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#1 Shoki

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Posted 15 October 2009 - 02:13 PM

Lower Prices

iRacing.com offers a variety of subscriptions, ranging from month-by-month to a new two-year plan that reduces the monthly cost of membership to less than $7.50. Additional content is also available beyond the three cars and seven tracks that come with every subscription. In each case, the new price is lower than its predecessor. A summary of the price reductions:


Term & Old Price:
1 month, was $ 19.00
Term, New Price, Reduction, New Monthly:
1 month, $ 14.00, -26%, $ 14.00

3 month, was $ 50.00
3 month, $ 36.00, -28%, $ 12.00

6 month was $ 90.00
6 month, $ 60.00, -33%, $ 10.00

1 Year, $ 156.00
1 Year, $ 99.00, -37%, $ 8.25

New Term, Price, Monthly:
2 Year, $ 179.00, $ 7.46

Cars were $15.00, now $ 11.95. -20%
Long Tracks were $20.00 or $25.00, now $14.95. -25% or -40%
Short Tracks were $15.00, now $11.95. -20%

Members who have recently purchased additional content are protected by a pair of price-guarantee programs. Any member who has bought content (cars and tracks) within the 30 days preceding the new pricing will receive within 14 days via e-mail a code for iRacing credit for the full amount of the difference between the old and new prices. Similarly, members who have purchased content between 31 and 90 days from the onset of the new pricing will receive a credit for 50% of the difference between the old and the new prices.

http://www.iracing.com/membership/

#2 darkangelism

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Posted 15 October 2009 - 03:49 PM

nice, might have to sign up now, was gonna wait a year til i was a better racer

#3 Courtenay Smith

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Posted 15 October 2009 - 04:39 PM

WAY more news than that bud...
SRT ISR TV needs to be ALL over this
4 HUGE announcements, this is great!!!!!!
Racing is Life...anything that happens before or
after is just waiting. - Steve McQueen in Le Mans

Richard Courtenay Motorsports
http://www.rcmracing.net

#4 darkangelism

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Posted 15 October 2009 - 05:27 PM

http://www.iracing.c... ... er-prices/

#5 DickDastardly

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Posted 18 October 2009 - 03:22 AM

I was going to post this in the iRacing forum, but apparently you can't even access it unless you've subscribed so I'm posting it here on the off-chance the developers see it.

An Open Letter to the Developers of iRacing

Dear iRacing developers,
First a few words to introduce myself: I'm a keen fan of racing games and sims and have bought at least a couple of dozen over the last 20 years, my favourite being Live 4 Speed (as it has the most realistic driving physics of all those I've played). I have a force feedback wheel and pedals, along with a headtracker and stereoscopic 3d shutter glasses. I own 4 PCs, the fastest of which has a quad core processor, a 512MB graphics card, a 128MB physics card, 8GB of ram and is connected up to a projector, allowing me to play on a 72" screen.

I'm not telling you all this as some sort of idiotic willy-waving boast, I'm just trying to make clear that I am very much in your target market. If you can't convince someone like me to subscribe then you have no chance whatsoever of reaching a wider audience. And just about everything I've seen or read about iRacing makes me want to sign up.

The more realistic the driving experience of a sim is, the more I enjoy it, and testimonials from pro drivers have convinced me that iRacing offers the most realistic driving physics currently available. Although I'm unlikely to ever drive on any of the featured tracks in real life, I'm still delighted to read that the iRacing versions are extremely accurate due to the laser scanning process used in their construction. I also love the idea of properly coordinated online events with marshals and a license and rating system to prevent griefing.

Even though I dislike the idea of paying a monthly fee to play a sim, it's still something I'd be prepared to do for the kind of features and quality iRacing offers. And yet...I haven't subscribed and have no intention of doing so for the foreseeable future. Why? Well as you've probably guessed, it boils down to cost. Even after the recently announced price reductions, the best value package works out at over $7 per month, and whilst I might just about be prepared to pay that much, I'd be gritting my teeth whilst doing so. For me personally, a monthly fee of $5 or less would be the magic number which I'd be happy to pay.

