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How the canceled GTR3 project impacted RaceRoom

An exciting new project was announced back in 2017. A fresh driving game, it used Unreal Engine technology to deliver a supposedly “realistic racing experience” for PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One.

Several stills have been released, including well-known BMW, Bentley and Audi GT3 race cars, as well as the Spa-Francorchamps and Nürburgring Grand Prix circuits.

Adding to the excitement was the development team – SimBin – and its name, GTR3.

GTR3 was revealed to the public in 2017 using an Unreal Engine prototype originally created by Sector3

However, it wasn’t the SimBin that was universally popular for its development of Race 07 and its associated enhancements (not to mention the often-overlooked Xbox 360 exclusive Race Pro), but rather a brand new studio. SimBin Studios UK stuck to the coattails of its famous namesake, but the reality was that the main team behind the garlanded GTR 2 at Sector3 Studios, further developing the RaceRoom Racing Experience, and Slightly Mad Studios, who then worked on Project CARS , had divided.

Regardless, the anticipation reached its peak. The GTR brand name has been associated with three of the best sim racing platforms of all time – GTR (2005), GT Legends (2005) and finally the sequel in 2006.

Well, in 2023, after the closure of social media channels in 2021, the project is officially dead.

26 months ago, the GTR3 team’s formal statement sounded at least hopeful for a continuation of development after some bumps along the way:

Closure of Simbin Studios UK GTR3 social media

“Work on the project will continue behind the scenes,” the Discord post reads.

“But from now on there will be no more empty promises. No more optimistic statements. We know we’ve let you all down: not just once, but more than once over the years.

“The solid talent at Simbin Studios UK is supported by additional resources and a new plan. When we emerge from this self-imposed exile, it will only be with real, hard facts.”

Unfortunately that never happened.

GTR3 Bentley 2017

When Jean-François Chardon, studio head at KW Studios for RaceRoom and SimBin veteran for over 14 years, was asked on the Traxion.GG podcast if GTR3 production had stopped, his answer was straight to the point:

“Yes.”

In fact, JF and Sector3 were working on the early stages of what would mean a return to the old form for the storied brand.

“In 2015 we did that [GTR3] “A prototype was created using the Unreal Engine and that prototype was taken away,” Chardon told Traxion.GG.

It was sent to Liverpool and the nascent SimBin UK, a spin-off from Sector3 with a newly built team. From then on, the RaceRoom team expected to get Unreal technology back once GTR3 was complete to update its PC-only sim.

GTR3 Porsche 911 2019 NurburgringGTR3 was developed by SimBin Studio UK – a separate offshoot

“At Sector3, we were only tasked with RaceRoom,” Chardon explained of the timeframe between handing over the first prototype and now.

“We were and still are a backup crew and RaceRoom’s maintenance was enough to keep us busy. So we couldn’t really develop or improve the engine [ourselves].”

However, the collapse of the GTR3 project let RaceRoom down somewhat, as the graphics were already entrenched a decade ago.

RaceRoom Racing Experience, BMW M4 GT3RaceRoom recently added the BMW M4 GT3 – the first of a year-long DLC ​​roadmap for 2023

Although this was a setback, the Sector3 team now operates under a new branding, that of KW Studios. The chassis manufacturer has been an investor since 2009, and the change of name now serves to publicize the partnership. The company also has big plans to revitalize its popular RaceRoom.

“Now we’re pretty much done [back] “We are in the same step as in 2015,” said JF.

“Except for now, we have the freedom to expand our own team.”

KW Studios

With this budget and freedom comes a developer recruitment drive and a plan to restructure the platform’s back-end, implement a new user interface, add splits and daily races to the online, and explore new graphics engines. RaceRoom is about to make a comeback.

For the full details, check out the latest episode of the Traxion.GG podcast, which you can watch on YouTube now or listen to on Spotify and Apple.

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