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Ferrari Virtual Academy – No Longer Available

Ferrari has shut down their Ferrari Virtual Academy simulation game as players are no longer able to use the title.

Ferrari has shut down their Ferrari Virtual Academy simulation game as players are no longer able to use the title.

Developed by Assetto Corsa creators Kunos Simulazioni, FVA featured several Ferrari racing cars, including Formula One machinery, as well as laser-scanned tracks such as Mugello, Fiorano and the Nürburgring.

Released in late 2011, it is not surprising that support for the title would end somewhere down the road. The fact that the game requires the online servers to work even in single player mode means the shutdown has essentially locked buyers out of the game they own.

  • Chris Wright

    This is the first time I can remember such a shut down occurring in sim racing. It demonstrates the inherent long term disadvantage of any title that requires some form of online server connection to operate. Let’s hope that other titles with such Internet dependency will be able to be played offline when their commercial days are deemed to be over.

    Right now I’m playing a game with no such problems – GPL! That will probably live forever.

    • Carlos Rodriguez

      This can happen anytime, it’s the downside of buying cloud-stored games. Say, we know someday, maybe in 10 years, who knows, World of Warcraft will shut down. People who play and pay monthly fees will be left with nothing. Still, it doesn’t excuse Ferrari at all. They should at least have asked Kunos to adapt the title for offline racing, or refund the amount paid in credit in their store. They could’ve done something for those who tried the game out.

      • Matthew Arnold

        I assume its mainly an online validation of purchase they are shutting down, so we cannot validate hence cannot login and play.

        IF its a dead product in their eyes, why not just remove validation all together!!!

      • Bakkster

        Removing validation might mean the assets could be stolen for use in mods, which Ferrari would still probably dislike (why else put validation on it in the first place?). Moving the validation to a 3rd-party so Ferrari no longer need to maintain it could be a reasonable option.

      • sickbroski

        Why bother if the anti-consumer consumers validate them?

    • Sim Antics

      Sim Raceway may be the next?

      • Matthew Arnold

        Ive never raced sim raceway. Ive heard murmours about a controversy surrounding them, but i wasn’t into sim racing back then.

        Why do you think they will close the doors also?

      • Chris Wright

        Do you know that’s the first time in ages anyone has even mentioned Sim Raceway on here. Intriguing that it has never caught on at all with so many simmers, self included.

      • Bakkster

        When I tried it, it was a buggy mess. As in, my car literally froze on the track multiple times per lap while the lap timer kept ticking. When I wanted to try again their servers were down completely. I haven’t reinstalled since because they install an always-on service and it just isn’t worth it to me when I can play iRacing instead.

    • http://www.mikecantwell.com/ Mike Cantwell

      Similar to EA shutting down the servers for many of there games after a few years. At least you can still play off line a game you own…..

    • Bakkster

      More specifically, it’s the problem with requiring an online connection without that online providing an integral part of the game. iRacing, for instance, or an MMO which has a central game world is different from a game like FVA where (correct me if I’m wrong) the online component was just for online leaderboards.

      • Chris Wright

        You’re right, of course, but sadly the ultimate end result is likely to be the same.

      • Bakkster

        I think it’s more about the expectations when buying it. I expect that when a multiplayer-only game like iRacing goes out of business I won’t be able to play it anymore (at least not the way I want, even if they made private testing available that’s not why I play iRacing). I don’t expect a single player game to depend on a server connection to play by myself.

  • Roger Wallentin

    Replaced by a scoped version of AC with Ferrari content? 🙂

    • Andrew

      I would only accept a 360 noscope version.

      • StarFoxySxv550

        YY ladder stall?

  • Dani .

    Long life to digital purchases and internet dependencies!

    ¬¬

  • LogiForce

    Currently the FVA servers are still up and running. For how long remains to be seen.