The monthly fee, however, is not the main thing that's prevented me (and, I suspect, many others) from subscribing -it's the eye-watering charges for additional cars and tracks, which are utterly out of step with any other racing game or sim. To drive this point home, let's compare iRacing to some leading competitors:

Game/Sim        Number     Number      Cost        Cost of this much     Value factor

                of cars    of tracks               content in iRacing    vs iRacing



Forza           400+	    100+	     $59.99      $6009.00              x100

Motorsports 3

GT 5            76         6           $24.99      $908.75               x36

Prologue

Racedriver      43	      15	       $21.37	   $599.60	            x28

Grid

Colin McRae     40+	     40+	      $54.99      $900.00               x20

Dirt 2

rFactor         13         14          $25.99      $227.65               x8

Live 4 Speed    21         10          $39.08      $269.45               x6
Prices of other games and sims are from Amazon.com. The iRacing cost column is calculated using a one month subscription (which gives you 3 cars and 7 tracks) plus $11.95 for each additional car and $13.45 for each additional track. Note that despite iRacing being between seven and a hundred times more expensive than the competition, this figure only gives you access to the content for a single month. Were you to play a competing sim for a year then iRacing would look like even poorer value in comparison. Also, I've only included base content of other sims in the calculations –moddable sims like rFactor give free access to dozens more cars and tracks (although admittedly of varying quality). Incidentally, I'm perfectly prepared to concede that an iRacing car or track might be better than one from the competition. But is it a hundred times better? Really? (The ratings on InsideSimRacing's "Top Sim Cars of All Time" suggest not).

Looking at these figures, is it any surprise that whilst some of the other sims I listed have sold hundreds of thousands or even several million copies, iRacing hasn't even managed to hit 20,000 subscribers after more than a year? And, of course, having such a tiny number of subscribers makes the experience worse for those who have actually subscribed –with fewer available events and smaller fields.

Presumably you guys have figures for the proportion of your subscribers who purchase the additional content. Totally finger in the wind, I’d guess that on average each track is bought by less than 10% of the iRacing community, and frankly I’d be stunned if more than, say, 1% have bought all available tracks. I don’t expect you to share these statistics, but if my guesses are correct (or even vaguely close), then this is evidence of the catastrophic failure of your pricing policy. Each track or car which isn’t purchased is a triple failure -firstly because of the wasted time and money spent creating it, secondly because it’s providing no benefit to all those iRacers who haven’t purchased it (and so won’t encourage them to renew their subscription), and thirdly because it does nothing to attract new subscribers.

How to make me (and several hundred thousand others) subscribe to iRacing

1. Include all tracks and all cars with a subscription. This would transform the value of iRacing, massively boosting your subscriber numbers. It’s much more lucrative to have a million subscribers paying a simple flat monthly fee for all content than it is to have a few thousand subscribers, each only buying a handful of overpriced extras. This is a win-win situation –you guys make more money and all your subscribers enjoy more content. (Note, I’m not advocating the removal of license restrictions –there’s nothing wrong with forcing players to earn the right to compete in more powerful cars. But they should at least be able to drive any car they like offline).

2. Cut the monthly fees further. As I’ve said, for me personally $5 would be the magic number which I’d be happy to pay. It would also have the advantage of making a year’s worth of iRacing equivalent to the $60 cost of a typical brand new game or sim. There’s a reason hardly any games are priced at more than $60 -it’s because very few people are prepared to pay more than that in a single chunk.

3. Make the introductory package better value than any of the others. The purpose of this package is to get people who’ve never played before (and are therefore disinclined to risk much money) hooked on iRacing. Once they see how good it is, they’ll be prepared to pay more to continue. (The fact that you have to earn licenses and ratings to race in more prestigious events with faster cars means that you don’t need to worry too much about people just purchasing a cheap introductory package, cancelling at the end of the period and then repurchasing the intro package again, as they’d lose all their progress if they did this).

