2016 is already well underway and promises to be another strong year for sim racing enthusiasts with a hatful of new titles emerging into the marketplace, substantial updates for existing releases and more news and information on a couple of highly anticipated sims likely to float to the surface before the year draws to a close. The opening few months of 2016 have already proven an exciting time for the genre with the news of a much anticipated and somewhat unexpected return of the GT Legends name to PC's around the world. Early in the year Little Feet Studios, a small independent operation run by form SimBin employee Simon Lundell announced to the world his intention to revive the popular title with a brand new sequel aimed at recreating the spirit and feeling of the original release. Many in the sim industry were surprised to hear of this new venture and no doubt many eyes will be on the little team in the coming months as we wait to hear more news on how the games progress. RaceDepartment will be bringing you another exclusive interview with Simon and Tiny Feet in the coming months where we discuss plans for the new GT Legends and how the early stages of creating the game are taking shape. Stay tuned for more information and news when it becomes available. While the GT Legends announcement came somewhat out of the blue, Brazilian outfit Reiza Studios delivered on their long running crowdfunding campaign releasing highly acclaimed Game StockCar Extreme successor Automobilista Motorsport Simulator on Steam Early Access. Originally Reiza Studios announced back in 2015 that they would be running a limited time crowdfunding campaign via IndiGoGo to add much needed additional funds to the development, and completion of GSCE before the studio focus attention on a new, as yet untitled 2017 release. Community response to the highly respected studios campaign was exceptionally high and team over at Reiza announced via RaceDepartment that such was the overwhelming response and depth of the updates planned for the title the most sensible solution would be for a complete rebranding and re releasing of the game, at no cost to owners of the current Game StockCar Extreme game. Featuring enhanced graphics and FFB, new and improved content and a host of game feature enhancements Automobilista has proven a popular addition to the sim racing scene as Reiza Studios continue to push the ISI gMotor engine now they have the benefit of fully licensed access for the first time. Automobilista is currently in a short Early Access phase and should reach version 1 in the coming weeks. RaceDepartment have already adopted the title in our GSCE Club Racing events and the results have been spectacular, with almost unanimous approval from the racing community and some spectacular racing action out on track. Perhaps one of the most anticipated titles to be discussed amongst sim racing fans in recent years is proposed karting simulator KartKraft, discussed and previewed for a number of years before finally gaining some traction towards the end of 2015 and now planned to release sometime in the very near future. Originally starting life as KartSim, the title has taken on many different forms and has experienced a troubled early life as the team over at Black Delta developed the initial idea and went about the business of learning how to build a highly detailed karting simulator. Towards the end of 2015 and early into the New Year a number of images and videos have been revealed showcasing the admittedly impressive graphical side of the game. RaceDepartment had a great opportunity to sit with the guys at Black Delta recently to discuss the title in some detail and we are excited to hear about the games impressive growth and development. Keep an eye out at RaceDepartment the upcoming opportunity to win some KartKraft goodies when we launch our quest to find the most wanted questions to ask the developers when we give the community the opportunity to offer up suggestions and communicate directly to the developers about how you think the title show develop during the Early Access process. Still on the theme of karting, iOS only title Street Kart breaks into the mobile gaming market place in 2016 with beta testing for 1000 lucky players commenced earlier this year. Street Kart aims to be a simulation type multiplayer kart racing game taking mobile gaming to a realism level not seen before on iOS devices. Graphically advanced and developed with the help of professional karting drivers, Street Kart is an interesting game that could fill a nice void for those sim racers who want to get their online thrills without necessarily having access or time to sit in front of a gaming PC and participate in online club races or online open lobby events. For many sim racers 2015 was the year of the rally sim with the highly acclaimed release of Codemasters DiRT Rally on Windows PC. 2016 has brought a very successful launch of the title to the consoles market and with the recent acquisition of Evolution Studios things are looking very positive for the British developers. Another title looking at making the switch to mass market console release is Kunos Simulzioni’s premium racing title Assetto Corsa. Sadly the studio have had to yet again delay the console release of the title, Xbox and PlayStation gamers will now have to wait until August to get their hands on Assetto Corsa. Hopefully the latest delay in release will give the Italian studio some additional breathing space to close up some of the obvious gaps in AC’s armoury before unleashing the title into a marketplace that has become accustomed to fully featured racing titles in recent years. To help pacify fans somewhat Kunos have started to tease the next new car pack due to hit the game in the coming weeks. The Japanese Car Pack should be available as DLC for the PC version of the title in the coming weeks, however more on that one in a different article later... Another new title in 2016 already making its mark in Early Access is the rather unusual RaceCraft game. Featuring high powered open wheel formula cars, perhaps the most interesting aspect of the already reasonably polished looking title is its unique take on its content creation. RaceCraft features a procedural technology for circuit creation giving gamers the opportunity of creating literally endless circuit designs either randomly in game or with the aid of basic design instructions. Utilising the proven Netcar Pro game engine and with a development studio willing actively listening and engaging with the sim racing community, RaceCraft looks like it could prove to be a strong contender as the year progresses. RaceDepartment have been in regular contact with Vae Victis Games for several weeks now and look out for an upcoming interview with the studio and the opportunity for the community to pitch your own questions to the team and be in with the chance to win Steam keys for the beta version of the title! Of course it’s not always the case that PC titles will eventually make their way across to consoles every time, and many titles remain exclusive to PC or Xbox and/or PlayStation. Rarely do you find console racing titles making the jump to PC with any notable success but one ambitious company are attempting that very same thing this year… you may already have heard of them, rumour has it they shifted a few copies of their Forza Motorsport series these last few years and have a few fans knocking about… Turn 10 Studios! Smash hit multimillion selling Xbox racing franchise Forza Motorsport makes its debut on Windows 10 PC’s this year and already the announcement and subsequent open Beta of Forza Motorsport 6: Apex has made quite a splash with fans of the genre. Apex will be a first toe in the water for the studio as they gently enter the marketplace with a free to Windows 10 owner’s release of the lightly filled title prior to full Forza releases in future. Although arguably not the full simulation racing game some PC players are accustomed to it is still great news for the gaming industry and fills a void currently in the marketplace for a title high on content and entertainment without trying to please those who wish for a through simulation experience. As is always a constant in the sim racing world on PC, modding should also be given a noteworthy mention as we rapidly close in on the second half of 2016. Already we have seen numerous epic community creations across many of the current simulations and this year looks to only get stronger in the coming months. With a whole host of top teams and talented individuals pushing out some remarkably high quality content already, and more again in the works, it would be literally impossible to mention everything in this article (that’s what our modding round up is for….). One of the key releases to keep an eye out for should be the Enduracers Endurance Mod for rFactor 2 that will be aiming to capitalise on the success of its recent Porsche Flat 6 Series release and the good will associated with the team during its rFactor 1 heyday. Despite the occasional hiccup along the way, and the usual voices of dissent every time something happens that could potentially not be to everyone’s taste () 2016 is turning out to be a golden year for us sim racing fans. Personally I couldn’t be more proud to be a part of this great scene, and for me anyway, the journey just keeps getting better and better. I love sim racing, it really is epic. 7 months left in 2016 and I simply cannot wait to see what it brings. You just got to love it folks, and its only getting better! How do you think sim racing is developing as an industry? What do you as fans want to see during the remainder of the year? Are you happy so far in 2016? Let us know in the comments section below!