2015 and beyond

Dear Friends,

The year is almost over, and if you follow Assetto Corsa since the beginning, you may already know that we have a tradition of announcing a new brand license right before the end of the year. This year, we are going to do the same, although in a somewhat different way.

First, we would like to make a summary of what Assetto Corsa and the Assetto Corsa community, in other words YOU, have achieved throughout the year. On our part, we have done our best to keep our simulation updated and bring you new content at the best possible quality, but without YOUR inexhaustible support – your purchases, constructive feedback and suggestions – Assetto Corsa would not be the game it is today. Such as you, we also believe that there is always a margin for improvement – in any department – and for this reason this year we have released four major updates that also involved aspects of the software that have already established a reputation as the main strengths of Assetto Corsa, such as its physics model. Similar efforts have been made to improve the artificial intelligence, the holy grail of any racing game, one of those aspects that are really challenging to fine tune in order to satisfy the expectations of many different kinds of gamers and sim racers – not to mention that Assetto Corsa is the first product created by Kunos Simulazioni that includes an AI algorithm, making this challenge even harder for our team. This is not an excuse, of course, just a simple fact. We are glad that our community has shown appreciation towards the improvements for multiplayer, AI, graphics and other features brought along with our latest 1.4 build, representing a new benchmark for introducing improvements to what we have created up until today. However, any simulation is useless without good content to enjoy it at its best, and it seems that you appreciate what we have presented during 2015.

Nürburgring-Nordschleife, Zandvoort, Barcelona and Brands Hatch
For the first time in sim racing history, we have produced a fully laser-scanned version of the legendary Nordschleife, the famous Green Hell, defining a new standard in terms of fidelity and accuracy for the most iconic circuit ever to be built. Zandvoort, Barcelona and Brands Hatch completed the line-up of the additional tracks available for Assetto Corsa during 2015, representing an extensive range of challenges, variety and environments for racing.

Lamborghini, Alfa Romeo, Audi and more
During this year, we have released 32 new awesome cars – some as free bonus content and others as purchasable packs. It is funny to think that when the idea was first conceived and we started the AC project back in 2011, we believed that at best the whole game would include 15–20 cars in total.

Presently, we have produced 32 additional cars in one year, indeed lining up an impressive selection of brands: Alfa Romeo, Audi, Ford, Lamborghini, Nissan and so on. We would like to emphasise that we have decided to invest in new builds, updates and content thanks to YOUR support – something that has been awarded with an up-to-date simulation and brand-new free content, which although represents us a cost in terms of production, royalties, manpower and time, also brings longevity, entertainment and increased value to the Assetto Corsa you have installed on your PC.

pic3The free bonus official content released through one year

On the other hand, when we started the development of Assetto Corsa in 2011, the dev team only consisted of six people in total. It is reasonable and fair to say that a production that today involves about 30 people must be sustainable, not to mention cars and licensing costs, or the fact that the production of a single circuit could cost (including the license, laser-scanning, production, logistics) up to hundreds of thousands of euros. The fact of the matter is that DLCs can help us cover costs and allow us to continue to develop and improve Assetto Corsa, and provide additional content at a reasonable price. In other words, for the price of a Happy Meal, you can enjoy new digital content for all the time you want, allowing us to continue to improve our – and your – simulation. We are glad to see that our fans understand our decisions, and we would like to thank you again for the great support you continue to give us in this regard.

pic5Including officially licensed – laserscanned – circuits requires a huge invesment of time, money, resources

Despite the fact that Assetto Corsa 1.0 was released last year, 2015 has brought even more challenges for us. Today, we have hundreds of thousands of users, and despite the enormous amount of possible combinations of PC configurations, drivers, controllers, devices etc., each new build must guarantee stability and performance. Since AC now features a significant number of cars, each update to the physics and tyre model requires a huge amount of work to update and check every single car to ensure that you can enjoy the quality of the simulation at its best, regardless of what your favourite car might be.