4. Abolish fees for private sessions. Unless you’re providing marshals for private events, there’s no justification whatsoever for charging for them. As you’ve discovered, it can be a hard sell to persuade sim racers who are used to paying a flat fee for an entire sim to move to paying a monthly fee instead. Charging an additional fee per race for those who want to drive against their friends is a bridge too far and will drastically limit your potential subscriber numbers.

5. Add the option to race against AI opponents offline. Currently there’s no reason for anybody to subscribe unless they have good broadband, so you’re excluding all those who have a flakey connection (or who just prefer offline racing). Even if they’re not contributing to online events, the additional revenue these players would generate should more than offset any development costs for the AI. And once they’ve subscribed and are enjoying the experience of racing in the sim offline, they’re more likely to invest in a better internet connection so they can try online racing against real opponents.

6. Allow non-subscribers to download a partially locked demo version of iRacing with, say, one car and a couple of tracks for offline-only use. If the sim’s good, then people that try it are likely to subscribe. Free demos are the norm for PC games and sims, not having one makes it look like you’ve something to hide (I’m not suggesting for a moment that that’s the case, just that that’s how it might be perceived). It would also be good if the demo version allowed those who download it to spectate in any online race, so they can see for themselves how much fun they’re missing out on by not subscribing.

Anyway, thanks very much for taking the time to read this far. I wish you the best of luck with the sim and I sincerely hope iRacing becomes a lasting success. Unfortunately, though, I think there’s little chance of that happening unless you make far more radical changes to your pricing structure than those you recently announced.
Cheers,
DD

#6 Hexcaliber

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Posted 18 October 2009 - 09:10 AM

DickDastardly, I am afraid even if they do read it, it will be completely disregarded; the arguments were done to death in the forums after release. They made it quite clear the current model is not going to change anytime soon, while a price drop was always on the agenda. It has always been their intention to limit the titles appeal to those who are serious enough to accept the costs as reasonable given what is available. They have targeted a specific area of the sim racing community with their pricing policy, something that seems to have escaped the attention of many who would complain. It is unfortunate some serious sim racers feel it is too expensive to justify the cost, but as they say, "you can't please all of the people, all of the time".

The service continues to grow, with subscription numbers continuing to increase monthly, so you may want to reconsider your predictions of its future. The title is unique in what it offers over its peers, unless that changes, Iracing and its pricing model will remain as they are.

***Edit***

I forgot to point out, there are a number of free trials, many with additional content available at no charge that continues to be available to the user if they subscribe, making a limited demo version pointless. You also need to consider, that to access the service including offline practice, a user must be logged into the service. This is to validate a users account and to ensure the user has made no attempt to modify content to limit potential cheating. Their current practice of offering free trials over a limited demo makes this much easier to manage and control.
Regards Hexcaliber.

#7 Tinker

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Posted 18 October 2009 - 09:54 AM

I would like to sub to iRacing. The monthly cost is not an issue for me. All those other transactions for cars and tracks, now thats what I object too. Just do not like having to pay for each individual item. Just feel like being nickel'd and dime'd to death. IMO The monthly cost shld provide you with full access to all iRacing has.
Posted ImageYou do not stop playing because you get old...
You get old because you stop playing.

#8 Shoki

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Posted 18 October 2009 - 12:00 PM

While I am happy with the iRacing service and am happy they dropped their prices I do think they could learn a little something from the console games. That being said I will be carefully considering if it is worth it to me to continue to subscribe after my 3 months for $25 is over. Continuing to pay monthly and then to buy more cars and tracks as my license increases does seem like a lot to ask. I already want more cars and tracks but I still need to get my safety rating up. I thought I would buy the 24 Heures du Fun but it's another $90. So really I will get my license up and just take each subscription and series purchase as they come.