  • David Hughes

    A monthly payment model is one thing to close down, but a one-off fee for a game which is then taken away is poor form, even if the small print explains it most people would not expect that.

    Reinforces my existing impression of Ferrari – an introverted ramshackle outfit failing to adapt to the 21st Century.

    • Professional Operator

      They put an end to a competition that now is clearly over
      People spread s*** on the internet.

      Classic.

      • David Hughes

        Why was it still for sale after the competition closed if it was just for the competition?

        Very shoddy business practice at best, some would say shady.

      • Professional Operator

        I think they somehow forgot about colsing FVA the proper way, annuncing a couple of months before.
        Things like this can eventually happen when a company change the President and a big part of the staff after so many years. FVA was closely related to F1 simulation team therefore related to Reparto Corse.

      • David Hughes

        I think they are just highly unprofessional operators.

    • Toonces

      Ferrari has been sucky since Miles Davis bought a Boano-bodied 250GT from Luigi Chinetti’s place over on 11th Avenue in 1963. (Davis brought it back the next day, saying “the motherf^^^er rattles.”)

      • http://racingrenders.com/ F1Racer

        As it’s quoted, somewhat anecdotal and rather funny, I`ll let the language slide this once. 🙂

      • Toonces

        Sorry. It *was* a direct quote. Won’t happen again.

      • Matthew Arnold

        Glad to see a bit of honest humour can supersede all rules 🙂

  • Sim Antics

    I still fire it up now and again what a shame!

  • http://www.mikecantwell.com/ Mike Cantwell

    Do we get a refund? They should make it available off line since we paid for it…..

    • Bill

      Exactly we should get a refund.

      • Sim Antics

        Don’t think that will happen

    • Chris Wright

      They will doubtless have mentioned this possibility in the end user license. If they didn’t then you might have a good case. Either way it stinks as a piece of customer relations.

  • Bill

    Class action? Point being a corporation now controls your right to access a game and can take that away from you at any time, precedent has now been set, so what else will this effect think about that? What else can they just take away that you paid for?

    I liked the F1 car as it actually had DRS and KERS that worked, also Fiorano was one of my favourite tracks.

    • Professional Operator

      Class action? Did you actually read the long agreement nobody cares to read before downloading something? I guess no.

      • Daniel Rowe

        ToS have been ruled against before, don’t think it could happen here, but just because it is in the License Agreement doesn’t mean it can’t be challenged

      • sickbroski

        law > agreement

  • traind

    They should solve this by giving Kunos the right to use the two F1 cars and Fiorano in Assetto Corsa. Most people who own FVA must have bought AC by now…

    • Bill

      Yes exactly I paid for the title to support Kunos, while waiting for AC thinking it would help out what a kick in the teeth for supporters.

      • MC

        Dunno if Kunos did make any money from sales of FVA. I thought he just developed the title, using a custom version of nKPro (like that MTV Abarth thing).

    • http://RPGcestiny.cz/ Marek Tvrdý

      That would be acceptable solution. But I thing that Ferrari don’t care about us.

  • Hugo Stiglitz

    That is so messed up. This is why I hate always online games with a passion but I never would’ve guessed FVA would be one of them

    • Professional Operator

      It’s not an online game it’s a competition with a start and an end.

    • sickbroski

      Better keep your fingers crossed with Raceroom.

  • Gumshoe

    Amazing so many people attribute value from a purchase to future potential enjoyment (or loss of) and not the enjoyment they’ve already had!

    • Kris Baxter

      Of course its for future enjoyment. Everyone buys stuff for future enjoyment, and when buying something you expect it to last a reasonable time, in the case of a game it should be as long as an OS supports it. If the servers are down then a patch should be released that allows it to play and verify offline.
      ISI need to do the same thing for rfactor, if I want to have a trip down memory lane in 2020 I should be able to as I own the licence, which does not stipulate that after 10 years of usage my licence lapses.
      This is the problem with all online games, before they go end of life, they should release a patch for the offline portion, I see BF3 and 4 causing problems for the same reason in the next few years. MP won’t matter as the next greatest MP game will be available, but what about the shmucks that want to play SP?

