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iRacing purchases NASCAR gaming rights, new title 2025

A new NASCAR console game is set for a 2025 release under the stewardship of iRacing, following the sale of the licence by Motorsport Games.

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After a turbulent tenure at the helm of official NASCAR game development, Motorsport Games has sold the rights to competitor iRacing.

The deal encompasses an official NASCAR console game described as ‘simulation-style’, set for a release in 2025 across ‘various platforms’.

“When we were approached with the option to acquire the license for the simulation-style NASCAR console game, which was the console game and franchise that we were dreaming about doing, it was an opportunity we couldn’t pass up,” said iRacing President, Tony Gardner.

“Having the ability to build a NASCAR console game is a privilege we promise to execute with the utmost care. We look forward to working diligently with NASCAR industry stakeholders to deliver a product that provides an amazing experience for the gaming community and NASCAR fans worldwide.”

 

The deal follows a long and tumultuous history for the NASCAR gaming rights post the Eutechnyx-developed era. It began in 2015, when 704Games (then called Dusenberry Martin Racing) secured a deal to make racing games based on the real-world series, enlisting Monster Games to create NASCAR Heat Evolution.

In 2018, 704Games secured a deal extension with NASCAR until 2029. Motorsport Games completed its purchase of 704Games in 2021, therefore securing ownership of the NASCAR gaming contract.

During Motorsport Games’ tenure with the franchise following the departure it released NASCAR Heat 5 in 2020, DLC for that title including a Next Gen Car Update add-on, support for NASCAR Heat Mobile for iOS and Android, a 2021 Nintendo Switch NASCAR Heat Ultimate Edition+ spin-off, the ill-fated NASCAR 21: Ignition and a second Switch game, 2022’s NASCAR Rivals.

NASCAR Heat 5 witnessed its 2022-season Next Gen DLC launch in 2023.

NASCAR Heat 5 witnessed its 2022-season Next Gen DLC launch in 2023.

According to NASCAR, Heat 5 and Rivals will continue to be “available and supported by Motorsport Games through 2024” before being removed from sale.

“The sale of the NASCAR license is the result of a thorough, strategic review of where we believe our company should be headed over the longer term,” said Motorsport Games CEO Stephen Hood.

“In our exploration of the sale, we gave due consideration to those companies we believed could develop a great NASCAR game. Both NASCAR and iRacing have been receptive to our proposed change, working with us to architect a positive transition post-sale and we thank them for their support.

“We will now concentrate our efforts towards delivering around other IP already in advanced development.”

Properties still under the stewardship of Motorsport Games include the 24 Hours of Le Mans and World Endurance Championship (used in the upcoming Le Mans Ultimate simulation developed by Studio 397), IndyCar and the British Touring Car Championship.

 

“This sale to iRacing, a preferred NASCAR partner, is expected to be beneficial to all parties,” continued Hood of the deal which is worth a total of $6m for Motorsport Games.

“We believe it will allow us to rebalance our immediate cash needs, reduce our contractual and financial obligations and double down on near-term revenue-generating releases already in advanced development.”

iRacing’s core business, the subscription-based PC-only driving sim, is already an official simulation partner of NASCAR. The new game is expected to be developed for PlayStation, Xbox, Nintendo Switch and Steam (PC), plus the deal includes the rights to make some form of mobile game.

 

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