Taking some lessons form the console racers I'd like to see them have:
* ranked and un-ranked racing or introduce some sort of demolition series so you can do some racing that isn't so serious.
* un-ranked races against AI
* suggested race lines like LFS
* training series like LFS

I guess my main problem is wanting to be able to practice in populated races where you are not ruining somebodies day if you make a mistake. Racing the AI would not be as good as racing real drivers but it would let you experiment overtaking and adjusting your racing line. I sometimes feels like a serious commitment to join a race in iRacing. That's exciting but I feel like I would use the service more if there was some escape from the laser focused every race, time trial, and qualifying lap was being scrutinized and possibly used against my virtual drivers record. :)

I still like the idea of earning the right to drive the better cars and tracks but I'd like it better if they just unlocked and were mine for the price of my subscription. That's how World of Warcraft works and they are pretty successful.

Anyway good discussion. I still have over 2 months on my subscription so we will see how things work out.

--Shoki

#9 Hexcaliber

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Posted 18 October 2009 - 04:49 PM

W

I still like the idea of earning the right to drive the better cars and tracks but I'd like it better if they just unlocked and were mine for the price of my subscription. That's how World of Warcraft works and they are pretty successful.

Anyway good discussion. I still have over 2 months on my subscription so we will see how things work out.

--Shoki

With respect, even Blizzard charge for their expansions, indeed all mmo devs do, with the exception of CCP and eve online.

However, I do agree the cost can be prohibitive, especially early on when rising through the ratings quickly and probably keen to try other series. It would not be so bad if mpr requirements could still be met racing in series with lower license requirements than you may hold. At the moment, it does feel as though you have to keep purchasing content every time your license improves. For me, having no interest in ovals does limit the content I am likely to purchase, for the short term at least. If, or when they turn more of their attention to European race series and tracks, that may well change.

I also share your views with respect to practicing against competition. However, assuming it will be possible, I can envisage groups getting together to pay for private-hosted sessions once available, purely for the purposes of practicing and training without fear of affecting any standings.

:idea: In fact that could be an idea for members of this forum, private sessions for training and fun, and a great way to promote the site to iracing members. My fee is 10%, payable with all major credit cards and paypal transfers; or I may be persuaded to look the other way, with the gift of a slighty used fanatec 911 turbo S. :shock:

#10 pyquila

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Posted 19 October 2009 - 04:24 AM

Anyone here racing on iracing from europe? And if so, hows the latency?

I understand it has alot to do with your own connection to the internet, but i can image racing on US servers will create problems no matter how good your own connection is.

#11 DickDastardly

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Posted 19 October 2009 - 06:25 AM

I am afraid even if they do read it, it will be completely disregarded; the arguments were done to death in the forums after release. They made it quite clear the current model is not going to change anytime soon, while a price drop was always on the agenda....The service continues to grow, with subscription numbers continuing to increase monthly, so you may want to reconsider your predictions of its future. The title is unique in what it offers over its peers, unless that changes, Iracing and its pricing model will remain as they are.

I'm guessing that when they launched iRacing they hoped to have a hell of a lot more than 15,000 subscribers after more than a year. The fact is, their current pricing model has been a disaster financially, and it's pretty easy to see this if you take even a cursory look at the figures:

Let's round the number of subscribers up to 16,000 and assume every single one of them purchased an entire year's subscription at $156 (actually the average length of subscription will be considerably shorter than that). Let's further assume that every subscriber has bought five extra cars at $15 a pop, and five extra tracks at an average of $20 each (again, the real figures are likely to be much lower). That gives us a maximum figure of $5,296,000 total revenue.

That sounds like a lot of money, but it's dwarfed by their costs. In interviews a figure of $100,000 per track has been cited repeatedly for the scanning process and iRacing currently has 36 tracks. I've no idea how many developers are on the team, but let's assume there are only 20 (which would be a very small team by modern standards) and they each earn just $50,000 a year (a derisory salary for a decent developer). Finally, for the purposes of the calculation, we'll assume that there were only 9 months of development before iRacing started (actually there were several years). That gives us a total cost so far of $5,600,000 i.e. a loss of over $300,000 (and the true figure is likely to be many times that as we were very generous in the revenue calculation and very conservative in the costs calculation. In addition, we haven't even considered other significant costs like licensing, server rental, advertising, sponsorship deals, office rental, admin, I.T. equipment for the development team etc etc).

