Multiplayer, BMW M6 and Paul Ricard added to Assetto Corsa Competizione Early Access

by James Eagles
BMW M6 GT3 - Assetto Corsa Competizione

In the second update to the Early Access version of Assetto Corsa Competizione, Kunos Simulazioni have announced new content, including multiplayer functions, at a new price.

The BMW M6 GT3 and Circuit Paul Ricard are also on the list of additions, just over a month after Kunos released its last update to the official title of the Blancpain GT Series. Alongside the physical content, Endurance races of either three of six hours are now available and the pitstop system has been bolstered and revamped to improve the overall experience.

Making its first appearance in Assetto Corsa as an official licensed model, the M6 GT3 is BMW’s premier GT3 racer and took Tom Blomqvist, Philipp Eng and Christian Krognes to victory in the 2018 Total 24 Hours of Spa, part of the Blancpain GT Series Endurance Cup. A fan favourite, the release of the M6 GT3 has been highly anticipated since its on-track debut in 2016.

The latest venue to feature on ACC is the world-renowned Circuit Paul Ricard, joining existing tracks Nürburgring and the Misano World Circuit. Recreated using Laserscan technology, this edition is the most detailed version of Le Castellet seen in sim racing.

BMW M6 GT3 - Assetto Corsa Competizione

A new, more complex, pitstop system features in the update. Credit: Kunos Simulazioni

Both additions are available in single player and the new multiplayer mode. The introduction of a server allows racers to compete against each other for the first time in ACC. However, Kunos have emphasised that this is a testbed, and only practice sessions are available right now.

The thought process behind the move is that the Italian developers can gather feedback from players in order to make the transition into full network gaming on full release as seamless as possible. Kunos state that, gradually, more features will open up to those with the Early Access version.

Kunos Simulazioni’s Co-Founder, Brand and Product Executive Manager, Marco Massarutto, admitted that the online functionality is “one of the most difficult aspects” for the company to get right whilst working with their new Unreal Engine 4 foundation. Therefore, there are some features that have not made the update for now.

“We are glad to open our ‘online multiplayer doors’, giving a very first taste of it to our core Community, that is constantly helping us during this Early Access program,” Massarutto said.

“The Assetto Corsa Competizione Online Multiplayer is one of the most difficult aspects for our team because developing it on Unreal Engine 4, as we aim for an equal-to-better quality than what we had in Assetto Corsa, has been a completely new challenge for us.

During the development process we had to face some unforeseen issues that slowed our workflow and prevented us finalising all of the multiplayer features expected for this release update. At this point we took into consideration the possibility to discard multiplayer completely from this build…this is definitely one of the risks of any Early Access Program.

“However, we worked night and day to provide you a first bite of what you can expect from our multiplayer mode in the coming months. This first multiplayer iteration is needed by us to heavy-test our network systems and get the data we need to fine tune it, while gradually including all the Online Multiplayer features expected in the final version.”

Given the wealth of new features, the price has increased from £22.49 to £29.99, with the next price boost scheduled to take place in the January updates.

The full release is still scheduled for the first quarter of 2019, most likely on the eve of the 2019 Blancpain GT Series around March and April, with three more Early Access content updates still to come.

You can read The Checkered Flag‘s review of the Early Access edition here.

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