Let’s Talk rFactor 2
Recently at the Sim Expo at the Nurburgring it was announced that a new strategic partnership had been formed between ISI and Luminis. Everyone seemed excited at the news on forums. I was left wondering who the hell Luminis were (No offence), why ISI would want to work with them and what exactly they bring to the table.
This post is a break from the norm for Pitlanes.com. An opinion piece. Just a fan of rFactor 2 and sim racing in general putting thoughts down on a stage I’m lucky to have. You’ll have to let me know in the comments what you think. I’m not claiming to be the most “Clued up” guy, I’m sure there are many that know much more. I just read what I can and felt like writing about it.
So, Who’re Luminis?
Luminis are a software and services company that were founded in 2002. They have a special focus on innovation and specialise in things such as cloud-based SaaS. Don’t worry, this isn’t going to be technical, but I will be going in to this a little more soon.
But what about Studio 397?
So Studio 397 is a new studio born out of this new partnership. Studio 397 is a subsidiary of Luminis. Studio 397 have full rights to the source code and branding of rFactor 2.
So by extension Studio 397 should have access to Luminis’ apparently considerable infrastructure and expertise.
But what does this mean for ISI?
ISI are not totally out of the picture. They can still be hired by Studio 397 to do work on rFactor 2. After all, they still created it and know all of its ins and outs. ISI have almost totally moved on to “Not rF3”. It’s interesting to note that “Not rF3” is confirmed by Tim Wheatley as a racing title. Within his interview with Racedepartment talks about other companies taking the rF1 engine and making a relatively quick profit putting a new title on top of it, expressing it’s something ISI should look at.
For what it’s worth, I think ISI could have an exclusive licence for a series (Formula E, probably?) and are taking their existing engine and making an exclusive title. It seems logical. I could be wrong, though.
ISI also still take a cut from rFactor 2. I guess as some kind of royalty or something.
The future, what do we know?
Marcel Offermans is the lead at Studio 397. I’ll admit, I’ve been out of touch and didn’t know who he was either until I did a bit of reading. He’s been working with ISI since their rF1 Steam integration and also a huge drive behind the recent Automobilista surge. This is good, a Sim Racer leading the charge on the best sim (in my opinion) that there is.
They’re gunning for Q1 2017 for VR and DX 11 support. Content, both vehicles and tracks is going to be arriving at a faster pace. It’s also suggested that Marcel has a preference towards series of content rather than singular cars and that there is now a bit more budget to play with on such things. The user interface will also be changed.
Now for pure speculation
Back earlier I mentioned cloud-based SaaS. SaaS is Software as a Service. We have heard HTML mentioned and now we have a company with an experitise in cloud solutions. In case you’re wondering, I’m thinking of something a long the lines of iRacing meets rFactor 2. I’m not sure what guise this would take but with such elements coming together I would be utterly shocked if a similar solution wasn’t at least discussed. While, of course, retaining it’s single player awesomeness. A cloud-based SaaS specialist is exactly who you’d want on board to work up a solution for this.
Looking at Automobilista as an example of previous work I am expecting graphical refinement while work continues on the physics and such. I think a large portion of the work will go in to making the title as user friendly and accessible as possible going forward.
Only time will tell.
What do you think? Let me know in the comments!
Buy rFactor 2 from Steam by clicking here.