As you can see, this all suggests that iRacing has lost a significant amount of money so far and is unlikely to break-even (much less make a profit) unless subscriber numbers increase dramatically. Now I'm aware they have a financial backer with deep pockets, but even the wealthiest investor can only absorb losses for so long before they're forced to bail out. The recent price reductions will certainly persuade a few more people to subscribe, but I'm afraid these changes amount to little more than rearranging the deck-chairs on the Titanic.

The fundamental problem they face is that the current pricing structure just doesn't seem like good value to most fans of racing sims and games (as evidenced by the fact they've been staying away in droves). To get access to all the iRacing content (17 cars and 36 tracks) would cost you over $600 and that's not even including the cost of a subscription. Compare that to a title like Forza Motorsports 3 which offers more than 400 cars and 100 tracks for just $60. The same amount of money spent on iRacing would get you just 3 cars and 7 tracks (and only for 6 months).

You mentioned the fact that Blizzard charge for expansions to World of Warcraft. The key difference is that the initial WoW package offers a vast amount of content compared to offline competitors. With iRacing, it's the other way round, and people resent paying extra for stuff which they feel should have been included from the start. Successful online franchises operate by tempting subscribers in with a large amount of content and keeping them interested by continually adding more. Sure, it's possible to charge for some extras, but the real money is in the constantly renewed subscription fees. Potential iRacing subscribers see that they're going to be stung by a load of additional charges even to get past the very first license level and consequently never sign up in the first place.

The tragedy is that this perceived lack of value has crippled subscriber numbers for a brilliant sim. There are a couple of billion PCs in the world and many millions of fans of both real life and simulated racing -the potential market for iRacing is huge. Unfortunately, the current strategy of milking a handful of subscribers for every penny they can get, whilst alienating millions of others (who would have subscribed if the initial package was better value) just doesn't make sense financially.

As for my prediction of the future of iRacing -they'll limp along for a few more months to see what effect their new price structure has. They'll find it helps attract a few more subscribers (in fact it might even double their number, but two times "hardly any" is still "hardly any"*). Then, in desperation, they'll try something along the lines I outlined in my first post (i.e. all cars and tracks included free with any subscription) whereupon they'll be delighted to find that their total number of subscribers soars to over a million in the space of a few weeks.

Cheers,
DD

* This phrase has been bowdlerised to protect those of sensitive dispositions.

#12 mertol

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Posted 19 October 2009 - 08:20 AM

Anyone here racing on iracing from europe? And if so, hows the latency?

I understand it has alot to do with your own connection to the internet, but i can image racing on US servers will create problems no matter how good your own connection is.

I'm from bulgaria and latency is around 100-150 miliseconds.

#13 RandalWhite

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Posted 19 October 2009 - 10:52 AM

Anyone here racing on iracing from europe? And if so, hows the latency?

I understand it has alot to do with your own connection to the internet, but i can image racing on US servers will create problems no matter how good your own connection is.


I haven't had any issues racing against drivers from europe. Often times around 50% of the field in the races I join on IRacing are from europe.

#14 Hexcaliber

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Posted 19 October 2009 - 06:46 PM

***huge cut*** would have subscribed if the initial package was better value) just doesn't make sense financially.

As for my prediction of the future of iRacing -they'll limp along for a few more months to see what effect their new price structure has. They'll find it helps attract a few more subscribers (in fact it might even double their number, but two times "hardly any" is still "hardly any"*). Then, in desperation, they'll try something along the lines I outlined in my first post (i.e. all cars and tracks included free with any subscription) whereupon they'll be delighted to find that their total number of subscribers soars to over a million in the space of a few weeks.

Cheers,
DD

* This phrase has been bowdlerised to protect those of sensitive dispositions.


You can theory craft all you wish spewing out numbers all day, it will not change a single thing, except perhaps to make you feel better. The subscription model will continue, and I, like many, many others will continue to pay for it. The service is growing and expanding, should that change, I am sure the pricing model will be re considered in due course.