R&D
As you may know, since 2009, our R&D Studio has been located inside the racing circuit of Vallelunga, near Rome. The location is a key to our development work, allowing our company to meet and cooperate directly with teams, professional drivers and racing engineers. Now that Assetto Corsa is a highly popular simulation, teams prove to be even more cooperative when they come to “our” racing track, offering their support and allowing us to collect data, and make videos and recordings. On our side, we still want to improve our knowledge and technology in any aspect of the simulation, and this approach involves all areas, including the sound environment: thanks to the kind cooperation of Akrapovic, during 2015 we have worked to improve our sound recording process involving the use of new techniques of recording and advanced technologies. All new cars produced during 2015 took advantage of this improvement, and we also have plans to reprocess the cars that had been released earlier.

Talking about R&D, we would like to say a few words about Oculus VR: in 2016, this incredible device will finally be available with a definitive and standard SDK. It is in our intention to fully support the device in Assetto Corsa when it is finally available for public purchase with a proper and final library, since while still in beta version we need to redo the code support from scratch each time a new SDK is released, which understandably cannot be a sustainable – long term – strategy.

pic6 R&D in 2015 has involved also our audio department

PC, PS4 and Xbox One
Last but not least, we are also working on porting Assetto Corsa to consoles, which is completely based on the code designed and developed for PC, but instead of freezing the development of the PC version, we brought forward the overall process in parallel, creating a symbiosis that takes advantages from each platform. This has guaranteed a successful process of optimization and a different and improved approach in development that will be beneficial for everyone in future. Therefore, those fans who believe that the porting Assetto Corsa on console has the capacity to ruin the “magic” of the PC version can rest easy, as we can assure you that this is something that will definitely not happen.

Let’s talk briefly about the console port. It is true that to this day we have not revealed a lot of information about the console version of Assetto Corsa apart from confirming that we are indeed working on bringing the game to PS4 and Xbox One to offer the same driving experience as you get on the PC.

Some people do not seem to believe it and say – for reasons we do not entirely understand – that we are going to change the Assetto Corsa physics model also on PC to worsen the driving experience because of the console porting.

We can assure you that this is not going to happen. Actually, when we announced and showed Assetto Corsa on PC for the first time, the same people said that a game boasting top-tier brand licenses and graphics was never going to be a sim because no developer would agree to take a big risk with a genuine simulation. All we can say is that it was the wrong assumption back then, and it still is.

Firstly, we are not going to ruin the driving experience on PC. The good reputation of Assetto Corsa is mainly thanks to the driving experience and natural feeling that it provides with cars that are usually included in so-called arcade – or sim-cade – games. Frankly, it would be a suicide move to make worse one of the key selling points of our product.

Secondly, on the consoles we are going face-to-face with the goliaths of sim-racing, big names that boast sublime graphics, tons of cars and content and the direct support of their respective platform manufacturers. Assetto Corsa has been produced by a team of six, 12, and lately about 30. Our only chance to compete with those giants is to push forward its strong point, the driving experience it can achieve, because that is the factor that depends solely on our know-how, experience and will and not on the budget at hand. Driving experience means laser-scanned tracks, advanced tyre and dynamic modelling as well as all the attention and care we have reserved to any car present in Assetto Corsa. The good news is that 505Games supports us in this journey and we are in complete agreement – it is ready to focus on the realism aspect, instead of pushing our team to lower the simulation bar to an average level. The final judge, who will determine whether there is place for a realistic driving experience on consoles – in the present and in future – is YOU, our community, and no one else. What we can promise you is that we are not going to lower the level of simulation just so that we can please a wider audience.

 

pic4Kunos Simulazioni and 505Games introducing Assetto Corsa at E3 2015

2016
We are approaching the final phase of development on the console, something that includes a very different release schedule from the PC. We are also working on the 1.5 build of Assetto Corsa, which will introduce pit-stop feature for single player and continue the process of fine-tuning all the other features already included in the game. In the meantime, the team involved in production is working on the content expected for release during the next year. Assetto Corsa still has a lot to say, and we are working towards making you an even bigger enthusiast than before.

