Local Sim Racing: The Stagnant Feel

I've been exposed to sim racing since 2017 and I still love every bit of it to this day, especially with its technological progress that brings accessibility to motorsports for the general public. I, for one, got hooked on titles like Assetto Corsa, DiRT Rally 2.0, and even Project Cars that's why in 2020, we got into the vocation of promoting local sim racing in our country. After all, we got amazing people in the community that actually rock in both the real and virtual motorsports world. But even then, I can still feel the stagnation in the genre.

Disclaimer: This is from the perspective of a media person who has been covering Esports for 7 years and an avid racing game fan for 13 years. I know some of the local sim racing community may frown on me after reading this editorial but hear me out; I wrote this (and always has been) with good intention. I came from a niche genre that struggles in the community too, but this is based on my 3 years of observation and what I notice can hopefully improve upon so it won't make the same mistakes of the previous community I've been in. (Where I also discussed in a Video Editorial.)

I'm actually glad sim racing is growing in the local industry now, aside from the usual boost after the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown that got so many people getting into racing games, especially Simulation Racing titles like Assetto Corsa, DiRT Rally 2.0, rFactor, and more. But there are some areas that I'm surprised to see and experience in the community and in the genre that would still fall short in the local demographic.

Costs of Getting into Sim Racing

Even though you can dive into the world of racing with a mouse & keyboard, or even a gamepad; Inevitably, it's still not going to be enough to take advantage of getting into the realism of sim racing. Don't get me wrong, some people make it work and take that as a challenge, but it doesn't entice most people to dive into the game.

In a GTPlanet Article, Gran Turismo producer and professional racing driver Kazunori "Kaz" Yamauchi quoted: "High-end wheels are fine, but I think we need something that is easier for everyone to pick up." This is also why people still mostly prefer SimCade and/or Arcade Racing. Yamauchi added “It’s wrong to ask everyone to do that… I know that there is such a world of simulation, but it’s not the majority.”

Giving factor to the local sim racing industry, not everybody is privileged to buy even the cheapest racing wheels on the market due to unsureness of commitment and budget. I'm not saying the sim racing market should be way cheaper since you do get what you pay for, nor am I saying buying sim racing equipment guarantees a good experience, but that completely narrows down the demographic and it's sad to say: The majority are just going to spectate for the most part.

Fantech also released a cheaper wheel that would mitigate the cost of getting into sim racing. Everybody is hunting for a Logitech Driving Force Pro / Pro GT / G25 / G27 / G29 (or Thrustmaster Equivalent) in the used market but 4/10 Filipino gamers are mainly using it for arcade and simcade racing, or just to scratch the driving itch using City Car Driving and Euro / American Truck Simulator and try to be the kings of the road with a tank top and a Good Morning towel on their shoulders. One of the sparks in our local industry however is its ingenuity to approach sim racing titles. We saw some amazing players who can also rock full-on simulation titles like DiRT Rally 2.0 on a gamepad.


This is what sold me on trying Assetto Corsa and DiRT Rally 2.0. Realism is not just in terms of the feel of handling your dream car, but also knowing the factors in terms of driving style and configuring it to your liking. Now, unfortunately, this is still relevant (and it will always be) that realism will limit what you experience depending on your peripherals. This is connected to the first problem why it's stagnant in terms of cost of entry which you just read a few paragraphs ago. But when you're committing to sim racing, you're committing to its realism. It's subjective for every game how realistic the game compares to other games. With its fun factor, it also comes with a cost; the barrier of entry to new players. Now, I'm still glad some people still get into it despite its challenging realism, but for the majority, it's still intimidating.

Plus, since we're in the revolution of improving safety standards for cars made for the road and the track, realism will slowly go irrelevant. For older cars and makes, however, that wouldn't be mostly the case, but as time passes by the technological progress made to simulate a car with all of its safety standards that can affect the diving experience would endanger the future of sim racing. This would affect some motorsport disciplines like Formula 1.

In terms of the local sim racing industry, this is fortunately not an issue but for the international audience, it still is. Yes, this won't be a problem for those who are experienced in real motorsports, but how about avid gamers who want to experience such? Racing sims still need to be kept strong and this is why the local industry still clings on to whatever they could.


Having experience in different communities, the local industry sadly needs no further introduction. Let's face it, we all know what happened to a certain sim racing group and that's a horrible approach for a misunderstanding. Knowing that popped up on my social media feed, I'm not entirely surprised when I asked "Why is this genre still niche even if we have great sim racers locally?" That's why. Toxicity, Filipino mindset, and elitism are what made it stagnant. (That brings me back to my first editorial here.)

