In a surprise announcment (or maybe not?), Studio 397 will be bough by Motorsport Games, after they already had bought KartKraft developer which runs on rFactor 2’s engine.
Now, is this good or bad news? I think it’s both, but…
Before talking about the future of modding or what is the good news about this announcment, this is what they had to say:
Today we are delighted to announce an exciting new chapter in the history of rFactor 2, as we welcome Motorsport Games as the prospective new owner of Studio 397 ahead of the commencement of a relationship that firmly secures the future of our market leading racing simulation.
Studio 397 have made great strides in the development of the highly regarded rFactor 2 racing platform since founding the company and assuming control of the active development of the software from Image Space Incorporated in late 2016. In that time, Studio 397 has introduced a number of significant improvements to the software as we strive to deliver an unrivalled simulation experience that best represents the rich and varied world of international motorsports.
What the change of ownership to Motorsport Games does bring to Studio 397 is an opportunity to add more passionate and like-minded people to help support the rapid expansion of our core business aims. By way of this new arrangement, the management hierarchy are presented with an opportunity to take stock of our current strengths and weaknesses, and in partnership with our new owners consolidate those strengths and look to build core enhancements and depth within the team and knowledge base of the studio. Essentially, the new ownership will give us the tools, resources and capacity to improve, expand and develop our simulation at a faster and more efficient rate than ever before.
Now, in general this is good news:
- Unreal Engine 4 (and 5 in the near future) is a very solid engine graphically with some powerful editor tools
- More licenses can be acquired and/or different racing titles can be produced
- Refocus the whole team on finishing the product across all content
The problem is what that means for the modding community!
- There are no modding tools for UE4, apart from skins and cosmetic features
- Coding language is different, so some adaptations will take time to port
- I don’t know of any game that has been successfully modded
I think we’ll see a departure from modding for the gMotor platform but hopefully gain some titles with proper physics, like the announced Le Mans and BTCC games. That would leave us with only Assetto Corsa as a modding platform, with its limitations regarding car variations and multiple brands championships organization.