It is your choice, pay for it or not, but there is no point complaining about the reasoning behind your decision. Let us say the subscriptions do jump to over a million following your pricing model, within that 1 million will be the asshats who seek to wreck for the hell of it, the children who inadvertently do the same. At that point, you let in most of the people the current subscribers pay to avoid, and iracing seek to keep out. There are plenty of titles already released and due to be released catering to your idea of what a racing sim should cost.

I have pre ordered Forza 3 for which I purchased an Xbox just so I can run it; after more than 25 years of gaming, I own pretty much every racing sim released, and nearly as many arcade racers, not to mention titles from other genres. I understand what each offers and enjoy what is available. Not one of those purchases would make me reconsider my cash outlay thus far for iracing, as it offers something more, something extra, and I do not begrudge a single penny of it.

This is by far the most accurate sim available, and a very serious attempt at legitimising simracing as a sport. It is, what it is, by choice, it seeks to keep out those you would let in. As for your ideas about their funding and current equity, they are simply your imagination run wild, fuelled by wishful thinking with no merit to back them up.

By its very nature, the current pricing model ensures that outside of the rookies running free month trials, those that are there, take it seriously enough to respect each other, seek high calibre competition in a cheat free environment, against similarly skilled sim racers. That, along with its extreme fidelity are what we are happy to pay for.

Two friends of mine recently subbed to the service having seen it at my place, neither had ever played games on a pc before, let alone considered sim racing, one of whom has had to adjust his expenditure elsewhere, to be able to do so.

Again, it comes down to that phrase, “your choice”, I am happy with mine, you, clearly are not.
Regards Hexcaliber.

#15 DickDastardly

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Posted 20 October 2009 - 04:35 AM

You can theory craft all you wish spewing out numbers all day, it will not change a single thing, except perhaps to make you feel better. The subscription model will continue, and I, like many, many others will continue to pay for it.

You seem to be missing the point here, which is that there aren't "many, many others" paying for it. By the standards of any online gaming service, or when compared to the sales figures for any boxed sim or game, fewer than 16,000 subscribers is a disaster. By their own admission there have been "unacceptable delays to get the required number of drivers registered" (to make events official) and they've struggled to consistently get sizeable race fields.

My rough calculation of revenue and costs was done simply to show that even if you make an extremely generous estimate of revenue and an extremely conservative estimate of costs, it's very clear that iRacing has lost money so far. If you disagree with any of the figures I proposed, I'd be interested to hear which. Do you really think iRacing pays its developers less than $50,000 per year, for example? (in 2008 it was reported that the average developer salary in the U.S. was actually $73,600). Or perhaps you're claiming that the average subscription length for all 16,000 subscribers (including all those who just tried the service for a month and then decided it wasn't for them) is over a year? Note also, that the only costs I included in the calculation were those of laser scanning tracks (as reported by iRacing themselves) and developers' salaries. The really big costs like licensing weren't even considered.

Let us say the subscriptions do jump to over a million following your pricing model, within that 1 million will be the asshats who seek to wreck for the hell of it, the children who inadvertently do the same. At that point, you let in most of the people the current subscribers pay to avoid, and iracing seek to keep out.

iRacing already has a well designed system in place to eliminate "griefing", which is perhaps its greatest strength. Even if there were a large influx of new subscribers and some of them were intent on spoiling the racing for others, you wouldn't be affected in any way because presumably you've already graduated past the novice level whereas they never will until they''ve demonstrated a propensity to drive safely. In addition, the statistics available to the developers make it very easy for them to weed out the few idiots who might persist in deliberately trying to mess things up for others. This holds true whether there are ten subscribers or ten million.

This is by far the most accurate sim available, and a very serious attempt at legitimising simracing as a sport....Again, it comes down to that phrase, “your choice”, I am happy with mine, you, clearly are not.

Here I agree with you. I love almost everything I've seen or read about iRacing -extremely realistic physics, highly detailed tracks, persistent online statistics, a well organized and regulated racing experience, a ratings system in which you must earn the right to compete in faster cars and more prestigious events, extensive licensing links with real racing franchises/tracks/cars, etc etc.

