A few days ago, SimRaceWay’s pricing of the Audi R18 TDI sparked quite a lot of outrage in the community.
While other cars sell for cents or a few dollars, Audi’s Le Mans Challenger comes with a whopping $16 price tag attached, making it more expensive than any content in iRacing or DLC packs for Forza Motorsport 4 & Gran Turismo 5.
In a reaction to the criticism (or maybe coincidental?), SRW has released the following text to explaining the reasoning behind the pricing model.
We’ve mentioned our car pricing policy a couple of times on this blog before but, now we’ve launched a variety of vehicle types, we thought it was a good time to spell out how we arrive at each car’s price tag, as well as expanding on just how much value-for-money that represents.
We spent a long time looking at various possible pricing models, including those of existing driving games, but we couldn’t find anything that gelled with our two key values of affordability and authenticity. So we went back to the drawing board and developed a unique model that not only reflects our focus on realism but also represents flexibility, transparency, and simplicity for our players—a system that keeps our prices in line with real-life values and allows players to choose cars to suit their circumstances.
What’s more, because we’ve decided to peg our prices at a mere 1/100,000th of actual USD market values, you can add affordable to that list too. It means that if money’s tight but you need a new on-track experience, you can grab an Audi RS4 for just 67 cents, a 2011 Dodge Charger R/T for 30 cents or, if you’re really feeling the squeeze, you can drive yourself to payday in a Simraceway Kart for a back-of-the-sofa six cents! In fact the vast majority of the 600+ cars we’ll be delivering over the next few months will come in at under $3 each.
Of course this system throws up the odd “collector’s item”, that rarest of rides with the “reassuringly expensive” asking price that only real enthusiasts would consider meeting. But that’s part of the fun too. If you buy, say, a Bugatti Veyron, just like in real life you’re purchasing exclusivity—the chance to sail around the Simraceway tracks safe in the knowledge that you belong to an automotive elite. And by “expensive” we’re not talking bank-breaking—we estimate that only a handful of cars will breach the $10 barrier.
Given the fact that our range of cars is growing all the time, we know there are going to be challenges to overcome, including finding accurate market values for historic cars and racers that have had millions thrown at them by mega-rich teams. However we always try to come to a fair and affordable solution (see our FAQ to discover how we work these values out) and the result is that, with 21 cars launched so far, 16 of them are priced at below $3 (and nine of those are below $1).
We believe what we’vie come up with is an innovative and inexpensive approach to a longstanding question and we hope you’re enjoying the results.
Do you agree to their ideas? Is belonging to the “automotive elite” worth 16 Dollars for a single car? Share your view in the comments in below!