Our series of reports on cheating in sim racing last week attracted well over 100,000 views (and continue to do so) at the same time it was refreshing to see that respected vlogger Random Callsign decided to tackle the hot-potato subject that developers are avoiding like a plague.
In the video above, Random Callsign cites our post, he joins our chorus calling for more transparency regarding cheating from developers across the board who have seen their platforms turn into big money spinners during the COVID-19 inspired sim racing boom.
From an ultra-niche esport, virtual racing is now mainstream and with it the sponsorship of investment in competitions, leaderboards, races, championships, hardware, software, tuition and setup industries by blue-chip companies.
Accountability for the integrity of sim racing games, which position themselves as professional esport platforms with substantial sponsorship and prize-money up for grabs, is what is required of all developers vying for this market.
In the video above, Random Callsign makes sensible calls for devs to come clean and address the issue, while suggesting that sim racing producers have been ambushed by the boom which, in turn, has attracted hackers to unleash their shenanigans at will.
He points out that the real problem are not the hobby-hackers such as Callum Cross2, who cheat for a laugh and eventually get caught then move on to the next game to terrorise, but rather the more sinister potential that such a tool could unleash.
Random Callsign paints the following picture: “In competitive online racing it’s not getting a tool that gives you carmageddon level physics that really matters, it’s using a tool to get just a little more power or just a little more grip.
“It’s getting the tool correct, to the point that you are just getting one or two tenths or even half a second per lap because, then, these examples would slip between the cracks.”
He also believes that sim racing developers are not ready to tackle the problem and says: “I don’t actually believe that most sim racing devs would even think that their titles would be targets for cheating tools.
“iRacing does have an anti-cheat which I doubt has any success in catching anyone at all these days. With the events of the lockdown and the rise of the sim racing esports sim racing developers need to take cheating tools or exploits more seriously.
“As sim racing continues to expand more and more of these cheats will be used and the sim racing depths can’t keep ignoring this new reality or expecting it to go away. A runaway tool could very easily destroy in days what took them years to build,” adds Random Callsign
In the intro of the video, he echoes the sentiments of this website regarding the coverage of this ongoing saga: “Don’t panic over this, don’t assume anyone or everyone is a cheater. This video is merely for raising awareness of the specific topic. I hope with raising awareness sim racing developers improve their software. Amen to that.
Meanwhile, in an earlier post we drafted an open letter to the main professional sim racing game developers including: iRacing, Sector-3 Studios (RaceRoom), Studio-397 (rFactor 2), Codemasters (and all their racing titles including F1 2020, Project Cars etc), Kunos (Assetto Corsa and ACC), Reiza (Automobilista series).
Watch this space…