F1 appoints Elite game developer to create new series of official management sims

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The creator of the long-running video game series Elite has been appointed to create officially-licensed F1 management simulators.

Frontier, run by Elite creator David Braben, has signed a multi-year exclusive licence to publish four F1 management games across a range of formats including consoles and PCs, beginning in 2022. The games will be based on its Cobra engine used in the 2014 edition of the series, Elite Dangerous.

“F1 is one of the most popular global sporting franchises in the world,” said Braben, “and we believe the combination of the F1 brand together with our extensive experience in management games will deliver fantastic game experiences to a wide and varied audience around the world.”

The new management series will exist alongside the series of racing games produced by Codemasters, who last year extended their exclusive deal to produce the F1 2019 series until 2025.

F1’s director of digital and licensing Frank Arthofer said: “Games are an important part of the F1 media ecosystem. This new manager franchise will allow fans to experience the challenging management aspects of the sport through immersive simulation games, and make that experience as accessible as possible for a broad audience.

“We have huge respect for Frontier and their achievements in the management simulation category, and are thrilled to be working with them for the 2022 season and beyond.”

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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  • 31 comments on “F1 appoints Elite game developer to create new series of official management sims”

    1. Really weird choice. We’re talking planet coaster/roller coaster tycoon developers rather than football manager-esque… Hopefully it will look at a holistic approach to team management at the factory rather than just focusing on the races ala Motorsport Manager (which already does an excellent enough job at that).

      F1 has a tendency to throw games at the wall and see what sticks (f1 online, f1 race stars) hopefully Frontier can buck this trend and make something worthy of a franchise rather than another side show.

      1. All I know is that current f1 management sims are atrociously unplayable.

        1. I would disagree. What F1 management games have you been playing?

        2. Motorsport Manager and the army of modders (thanks for Fire and Ice) disagree!

      2. Elite Dangerous has markets in (millions of) different planetary systems reacting to players trading + the engine. And it generates completely new plantary systems when they are first visited.

        Also, it runs without too many bugs for a solid audience size, so they seem to have the technical background to make it work, now they just need to get the sports information / background and enthusiasm which I am sure Liberty will gladly provide some of, and Amazon will no doubt be happy to sell them some data from their AI engine @skipgamer, @peartree

    2. Expect predatory microtransaction schemes. Frontier love exploiting their fanbase.

      1. I don’t agree with that characterisation of Frontier at all and I don’t see that it would fit in with a licensed game anyway.

      2. I disagree. The game is fully playable without spending a dime on micro-transactions. I’d only consider pay-to-win games to be truly exploiting their fanbase.

      1. o7 from well outside the bubble!

        1. o7 currently grounded due to a dead PC but will be back!

    3. Actually David Braben is problay someone who can make a good simulator as his elite was a super simulation of the galaxy. I am a fan of his program work when i play Elite on my ZX spectrum :) He can program a lot in a A4 1024 rules which the current generation never had to do.

      Only because of him i would buy that program i think it would be epic. Also I wonder if i can get it working on my simulator:

    4. Commander Dave (triple Elite) reporting in.
      I reckon this is good news and FD are certainly capable of doing a good job. I’m looking forward to it.

    5. Pat Ruadh (@fullcoursecaution)
      10th March 2020, 13:59

      A weird chance to wax lyrical about a game I really love on a completely unrelated website that I also love, so I’m taking it…

      The original 1984 Elite was a technical marvel of F1 level proportions, creating an open ended 3D exploration game, when the industry standard for the time was 10 minute, pick-up-and-play 2- dimensional experiences.

      It was so far removed from what video games were thought of at that point, that when Braben and Ian Bell they pitched to EMI, they just didn’t get that modern gaming could be this sort of experience, so they had to beaver away with minimal funding from Acornsoft, coding right down to the metal, saving single bytes in order to cram their massive procedurally generated universe into its tiny 22kb of memory (about the size of a modern email) terrified that someone was going to beat them to it, and release another 3-D realised game before they had finished.

      As it turned out someone else had been working on a 3-D game, but when they saw it, they realised they were light-years ahead of the competition, with their sleek modelling of pitch, roll, and yaw that allowed their user free movement through an environment full of aliens, trading, black market smuggling, asteroid mining, economics, shooting it out with pirates, outrunning space-cops, and RPG style upgrades.