Frankly, it hurts to be missing out on all this, and clearly I wouldn't have gone to the trouble of writing the open letter in the first place if I was happy with the status quo. I think it's inevitable that the lack of subscribers will eventually force iRacing to radically restructure (or eliminate) their charges for additional tracks and cars, I just hope this realization comes to them sooner rather than later. When it does, I'll be first in the queue to sign up.

Cheers,
DD

#16 Darin Gangi

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Posted 20 October 2009 - 11:09 AM

Great post that obviously took a lot of time and thought..

When we met and talked with the iRacing staff, they are not looking to make a profit after only being open for a year.. They have a 10 year plan and Im sure they were'nt planning to make a fortune on this overnight.

It's going to take time and some creative marketing to make the general public aware of sim racing.. Even most of the console racers have no clue about PC sim racing.

Darin

You can theory craft all you wish spewing out numbers all day, it will not change a single thing, except perhaps to make you feel better. The subscription model will continue, and I, like many, many others will continue to pay for it.

You seem to be missing the point here, which is that there aren't "many, many others" paying for it. By the standards of any online gaming service, or when compared to the sales figures for any boxed sim or game, fewer than 16,000 subscribers is a disaster. By their own admission there have been "unacceptable delays to get the required number of drivers registered" (to make events official) and they've struggled to consistently get sizeable race fields.

My rough calculation of revenue and costs was done simply to show that even if you make an extremely generous estimate of revenue and an extremely conservative estimate of costs, it's very clear that iRacing has lost money so far. If you disagree with any of the figures I proposed, I'd be interested to hear which. Do you really think iRacing pays its developers less than $50,000 per year, for example? (in 2008 it was reported that the average developer salary in the U.S. was actually $73,600). Or perhaps you're claiming that the average subscription length for all 16,000 subscribers (including all those who just tried the service for a month and then decided it wasn't for them) is over a year? Note also, that the only costs I included in the calculation were those of laser scanning tracks (as reported by iRacing themselves) and developers' salaries. The really big costs like licensing weren't even considered.

Let us say the subscriptions do jump to over a million following your pricing model, within that 1 million will be the asshats who seek to wreck for the hell of it, the children who inadvertently do the same. At that point, you let in most of the people the current subscribers pay to avoid, and iracing seek to keep out.

iRacing already has a well designed system in place to eliminate "griefing", which is perhaps its greatest strength. Even if there were a large influx of new subscribers and some of them were intent on spoiling the racing for others, you wouldn't be affected in any way because presumably you've already graduated past the novice level whereas they never will until they''ve demonstrated a propensity to drive safely. In addition, the statistics available to the developers make it very easy for them to weed out the few idiots who might persist in deliberately trying to mess things up for others. This holds true whether there are ten subscribers or ten million.

This is by far the most accurate sim available, and a very serious attempt at legitimising simracing as a sport....Again, it comes down to that phrase, “your choice”, I am happy with mine, you, clearly are not.

Here I agree with you. I love almost everything I've seen or read about iRacing -extremely realistic physics, highly detailed tracks, persistent online statistics, a well organized and regulated racing experience, a ratings system in which you must earn the right to compete in faster cars and more prestigious events, extensive licensing links with real racing franchises/tracks/cars, etc etc.

Frankly, it hurts to be missing out on all this, and clearly I wouldn't have gone to the trouble of writing the open letter in the first place if I was happy with the status quo. I think it's inevitable that the lack of subscribers will eventually force iRacing to radically restructure (or eliminate) their charges for additional tracks and cars, I just hope this realization comes to them sooner rather than later. When it does, I'll be first in the queue to sign up.

Cheers,
DD



#17 darkangelism

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Posted 20 October 2009 - 12:40 PM

sim racing in general seems to be getting more popular, more console guys moving to PC, like me, i found ISR because of their review on the GT3 RS wheel that made me buy the turbo S wheel for Forza 3, but once i have it Ill start playing PC sims also.

