January 29, 2013
SimBin's RaceRoom Racing Experience
by Jens "McGonigle" Lindblad
We have kindly been given access to the press version of SimBin’s latest venture; RaceRoom Racing Experience (or R3E) slightly ahead of it going into open public beta.
SimBin has acclaimed successes with GTR, GTR2, the Race Series and various add-ons and car packs released by the Swedish developer, all based on ISI’s gMotor technology. RaceRoom Racing Experience builds upon the lessons learned from the early versions of RaceRoom the Game, the online distributed and maintained racing simulator.
RaceRoom Racing Experience is distributed digitally via Steam with no retail box release planned in the foreseeable future. To bump up the number of cars and tracks from the included stock content you will have to purchase the additional content. Distributing content online is easier and more cost effective for SimBin than releasing boxed content for via retail. That is at least in part the reason for SimBin choosing this route over a more traditional release.
As such, R3E is the distilled refinement of the aspirations of previous RaceRoom endeavors, and seems above all to revolve on the social phenomenon of the Internet, providing the game or simulator online as well as selling additional content, and sharing your replays and screenshots through its own dedicated portal.
SimBin thus joins the growing number of developers going directly to the customer and doing away with the traditional publishing channels in favor of digital distribution.
What must have been in essence the dream of Chris and Tony West when they first thought up the concept of Racing Legends – an online expandable race simulation – has now been adopted and given a form by first iRacing.com, then Simraceway, MAK-Corp, and now SimBin. For these developers, the future is apparently pay-to-play, micro-transactions, and DLC, with varying flavors of pricing schemes to attract sim racing drivers. The business model idea being, a continued revenue stream of stuff to buy keeps development funding moving forward and helps fund the operations.
Before going to a quick price comparison chart, note that apparently the free simulation will actually cost you approximately 1 € if you opt for the Get Real package which contains the real simulation code. Well, we guess that the marketing plug works better if you offer a free game and then charge 1 € for it to become the simulator, than if you offer a simulator for 1 €. In the latter case, it would look ridiculous.
||4.5 - 9 € (per month)*
||2 - 3.5 €
||0.4 - 28 € **
||3.5 - 5.5 €
||9 - 11 €
|Features / Game Modes
|Basic Package Includes
||5 cars / 2 tracks
||7 cars / 10 tracks
||1 car / 19 tracks
|* Discounting regular promotional offers, membership loyalty plans and ad-hoc discounts but also discounting extra charges like charges for race hosting.
** Car prices vary greatly with ordinary cars being cheapest, a few, highly desirable cars extremely expensive, and a group of interesting cars costing approximately 11-12 € each. *** Offsetting what might be deemed as overpriced cars, Simraceway provides tracks free of charge. Currently there are 19 tracks in total.
Another variation on the "Store" metaphor.
Yes, that looks like a good one to buy!
Certainly, SimBin is right when they say their prices are competitive, delivering what will most likely become a very serious high quality competitor to the discount-store looks of Simraceway, and putting a lot of pressure on iRacing.com to either drop prices or deliver more quality content and promised features faster than has been the case since 2008, when iRacing.com opened their doors.
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