For years, IndyCar officials have had what they believe to be the tightest and most exciting racing series driven by some of the world’s best racing drivers – all without a significant platform beyond. live broadcasts and experiences on the tracks to attract new racing fans. For years, said Mark Miles, president and CEO of the series, IndyCar has been looking for a variety of shoulder show types – spanning movies, video games, behind-the-scenes TV shows and more – to help organize the first open wheel race in the United States. series to a larger and younger fan base.
On Thursday morning, IndyCar announced the landing of another major goal of Roger Penske’s regime: a partnership with Motorsport Games for an IndyCar-branded video game. It will debut in 2023 on the Xbox, PlayStation, and PC consoles. The deal includes an esports competition that could feature current IndyCar drivers and could begin later this year, the statement said.
Motorsport Games is already the developer of officially licensed video games for NASCAR, the 24 Hours of Le Mans and the British Touring Car Championship, and the company is also partnering with these three entities, as well as Formula E and the FIA world rallycross championships, as an esport partner.
Miles said he expects the upcoming video game “to bring fierce competition from (IndyCar) to a global audience of gamers hungry for quality motorsport content.”
“Like the talent and depth of our field, the IndyCar universe continues to expand and grow rapidly,” he continued. “Motorsport Games is an industry leader with a track record of innovation, and we know our fans will have 2023 and the debut of this new (video game) circled on their timelines.”
IndyCar last had a video game franchise from the early to mid-2000s with game developer Codemasters, the company that currently develops F1’s official video game, but the brand is gone. Indy cars have appeared in other video games or simulation systems like Gran Turismo, rFactor, Forza Motorsport, and iRacing, but since June 2004 when “IndyCar Series 2005” debuted with Codemasters, the series has been lacking in a booming industry.
“I am very happy that our fans are able to bring the IndyCar series home with this new video game franchise,” said Arrow McLaren SP driver Pato O’Ward in the statement. “This is a great opportunity for fans to connect even more to our series, to watch us on the weekends playing with us on their favorite tracks whenever they want.”
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Motorsport Games CEO Dmitry Kozko called the collaboration a “dedicated and long overdue gaming experience.” He continued, “After decades of world-class racing, we can’t think of a more deserving league for a video game franchise. IndyCar shares our commitment to bringing authentic experiences to racing enthusiasts. Fans can look forward to it. the IndyCar series to achieve the same level of excellence and immersive gameplay that they expect from Motorsport Games. “
Among his other media properties, Miles recently told IndyStar that IndyCar is “very far down the line” with its next TV broadcast partner, allegedly NBC, with the series adding to its nine network TV races from 2021, as well as adding more of its content to NBC’s Peacock streaming platform.
Earlier this week, IndyCar announced its partnership on a feature film “Eraced” centered on the famous black driver Charlie Wiggins, who was considered one of the best racing car drivers of the 1920s and 1930s, but was excluded from the Indy 500 due to the Jim Crow laws of the time.
In addition, over the past two years, Miles told IndyStar earlier this year that the series has been in contact with nearly a dozen companies to develop additional programming including scripted and unscripted series, documentaries, IMAX films and more to try and keep pace with the NASCAR sitcom and the recently announced behind-the-scenes show focusing on this year’s playoffs, as well as F1’s “Drive to Survive” series on Netflix.
Until Thursday’s major video game announcement, Miles said the series recently “went to the altar” for a scripted show that included a full pilot with a “very credible producer and major outlet.”
“We just couldn’t sell it,” he said.
Maybe that day has started to change.