers as I wouldn’t be able to keep the site up without them.
Happy 2010 everyone – Keep On Sim Racing!