New circuits
We are glad to announce that we have signed a licence agreement to bring you the popular – laser-scanned – RedBull Ring, that for some of you might also be known as the “A1 Ring”, the Austrian circuit that welcomed back the F1 Championship this year. We are also working on the historic version of Silverstone, and the 10km and Junior versions of the iconic Monza circuit, giving you the chance to enter the speed ring and race the historic F1 cars of Assetto Corsa. At the same time, we are also updating our first tracks created for the simulation, bringing them up to a similar level of detail and appearance as the latest releases. Other new track additions might follow during the year.

(At least) 42 new cars!
And here we go: Kunos Simulazioni welcomes Maserati Automobili, introducing the world-famous manufacturer to Assetto Corsa in 2016 with some of its most iconic cars and most recent models. Any clue? Here you go: have you ever wondered how Fangio felt driving F1 cars in the ‘50s?

Thanks to the success of the Audi R8 Ultra 2014, and as a response to the requests of our fans, we are going to replicate the brand new R8 Ultra 2016. The new amazing Audi car will not come alone, since we are also working on the Audi R18 E-Tron, TT VLN 2014, TT CUP 2015, A1 S1, Sport quattro S1 E2 and TT 2015 models.

Assetto-san!
It seems that AC fans never have enough of Japan: then, they might be glad to know that we are bringing you the Toyota Celica, Supra, AE86 and TS040 Hybrid, as well as the Nissan GT-R 34 Skyline and 350Z Nismo 2015!  And the list might not be over, just let us work…

Italians do it…red
Yes, in Italy red is for Alfa Romeo and Ferrari. We can’t unveil now all details, just wait and see, we will not disappoint you.

British Style
The 650 GT3 was the first car unveiled of the recent line-up of McLaren – but not the last: the new 570LS and P1 GTR™ will further expand the grid of supercar and hypercar races in Assetto Corsa!

The new entry
During 2015, we had the pleasure to meet Praga Cars. Let us introduce you this car manufacturer and its awesome Praga R1! Soon™ in Assetto Corsa.

IMG_7068-1024x683Another awesome new entry for 2016

Our community
All of this would not be possible without your support. Support means purchasing original products, and we are really grateful to all of you who have purchased Assetto Corsa and its additional DLCs. Your support also allowed us to hire developers, improve our software and guarantee high-quality and constant support for your favourite simulation. It is our intention to continue to bring you new, high-quality content and features, as well as free bonus content even in the year to come.

Support also means modding. What the modding community has achieved with Assetto Corsa is just incredible – and also very important. The tools released along with Assetto Corsa allowed many enthusiast and skilled fans to show their great talent, and during 2015 some of them were even hired to take part in the creation of official content, working closely with the core team of Kunos Simulazioni. A ton of additional skins, cars, tracks, apps and tools have been created as well, allowing gamers to enjoy Assetto Corsa and its features even more. We would like to thank the entire modding community for the time, passion and attention you dedicate to your projects every single day.

Support also means feedback, criticism and suggestions. With more than 115,000 members, the official Assetto Corsa forums offer a platform for discussion, tips and threads that strive to help people enjoy AC the best they can, while also providing valuable feedback to the developers. We wish to thank all those people who have given feedback and support for our work – and other games – with their reports, tips and suggestions on our forums.

Our gift for you
“OK Kunos team, everything is jolly great, now tell us what’s new for us!”

You are right…and you have been asking for some iconic cars for a long time. At the moment we are completing the development of Corvette C7 Stingray 2015 and Ford Mustang 2015, expected to be the first bonus content released in 2016. There is also another “small” surprise. Stay tuned, while we work on an extensive update for the official Assetto Corsa website, which will bring you more information about all the new content, updates, the Assetto Corsa PRO and Formula SAE programmes, and much more.

corvette-mustangThe first free bonus pack of 2016!

When? “Soon™.” When else?
Thank you so much for your valuable support, help and passion! We will keep working hard to deserve it.

With our warmest regards

Marco Massarutto
Co-founder, Executive Producer

 

KUNOS Simulazioni