    • Yabba

      If the game was sold on the premise that one day you’d lose access, fair enough, but otherwise it feels like a con.

      It’s one thing for someone to choose to not to play an old game or not to wear a pair of jeans they bought years ago, it’s another for the person that sold you them to take them away from you. More so, if like you they try to say “Well, you enjoyed wearing them once so what’s your complaint?”

      It’s a bit of a concern given the amount of DRM in various services and games. Some inspire perhaps more confidence than others too (e.g I might feel reasonably confident that Steam will be around and, if not, that they will do something to keep the games working. I can’t say I’d have the same confidence if I’d paid for R3E content that it won’t disappear one day) Clearly, for Kunos and Ferrari, that day has arrived.

      Glad I didn’t buy it.

  • Matthew Arnold

    This is messed up. I haven’t long ago purchased it !!!!!! Thought id throw some more money Kunos’s way!!!!

    Sort this out please Kunos. Id still like to have access to the product i paid for 🙁

  • Grant Waterman

    Imagine the ruckus if iRacing went broke

    • Bakkster

      Though iRacing provides the servers we all race on for a subscription fee, while FVA was just a hotlapping game. I see where iRacing requires a functional server to stay around (just like an MMO), but not for FVA where it’s purely a leaderboard and DRM.

    • karthik pai

      As nothing in life is forever, if iracing ever went broke, I would definitely expect them to release an offline option for the purchased content. But then, the community built over there cannot be replaced!!!

      • Timpie

        I actually doubt that since once they are broke and lose the licenses they obtained, we probably don’t have the “right” to use them anymore. Probably sounds weird if you aren’t an iRacing member but I’ve always been told there: “You don’t buy content, you rent the license”

  • Sinister Kid

    Gutted as I still drive this every now and then! Love Fiorano and the F1 cars! Would be great if Kunos could bring all the content over to AC 🙂

  • Guest

    I submitted news about this originally to VirtualR (long time lurker

  • Mark Leatham

    I submitted this news originally (long time lurker on here!), saying I hadn’t tried FVA yet myself (as setting up new PC and not got to it yet), but as the game requires a sign-in to drive then it might not work for much longer (if it still does currently?).

    Ferrari have done this sort of thing before. Years ago they had a freeware game called Ferrari X-Challenge, then later came Ferrari Virtual Race (by Synetic who made World Racing 2 and the Crash Time games), which promised extra downloadable cars then they dropped it.

    So the death of FVA is sort-of expected, as it was used to enter a competition originally. The issue is that it wasn’t freeware (like most car company branded downloadable games are). I’d hope that there’s some way to run it offline in future, or the content is ported into Assetto Corsa (as there’s no official modern-ish F1 cars in there yet (the Lotus Exos isn’t an F1 racer!)).

  • gianluca p

    This is one of those situations in which a crack would be very welcomed.
    I bought the game, I like it, I love hotlapping in Fiorano with the 458 and I want to be able to keep doing so.
    Now, If you wanna shut down the login system, then give the customers a warning and the time to download the installer, then provide them a solution that allow them to keep playing the game offline. Ferrari sucks, plain and simple.
    The FVA website went offline some weeks ago (maybe 1 or 2 months ago, can’t remember), then recently the website started working again and people who wanted to buy the game or download the installer was able to do so. This means that probably someone have bought the game also in the last days. And now they shut down everything.
    I have the installer and I’ve saved the folder where the game stores the login data and savegames, but it doesn’t do the login.
    NKP use the same login system, but allow me to login and play offline after the first run of the game. So if the player keep the installer and save the folder that the game creates inside the User Documents folder he will be able to play the game also when Kunos will decide to not support and sell NKP anymore.
    If someone knows a workaround that allows to play the legit copy of FVA offline would be very appreciated.

