You may or may not have seen or heard about Ross Brawn (F1 Sporting Director) talking about the potential for gaming to improve the spectacle in F1. He touts ideas such as “if we change the aero property of the cars and that is fed into their community, does that create a better race or not from their experience?" Sounds good so far.
However, alongside that, I would love to see a spectacle almost as big as the main show itself; one that you and I can enter from our living rooms.
Here’s how I could see it working:
Global Event; Global Exposure
Stage One: This has to capture as many people as possible. The software should be very accessible and open to as many platforms as possible. For Formula One, it would make sense to use the F1 games by Codemasters but for other series we could easily create a package to work with a more open sim software such as rFactor2 (with branded cars and virtual billboards) . Alternatively, a mobile or web browser game would really open the doors to a wider market. At this stage, competitors would prove themselves with laptimes or completing a task (skills test, race against AI etc.). As a result of stage one, perhaps 2-10% of competitors go through to stage two.
Stage Two: Organised races hosted online. These can be organise by seeding, country, region or however deemed appropriate. The races could be live streamed, and race directed professionally to ensure a good standard of competition. Utilising the power of streaming services like Twitch, Facebook Live and YouTube gaming, it's not hard to imagine incredible social media reach.
Stage Three: This is where it gets really interesting. The best of the best line up on the grid for season of racing. In an established series like Formula One or Formula E, drivers could be drafted into recognisable teams and become representatives on the same level as their "real-life" GP driver. Following the series' calendar, simulators can be transported to each round and a simulated race can become a 'support series' to the main event. With the right marketing and event management it can become a powerful marketing tool for the series, the sponsors and the teams.
esports such as DOTA and League of Legends fill stadiums on their own merit. They are accessible and exciting to their audience and there is no reason why sim racing as an esport wouldn't be able to do the same. If the series was organised professionally, and televised through existing TV deals it would almost certainly represent value for money for the stakeholders.
We can organise all of the above utilising our years of motorsport, IT/technical and event management experience. Get in touch with me if you're interested in a conversation, my email is firstname.lastname@example.org