Despite the fact the current console generation is only just over a year old, racing fans have been treated to a surprising breadth of titles, covering a myriad of styles. One notable omission of the current generation's repertoire, however, has been the NASCAR franchise. With the announcement that the license has shifted hands, stock car racing fans can rejoice as a new title is entering development.
Fans of the NASCAR license will no doubt recognize Eutechnyx as the team responsible for the development of games within the franchise, dating back to the release of NASCAR The Game: 2011. Kicking off the new year, though, the NASCAR license will also be transitioning into new hands, as it has been acquired by DMi Games as of January 1, 2015. NASCAR fans need not fear, as DMi president Ed Martin has actively worked in the industry since the early 1990s, most recently finding himself in a management position at Eutechnyx.
With over 1,000 properties and brands behind the license successfully locked down, Martin has announced via open letter that the company's first official title will be launching in 2016. This title, releasing on PC, PS4 and Xbox One will be a NASCAR simulation and is just one of "several new games." Considering Martin highlights title's simulation nature, it can be surmised that this game could end up being the deepest and most true-to-life NASCAR experience to hit the gaming world.
For racing fans that cant stand the extended wait for the upcoming racing sim, DMi's long-term license agreement also means that they have acquired assets from Eutechnyx that will act as a "starting place" for their future developments. This means that gamers can look forward to the release of NASCAR '15 this Spring when it launches as an online-only season update for NASCAR '14 on PC, PS3 and Xbox 360. Acting as an update of last year's game, the 2016 NASCAR sim still stands to represent DMi's first official simulation release.
As if this weren't enough NASCAR excitement, DMi Games has also acquired the rights to a number of other franchise titles including mobile game NASCAR Manager which they intend to re-release soon. While acquisitions are often times of uncertainty for fans, it's evident that DMi Games is putting a great amount of effort into fleshing out the scope of NASCAR offerings on the horizon. If this passion for the brand comes through in their 2016 sim release, it will no doubt become a hit among fans and could even serve to open the world of NASCAR to outside racing aficionados.
With NASCAR entering the fray next year, racing fans are soon going to find themselves faced by an abundance of choice. This change of hands for the NASCAR licence could be exactly what the franchise needs to find wide-ranging ranging success among incoming competition like Forza 6. While the choice to potentially use Eutechnyx's last-gen assets as a "starting place" for development is worrisome, with over a year of development time between now and the release of DMi's sim racing title, a great amount is likely to change and grow.
Are you excited by the prospect of a NASCAR sim title in 2016? How would you like to see the license evolve in the gaming industry over the coming years?
NASCAR '15 launches Spring 2015 for PC, PS3 and Xbox 360.
Source: DMi Games