IndyCar responds to iRacing licensing agreement changes

Penske Entertainment

IndyCar responds to iRacing licensing agreement changes

Esports

IndyCar responds to iRacing licensing agreement changes

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IndyCar has responded to the confirmation that its current licensing agreement with iRacing will end at the close of 2022. IndyCar signed a new exclusivity agreement with Motorsport Games in the summer of last year.

“iRacing will continue to provide a valuable platform for the gaming community to experience IndyCar. While there will be changes to our presence in the near future, our current car will still be featured on iRacing across current tracks, including the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. This was important to us as we worked through our strategy to ensure fans would continue to access our racing across their favorite mediums,” the series said in a statement provided to RACER.

“We also remain confident our partnership with Motorsport Games will produce an engaging, realistic and enjoyable title feature for the NTT IndyCar Series. Ultimately, 2023 will produce the first IndyCar-centric video game in nearly a decade while maintaining a presence for the sport in iRacing and beyond.”

While the series claims there will be little change in how users interact with IndyCar on iRacing, the impacts of the deal are already being felt. iRacing’s series that uses the Dallara IR18 was previously scheduled to race at Gateway and Iowa. Those tracks have been replaced.

Users will still be able to race the IR18 on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, however, they will not be able to do so in officially-sanctioned events like the iRacing Indy 500, one of the largest special events of the year.

Additionally, those who participate in privately run series will no longer be able to broadcast races that use the IR18, DW12, or IR-05 — effectively ending many popular private series that use IndyCar vehicles.

Fans have not responded well to the changes. Many users began to follow the real-life IndyCar Series through their involvement in sim racing and those same people tend to skew younger, the same age demographic that IndyCar has been working to target.

While exclusive deals like the one IndyCar has signed are not unusual in most sports, they are rare in motorsports. NASCAR, for example, has opted for paths that allow one entity to produce console games and another entity, like iRacing, to produce content on the PC. Vehicle manufacturers and tracks also typically sign deals that allow their property to be present in a variety of locations.

Beyond the forum post announcing the news, iRacing told RACER that it has no further details or comments, but said that discussions with IndyCar about the future are ongoing. However Dale Earnhardt Jr., iRacing’s executive director, expressed his personal frustration on Twitter:

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