#18 Klecko

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Posted 20 October 2009 - 07:28 PM

sim racing in general seems to be getting more popular, more console guys moving to PC, like me, i found ISR because of their review on the GT3 RS wheel that made me buy the turbo S wheel for Forza 3, but once i have it Ill start playing PC sims also.


Same here,I have allways been a console racer.I play MMo"s on the computer.I found out about STR on the Forza 3 forums.I had no idea Sim racing had evolved so far,20+ racers in a race,on a road course! I had no clue When my 911 s wheel gets here i will be joining Iracing.I think the pricing now is near the normal price for most online games that charge a monthy fee.Look at World of warcraft $14 a month give of take.Their have been 2 updates and a new 1 on the way.So if you play WoW,you will buy all the updates when they come out .So the total you will have paid out for the game and 3 new updates will be $200 give or take assuming thye alll cost $50 apiece.
If you look at Iracing as 2 sims in 1,Oval and road racing.As far as i know ,If i dont want to Oval race ,i dont have to buy the cars or the tracks.
There is 1 thing i know about online games.If you want to keep subs,re-subscribing you eed a great community.I know so many people that play Wow,and they all say ,they would have stopped playing a long time ago,if it were'nt for all the friends they made playing WoW.From all that i have read about Iracing i think that is what is missing
Peace

#19 Jojo Gigio

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Posted 21 October 2009 - 12:05 AM

I noticed on the new iRacing website that joysticks and game pads also work with iRacing. I always thought that a wheel and pedal set were requirements. Is controller functionality a new thing aimed at making the service more accessible, or have they always been acceptable and just not advertised (or was I just blind to it)? Not that I would use one, just curious because I liked the idea of all drivers using a proper wheel.

JF iMotorsports - Santa Clara, CA
First Racing Sim - Sitting in my Dad's race car, c. 1980
Favorite Sim - iRacing


#20 DickDastardly

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Posted 21 October 2009 - 02:07 AM

I noticed on the new iRacing website that joysticks and game pads also work with iRacing. I always thought that a wheel and pedal set were requirements. Is controller functionality a new thing aimed at making the service more accessible, or have they always been acceptable and just not advertised (or was I just blind to it)? Not that I would use one, just curious because I liked the idea of all drivers using a proper wheel.

I think a wheel used to be a requirement, but they've since added the capability to use pads. Interestingly, there's a Gordon Kirby interview with Jacques Villeneuve (former F1 champ) on the reviews section of the iRacing website:

Villeneuve, the inveterate gamer, prefers to operate any computer game using a stick or handheld controller rather than a steering wheel. In fact, Jacques would prefer a stick rather than a wheel in a car, too! "I hate steering wheels on games because it's not a race car, it's a game and you can't make it real," Villeneuve commented.

"It's just impossible. You cannot one hundred percent simulate the wheel unless you spend millions and millions. A steering wheel, even in a car, is not the best thing that exists to turn the wheels. Steering wheels were invented a hundred years ago because there was no power steering and you needed something to turn the wheels that would take away the power that's required. But it's not the best thing to use to control a car because you have to move all your shoulders and your body. When you're cornering in a fast, physically difficult position in a race car the steering wheel is actually bad. You'd be much better with a hand-held controller because you have much more control with your wrist and fingers. So that's why I don't want to contrive myself with a steering wheel when I'm actually gaming."

Jacques adds that a stick or hand controller is also much easier to pack for travelling. "When you travel, it doesn't make much sense to bring a steering wheel that's bigger than your lap top," he half-joked. A few years ago Jacques tried some hand controls on a go-kart. "I don't think it would be legal in F1, but when I was at BAR we had a go-kart made like that with some special handles and it actually worked really well. Some more secret work was done on it after that."

I can't say I entirely agree with him (at least when considering the hideous analogue sticks on PS3 and XBOX 360 pads, which IMO are their least well designed components) but then I've never been world champion, so what do I know? ;).
Cheers,
DD




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