      For the first real 3-D game, this game is still pretty playable today. For an authentic experience, you could emulate the original with all its wire-frame graphics, and “pull your hair out after crashing into the side of a Coreolis station having messed up the docking sequence for the umpteenth time” charm.
      But for a more approachable take, I highly recommend downloading the fan-remake ‘Alite’ on your smartphone or tablet (which is fine legally due to Bell releasing the code to the public in 1999). It’s essentially the same game, but with modernised, graphics, and utilises your built in sensors to control the spacecraft.

      1. Thanks @fullcoursecaution – I utilized many hours on the original Elite on my Amstrad CPC464 (Don’t judge me), and I even too part in some simulation development a for Birmingham University using Elite controlled by two people in different rooms – it was research work for Westland helicopters if I remember rightly. A friend of mine and I were chosen because we were quite proficient at the game (ok – had wasted far much time playing it!).

        Truly a blast from the past.

        1. Pat Ruadh (@fullcoursecaution)
          10th March 2020, 16:58

          No judgement here @ahxshades I was raised on my big bros CPC 6128+ (with the colour monitor, he says smugly).
          We never had Elite for it sadly, but we did have Burnin’ Rubber!!!

          I have vague recollections of a BBC Micro at home, but they are very faint. It wasn’t until emulation became a thing that I got to go back and see what I had missed, and Elite was a real diamond in the rough.

          If you got to do research work on the back of it, it definitely wasn’t time wasted!! Although time playing Elite is always time well spent in my experience. Even if its sunny outside.

      2. Seems there is starting to show a decent crossection of the fanbase here @fullcoursecaution, @ahxshades :-)

        This was one of the few games I have spend endless time flying between the stars in. The reason to want a joystick to win more of the fights :-)

        1. Pat Ruadh (@fullcoursecaution)
          10th March 2020, 23:13

          Me and my buddy @bascb here chilling in the Christmas Eve-Eve baby + F1 Fanatic + Elite fanatic section of the Venn diagram

    6. RocketTankski
      10th March 2020, 15:04

      I’m surprised they didn’t ask the Star Citizen developer instead

      1. They likely want it to come out before the next set of regulation changes.

        1. And be at least somewhat stable too.

          1. Your can buy a Williams for £40 or a Mercedes for £1000. If you want to play the whole grid that’ll be the price of a small saloon

            1. Well, at least Elite let’s you play with them though, rather unlike that other game that got even higher numbers on the buys but still isn’t running much of a game or even running stabily, right @tdm

    7. It’ll be interesting to see what they can come up with. Football Manager is so successful because it accurately represents football management – you can have a weaker team but if you pick tactics that suit the strenghts of your players and exploit the weaknesses of your opponent, you’ll win. I’m not sure how you could do this with F1 where so much of the battle is won in the factory….

      In most F1/motorsport games, development is over-simplified to a point where you are simply clicking on what you want to upgrade and then waiting. “Upgrade Frong Wing – in a few races, your wing goes from 92% to 95%”. You just do this until you have the best car and then win most of the races. How can this be made interesting whilst remaining accurate to real life and simple enough for casual fans?

      On the race strategy side, I think Motorsport Manager has nailed it so it’d be interesting to see if they can do anything different or if they just copy and paste ideas from that.

      1. @petebaldwin
        +1
        I started playing Motorsport Manager and its very good. I was looking for a game that wasnt addictive and this wasnt. There isnt a lot of waiting to do but since the stakes are high for beginners, you tend to take a measured approach.
        Its less complex and always makes you wonder where you went wrong with the strategy.
        That being said, it confines itself to drivers, races and related strategy–not entirely ‘Motorsport management’.
        There is scope to add a lot more detailing– for eg. like you mentioned, managing a works factory could be a game by itself. Or perhaps, could be a broader, more realistic and global version where you get to build your own factory and fight for market vs the likes of Volkswagens and the Toyotas of the world.

    8. Haven’t seen a decent licenced management game since Grand Prix World (2000 release, based on the 1998 season), and even then there was a combination of staff/drivers that could get Minardi & Tyrrell to 8 time drivers/constructors champions over the 10 years before forced retirement. Interested to see what they can come up with.

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