Before you stop reading and raising your virtual torches and pitchforks; Fortunately, that's not always the case! There are still few people who are still welcoming you to the world of Sim Racing and why it's fun. But it's sad to report that the majority still gatekeeps other new people to come in or even develop "circle-jerking" groups. Aba, Filipino ba naman pagdating sa toxicity, hindi na 'ko magtataka.

This is a major problem with communities like this, and to factor that can be also found in other communities is stupidly dangerous, and let's all admit it. For better or for worse, we still see them. I hope the gatekeeping mindset for communities and brands would change. If that's what seems fine in the real motorsports world and looks normal to see (I'm looking at you, Drive to Survive fans), it will be way different in Esports (and sometimes worse.) But if there's one thing I would like to see Esports learn from Motorsports is reconciliation between their rivals after the game. Some Non-sim racing esports players still aren't behaving properly.

Motorsports ≠ Esports

This is probably going to be the hardest pill for some sim racers, brands, and (us) organizers to swallow: Motorsports is still different from Esports, in its market, demographic, and even community. I'm baffled at some of the brands still have the "Motorsports Market" mindset where just having motorsports in a computer game with racing wheels will get them into Motorsports. Just because it has it virtually, brands will think it just sticks and works normally without considering factors that would affect newcomers to try. (I know that and I learned that the hard way.)

If you're wondering why most of the major sim racing events are mostly towards developing you into real motorsports, that's why. Now, there's nothing wrong with that (I think that's still great,) but it's sad to hear that some brands, organizers, and communities still neglect the demographic difference in Esports. That's why (gaming) organizers that can provide a platform still doubt that it will stick. This is the exact reason why I barged into pioneering this in the gaming and Esports industry and connect with to let people from the local sim racing industry and industry partners know that this would be a different market on its own, especially in its infancy. This is the exact reason why I still have more hopes than doubts when we started this advocacy in 2020. The local sim racing community still has to consider Esports and gaming communities to be different from their real-world motorsports counterparts. I won't even write about this if that isn't the problem in the first place and give a wake-up call and extend help to the community.

Final Thoughts

Super Cub (Tone Koken,hiro / Studio Kai)

So now you're wondering why we still have a presence in the industry despite knowing its genre is stagnant? It's like a project car you've dreamed building of: Problematic, but trusty

Local sim racing is indeed problematic but still can be trusted. It is sadly stagnant compared to simcade and arcade racing, but this is exactly why we need more movement. And this is why against all odds, we still stay to bring advocacy, pioneering the sim racing niche in the gaming and Esports community, not just because we actually have sim racers that would represent our country and promote this community as a fun and safe space to be with, it's also because we still believe that we can bridge the gap between local motorsports and the gaming community, and like other communities, make it stronger together.

So now you're thinking about what you can do as a newbie to the sim racing world. Now don't get intimidated after reading all of these because here are simple ways to support the growing local sim racing industry:

- Participate in on-site and remote events! - You can find such a sim racing booth offered in motorsport/auto & gaming conventions and don't miss that opportunity to try it out. Don't get discouraged if you can't get it on the first try, and if you have the game and you want to participate, you can also join in! (We're cooking up something for both sim racing and made/arcade fans. Coming soon!)

- Don't hesitate to ask questions - It's better to be Jon Snow and learn everything about sim racing. Even simple questions that get you hands-on to get started or improve upon.

- Be nice - In a world where gatekeepers in every community still inevitably exist, it doesn't hurt to still be friendly, since you're also part of the growth in the local sim racing community. Be patient with other newbies who have joined in and also help them by answering questions that you may know and help.

- Support Simcade and arcade racing! - For most of you, that genre(s) is your roots and why you got into sim racing in the first place despite going to the higher level, and don't look down on them. It's a cliché to write this as a bullet point but let's also embrace how diverse the racing genre is. 

- Attend Stadium X and Experience sim racing! - EXOSIA Project will not also just going to be its Official Media Partner, but we're collaborating with Stadium X to bring our sim racing industry partners like Dominado E-Motorsports Rally, SiMagic, Stregawo Customs, D4Grafixx Racing, and Sim2Premier so you can experience the full sim racing experience and even win prizes! It will be at Ayala Malls TriNoma from June 24-25, 2023. (FREE ENTRANCE!)

Let's battle the stagnation in the local sim racing industry together. Let's stop shutting doors to each other and make more movement to the industry and community.

Stadium X Facebook Page: https://sizl.ink/StaX-EXOSIA