  • DaniDan

    What a shame. I would like to use the content offline. I do not like to pay for a product which I can use just for a limited time. Al least Ferrari should have announced the end in advance.
    Maybe Kunos can integrate the content in AC as a download pack, which could be free for FVA licence holders.

    Dan

    • RKipker

      An excellent idea, but I doubt frerrai will allow.

      • DaniDan

        Maybe Ferrari is fine with it. Kunos seems to have a large Ferrari agreement for AC so more Ferraris wouldn’t be suprising. As it would be free only for the FVA content buyers, which have already paid for the content, it could be a move which is kind of a win-win situation for Kunos, Ferrari and us.

  • Skytrill

    Kunos should make a tiny patch that makes the game playable in single player. It suck to pay for product that you aren’t allowed to use after a certain time, it becomes a mere paid service and not a product that you own. Just my two cents.

    • Bakkster

      That depends if it’s Kunos’ decision to make, or Ferrari’s.

      • MC

        Far as I’m aware all decisions were Ferrari’s. For example Kunos wanted multiplayer with FVA, but Ferrari only wanted a hotlap mode for their competition.

  • Dynamitry

    What? So now I have to throw it to trash? I paid for it’s extra content. Kunos, BAD MOVE. (Unless you release offline patch)

    • http://racingrenders.com/ F1Racer

      “Ferrari has shut down their Ferrari Virtual Academy simulation game as players are no longer able to use the title.”

      Why are you blaming Kunos ?

  • Y E S

    Sad… it was my favorite F1 car. Mugello with Helmet cam don’t have any similar feeling in any other sim. They should have made and offline patch. It’s a wrong communication for the Ferrari brand.

  • http://racingrenders.com/ F1Racer

    If Ferrari have to shut this down, then I think it was only fair and right to all those who bought this that, the limited content it had, be made available for offline use.
    It would have been no skin off their nose.

  • gman

    Welcome to the Cloud.

    • Skytrill

      You won the thread.

    • QUF

      What is the Cloud?

  • MC

    A few people converted the content to netKar, I know Kegetys was considering releasing tools to do this, dunno what happened 🙁

  • AeroMechanical

    Since few people in the wider gaming world are likely to care or notice, I’d recommend spreading the news of this around if you can. I sent it off to Bluesnews.com who published it as a story linking back to VirtualR, because it’s the only PC gaming site I know of. It’s good to have a concrete, well documented and high(ish) profile (Ferrari and Kunos Simulazioni) example to point to when people scoff at the “what happens one day when the servers close down” argument against online DRM for games not requiring an online component.

  • AeroMechanical

    Anyone happen to have a copy of the EULA? (Or the original installer executable).

    • Gui Cramer

      Unless there was a disclaimer about complete stoppage of service to the consumer, and thus making it clear the game would be inaccessible, it doesn’t matter what the EULA says – it can be held illegal.

      [/lawyered]

      • Sim Antics

        They are not in the USA and Italy makes up it’s own rules

      • hotak

        i’m 99% sure that most software you own has actually written in the EULA that you don’t really own it, but just have an end-user licence, often also subject to change. It was like that when sony decided to discontinue linux support on PS3 and people were complaining everywere

    • http://www.mikecantwell.com/ Mike Cantwell

      I still have all 4 releases on my PC. I hope someone cracks it actually….

  • http://www.mikecantwell.com/ Mike Cantwell

    What would happen if we started asking questions directly?

    https://www.facebook.com/Ferrari?fref=ts

    • Sim Antics

      They would be ignored

  • Jay Ekkel

    this is pretty standard in the industry to be honest, once the commercial lifetime of a product has passed, soon after (unless enormous popular) servers will be shut down.

    I do believe that we in our little niche corner of the market have been extremely spoiled with (old) games being available and playable for a very long time when something “standard” like this happens, we feel offended.

