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Pumping the Brakes on the Motorsport Games Rumors

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Joshua Lipowski

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There are a lot of rumors going on about the state of NASCAR gaming. With the recent reports and speculation of what is going on at Motorsport Games and in NASCAR gaming in general, let’s take a step back and look at everything that we know and do not know about the situation.

What We Know

Back in July, Hunter Cooke of Sports Business Journal reported that there is a ‘substantial announcement’ coming on NASCAR console gaming. This stemmed from an interview with NASCAR’s Managing Director of Gaming and Esports, Nick Rend.

Speculation ran rampant from there as to what this announcement will reveal. The bottom line is that we do not know what this announcement is. It could be multiple different things, and it may or may not be what the NASCAR gaming community dreams it to be.

We also know that NASCAR console gaming is in a difficult state. With the most recent NASCAR console game, NASCAR 21: Ignition being an unmitigated disaster, and the recent NASCAR Heat 5 DLC flopping.

This is the context in which all of this news comes out. It’s a space where people are understandably desperate to see a functional NASCAR console video game, even if that means Motorsport Games leaving the picture.

The one thing that Motorsport Games did yesterday that we do know is that they canceled their quarterly earnings call. Darian Gilliam was one of those on Twitter who tweeted it out, and the earnings call is not listed under Motorsport Games’ event page on their website.

Since Motorsport Games is a publicly traded company, they are required to release information on their financial performance, and earnings calls are how a lot of companies do that. Motorsport Games most recently had a call in May for the first quarter of 2023. However, earnings calls are not legally required.

Therefore, this could mean a lot of different things. It could be as simple as someone getting sick and they need to reschedule the earnings call for a to-be-determined date. It could be that Motorsport Games is going a different route to release information on their financial performance.

Regardless, this is not a normal procedure for Motorsport Games. They did postpone the third quarter earnings call in November of 2022, but they still released a new date and time for the call. They did not cancel the call entirely like they did in this most recent instance.

Therefore, something happened to necessitate this unusual measure. However, it could be a myriad of things that could have nothing to do with NASCAR console gaming.

Unconfirmed Reports and What We Don’t Know

Now that we have looked at what we know, where is more of this speculation coming from? In order to do that, we need to take a deep dive into a couple of reports that were posted on social media and analyze them. Do they really say anything at all?

Mike Straw pointed out that he reached out to everyone he could about this situation. What he said was, “If what I’m hearing is true, the landscape could be changing”.

Long story short, Straw did not really say anything new. He said the landscape COULD, not WOULD or IS, or WILL, change if what he is hearing is factual. He does not even know if what he is hearing is actually what is going down by his own admission.

This was not an announcement that anything crazy was happening. We still do not know anything for sure beyond what is already public knowledge as we discussed. Sure, what he could be hearing is true, but he did not even disclose what he was hearing.

Therefore, we did not learn anything new that we did not already know, We already know the landscape COULD be changing. We already know that Motorsport Games canceled an earnings call, which is unusual, but we do not know if it’s related to NASCAR gaming.

Alan Bailey also chimed in on Twitter, and he even gave a date with a few hashtags including NASCAR, IndyCar, and Motorsport Games. Motorsport Games also currently holds the IndyCar video game license.

The date he gave was September 30th. Okay, what’s happening on September 30th? That’s still a month and a half away from an announcement, and no other NASCAR reporter or even an official in the industry has publicly disclosed this date either.

Alan Bailey might be right that there is something going on on that date, but, we do not know for sure. There is no official or confirmed word out there. Even if there is something going on on that day, what would even happen?

We. Do. Not. Know.

We can speculate, but there is just nothing official out there beyond what we already discussed that we know. However, the excitement and speculation behind this does say something positive about the NASCAR gaming community.

What This Says About the NASCAR Gaming Community

Something that you need in order for a product to work in a business like this is a passion for the product. The NASCAR gaming community is passionate about NASCAR gaming, and they want a quality NASCAR video game. This is something that they have not had in a long time.

They understand that NASCAR video games are a great way to market the sport. I and many other NASCAR fans grew up playing NASCAR video games, and, that is how many were introduced to the sport in the first place.

When a good NASCAR video game is finally released, there will be a large player base that will play it and promote it. The community is there, and they are passionate about the product. That is the silver lining that NASCAR should look to when talking about the state of their gaming.

We may not know what the future of NASCAR gaming is, but we do know that the community will be there to support it.

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Picture of Joshua Lipowski

Joshua Lipowski

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