In late February, iRacing launched their push to have their online racing simulation added to Steam as members were asked to vote for iRacing on Steam Greenlight.
Reactions from the community haven’t been all that positive, causing iRacing’s Kevin Bobbitt to release a rather blunt blog entry, addressing the situation:
I can’t remember the last time a staff forum post caused so much angst. Asking members to vote for iRacing on Steam’s Project Greenlight sure brought-out some opinions. It seems as if members are either very much for it or very much against it. I can’t understand why you would be against it, but you are certainly entitled to your opinion.
The whole reason we added iRacing to Project Greenlight was to try and reach new people (presuming we can get Greenlit). We have no plans to change the way things work here at iRacing. We still plan to handle purchases and updates through our site – we think we have developed a pretty good system! While we don’t know exactly how Steam integration would work – we need to have some conversations with Steam first – we do envision it working in a way that would make it easy for new people to sign up for iRacing through Steam. Once they are members, they would get their updates directly through us, or through Steam if they prefer. So for all existing members there would be absolutely no change to the way things work presently except for one small thing . . . .
. . . . there would be more iRacers! This is good for everyone involved with iRacing. More racers means more people signing-up to race. The splits would be better, the racing would be better and we (iRacing) can continue to develop the title. All of the features you keep asking about take time and money to create, and more customers certainly helps with the latter.
All this talk about “Bringing-in the wrong type of people” is ridiculous. What kind of people do you want? I want people who are passionate about racing and racing games, have a PC and Internet connection and maybe already have a racing wheel. Will any of the new members join and immediately be ready for the World Championship series? Probably not, but let’s face it, most of you are not either (present company included). Will they make rookie mistakes in the rookie races? You betcha. Will they ask rookie questions in the forums? Sure. Will they not follow the sporting code to the letter on day one? Absolutely. Any of this sound familiar? I bet it describes most of us. None of us are perfect and all of us have made mistakes on iRacing. Most of us have learned from them and gotten better. So what makes you think these potential new iRacers would be any different?
All I’m asking is to be open to the idea that there are many more PC gamers out there that would find iRacing interesting and fun to compete in. We just want to reach out to them and let them know where to find us
The decision to go the Steam route is the newest step of iRacing’s efforts to make their simulation more accessible to a bigger audience. When the service first launched, iRacing was exclusively launched at hardcore sim racers, working with wheels only and offering no driving aids aside from auto clutch.
With gamepad support, driving aids for rookie series and even touch controls having been added already, bringing the title to Steam would be the next step in bringing iRacing’s approach on online racing to a much wider audience. Interested sim racers can vote for iRacing on Steam Greenlight here.
What do you think – Is iRacing decision to go the Steam route a wise one or will it water down the title’s simulation roots? Discuss in the comments below!