    • sickbroski

      I applaud your honesty, but I will have to avoid your products. I hope you understand.

      • Jay Ekkel

        Why do i ask, I merely explained what the industry standards are (3-4 years max) and that we should feel blessed that the standards from teh simracing devs are quite different.

        Have a look at our track record, and you see we do quite the opposite. GTR, GTR2, GTL, RACE games, all MP lobbies and other services still up and running even 11 years after release.

        So if anything, you should feel the opposite 🙂

      • sickbroski

        What about the new one? What if I spend 50$ today and everything is gone tomorrow?

      • Jay Ekkel

        A similar answer to one that was asked before. What happens if simbin goes bankrupt? We will do our ultimate best to make things work 🙂

        Like mentioned elsewhere, GTR, GTR2, GTL were maintained by 10tacle (back then our publisher) when they went bankrupt we took over the costs and responsibility to keep it up and running. When SimBin went down and with it GTR, GTR2, GTL, Race, Race07 services. We took over the costs and responsibility once more. And now we also have R3E on our shelves to take care off.

        I am not sure what answer you are looking for, all i can say is look at the past 11-12 years and draw your own conclusions.

      • sickbroski

        The only answer that is acceptable: It should be up to me. There are no server costs if the game is switched offline, yet here we are.

      • Jay Ekkel

        of course its always your choice to decide what you enjoy!. The reason I expanded on my post was that i felt you assume the worse, and I tried to show you otherwise!

        Some games require to be online, some don’t, if you like it or not, that is all up to you!

      • sickbroski

        Oh, I never meant to imply otherwise.

      • Sim Antics

        Really you are going too far attacking this developer. They FTMP have done everything right. If I were to make comparisons as to creare an example if Codemasters would have had Starforce issues they would have let those titles die. Not Simbin they patched offered the patch for free and then made these titles available onto a modern online platform that is at no risk of going anywhere. Henrik was extremely generous to his employees and his customers and it created a financial strain in the long run Klaus has to be a bit more shrewd to try to makes thing work going into the future. My only gripe right now is the selling of liveries and not allowing custom liveries to my knowledge which has taken away the creative side of the community with regards to the R3E title.

      • sickbroski

        Single-player online. Rekt.

      • Sim Antics

        This is why GTR2 finds it’s way into that elite group of titles and the others you mention get honorable mentions.

      • hotak

        i bought Crysis 2 only for the online and 2-3 months after crysis3 came out they shut down crysis 2 servers. It’s a pretty standard thing, even if we don’t like it

      • sickbroski

        You can still play the game.

    • Beanspeak

      Spoiled?
      Simple as this – if ever a game I paid for was suddenly non-playable one day, then I’d be getting my money back. Or the devs house & property would get damage done to it in an equivalent dollar value.

      • Michael Hornbuckle

        So even though you have been playing the game (getting your moneys worth) for 4+ years if it doesn’t work anymore you think you are entitled to not just some, but all of your money back? I think we can safely replace the word spoiled with entitled. But please go do $20 worth of damage to Ferrari’s headquarters and see how that works out for you.

      • Beanspeak

        If a game is temporary, then they can consider my payment for that game to be the same. I don’t know what’s so hard to understand about this.

    • Sim Antics

      No not spoiled. It’s more like developers priding themselves on creating Games that Stand the Test of Time find there way into a elite group of titles considered the best of all time. IMO GPL wins that award. As for what Ferrari is doing wrong unless they offer an offline patch.

      • Jay Ekkel

        Compared to other genres we have been spoiled.

        I agree that it is not cool when it does happen though. Was just sharing the industry standard in general.

    • Gui Cramer

      It is perfectly common and understandable for servers to get shut down, but when that renders the game impossible to access then it isn’t common. Certainly an offline-only patch can be created but likely Ferrari or Kunos (whoever is responsible for the title’s creation) won’t care.

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