NASCAR '21: Ignition promises to bring in the new era of NASCAR video games. The game is the first installment to use the Unreal Engine for graphics and physics. However, some fans have been a bit discouraged by the lack of NASCAR's feeder series, the Xfinity and Truck series. Fans are concerned that the career mode and freshness of the game could become boring over time. However, I believe that this step is EXACTLY what the NASCAR gaming franchise needed. I have played NASCAR games ever since I was a kid and I have seen the franchise take on multiple forms. I believe that the newest form of NASCAR games might be the best yet. Here are a few reasons why NASCAR '21: Ignition only needs to have the NASCAR Cup Series:
It's Worked Before
NASCAR '21 is not the only game to only present the NASCAR Cup Series. Furthermore, it would not be the first game to be successful without the feeder series included. While NASCAR Heat Evolution, the most recent game without the feeders, left a little to be desired; games such as NASCAR Thunder 2004 and NASCAR The Game: Inside Line have both captivated audiences with their gameplay. The same could easily be said for Ignition given the amount of effort that has been put into the development of the game.
More Time to Focus on What Matters
While there are benefits to adding in the feeder series; coding in these aero packages, different tracks, and playoff formats can take time away from focusing on the graphics and physics of the game itself. Features of a game are great, but if the game does not run smoothly the overall product will suffer. Motorsport Games has been very clear on their intentions of providing us with the most perfect racing simulation that we can have. In order to make this happen, it is quite possible that the feeder series became a hindrance.
New Career Mode Approach
Career mode is the mode that is affected the most by not having the feeder series. However, career mode might get a freshened feel because of it. For the last few NASCAR games, players have experienced what it's like to start from the bottom and work through the series to get to the Cup Series. While this is the most common approach for upcoming NASCAR hopefuls, it is not the only path to the top. There are drivers in the Cup series, such as Quin Houff, who have not raced in the lower series. This can give players a look into their path. One of the most interesting real-world careers to follow in NASCAR is that of Matt DiBenedetto. Matty D. has worked with low-budget teams in NASCAR and has gotten to better rides with his performances on the track. Having this sort of story in the new game might be a fresh take for the NASCAR games.
There are multiple reasons that support the belief that NASCAR '21: Ignition can be a very successful game without the feeder series being included. Another thing fans should keep in mind is this most likely will only be a temporary sacrifice. If Motorsport Games can get the basics down and have a strong foundation for the franchise, then it should not take long for them to build on that foundation with new series, features, and fun.