Rennsports Digital Ownership Model Makes Me Nervous

Rennsport, the upcoming racing simulator of newfound studio Competition Company GmbH, unveils their game on Friday, 27th of May. With it there will be many questions answered. But will everything receive answers?

What is Digital Ownership, Rennsport?

In this day and age, NFT’s are omnipresent. While some jump on the hype-train, others oppose this new technology. So when Rennsport announced their “real digital ownership” model, people started asking questions.

“You invest your time, spend money on your hobby – and what’s yours in the end? Everything! With RENNSPORT you can build your own legacy with individual cars, custom tracks and much more. Your assets will be owned by you. And you can trade them through the marketplace of your choice.”

This statement is the hint towards the blockchain technology. But while not only official content is promoted to be “traded”, also “custom tracks and much more” seem to be digitally ownable. Does this mean Rennsport is planning to implement a paid modding system?

Please don’t pull a Bethesda, Rennsport

Remember when Skyrim and Fallout 4 received paid mods and how there was a giant backlash? I do. And many others too. If you are exclusively a sim-racer let me give you some recent gaming history:

Once there was a role playing game. It was called Skyrim. It sold incredibly well and included simple modding tools. So many fans and creator went on to create their own modifications for the game. Undeniably this kicked off a new era of modding in gaming.

However, one company wanted a piece of this cake. Of course it was Bethesda, the creators of Skyrim. So they went on to create a new tool for downloading mods to their games. This was called Creation Club.

And basically it was a quick cash-grab by Bethesda, trying to make money with other people’s works, under the guise of bringing money to the modders through this microtransaction-riddled service.

But sim racers are a bit different from normal gamers. They don’t care as much for microtransactions. Otherwise simulators like iRacing wouldn’t thrive as they do. So my fear is: Rennsport is trying to pull a new Bethesda. Furthermore, people won’t care about it.

At least it won’t be iRenting, right? Right?

Digital ownership, although being a dangerous term these days, is generally a good thing. One reason many people have against the likes of iRacing is the subscription system in combination with the high DLC prices.

Rennsport, in this case has 3 options as I see it:

  1. Push marketing and get many people to play it with affordable content solutions, creating an active community and financing further development through economy of scale. (Optimum. For Rennsport, but not for other sim racing devs.)
  2. Making a questionable payment system that may or may not turn people off, essentially risking the future of itself from the beginning. (Neutral?)
  3. Going all in on microtransactions, expensive membership passes and NFT’s, garnering a small but dedicated following that keeps getting milked while explaining how they are the “elite”. (Nightmare)

The question also remains how saturated the market of sim racing is currently. Is there even place for another high-end simulator to challenge iRacing, Assetto Corsa Competizione, rFactor 2, Automobilista 2 and RaceRoom. That’s a long list already.

What’s the point of Rennsport?

Now I don’t hope to see Rennsport fail. On the contrary, I want to see it do well. More competition is usually always best for every end-customer. And if Rennsport, through hype and economy of scale, manages to undercut the entire industry, boy will that mean a war of developers.

So I’ll be following the Rennsport Twitter this weekend to hopefully get some answers on this. Will you too?

If you liked this piece, you can read more sim racing stuff here.

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