Slightly Mad Studios reveal more information on the release day features to be enabled in Project CARS online broadcasting and eSports functionality. With eSports growing ever popular in the gaming world in general sim racing has perhaps been a little bit slow on the take up. With many of the current crop of racing games adhering to the traditional format of online lobbies and organised private league and club racing events, only iRacing.com have really cornered the market for mass multiplayer experiences and such bells and whistles as driver ranking and large scale sponsored competitive racing schedules. The original Project CARS game released by Slightly Mad Studios back in 2015 made several tentative steps towards fully supporting this growing aspect of online play, and it seems the British developers have taken another large stride towards establishing the franchise as a major player in the world of large scale virtual sim racing. With Project CARS 2 due to drop for Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and Windows PC towards the end of the current year, recent information released by the developers suggest the new game will be feature rich in support of those players looking to experience a more structured and accessible way to participate in online racing events. The new Project CARS 2 game will be supporting eSports right from day one this time, with several features built into the software that look to make a considerable improvement over more traditional online functionality. Much like iRacing do with their hugely successful racing "service", SMS have looked to create a ranked multiplayer experience in the new game, with drivers earning ratings based on their performances out on the track. Three key areas that Project CARS 2 will be looking to monitor in the new title will be on track behaviour, experience in game and the results of the player in comparison to their rivals within the event. Slightly Mad Studios will do this by making use of some inbuilt technology within the game that tracks statistics using an "enhanced Elo-based rating system". In an attempt to perform a matchmaking service where players can be placed in events with drivers of similar statistics, the new functionally has been designed to help direct the safer and more serious racers into the same events, helping to reduce the number of occasions when players looking to cause trouble during a race spoil the fun of those in search of a more competent experience. The three categories that will be covered in the new rating system are: Seniority The more you play, the more your Seniority increases. At a glance you'll be able to see which drivers are new to the game, and which are veterans. Racecraft Your conduct out on the track is known as your Racecraft. The more professional you are, the more it will increase. Break the rules however and it will decrease. Use this to see who can be trusted out on the tarmac, and who is there just to cause grief for others. Success The more you win, the more your Success is affected. We take into account the length of the race, the number of other drivers, and their own competitiveness too. So beat players of a higher skill level and it'll increase a lot, lose against players of lower skill than your own and it'll decrease. As well as performing a matchmaking function these new statistics can also be used as a minimum requirement when hosting your own events, leagues and championships. As well as looking to improve on the quality of the driving standards SMS are also aware that sometimes in both real and virtual motorsport things can go wrong, and when they do the developers have looked at how the game handles penalties in a race environment, and have come up with a new "Race Marshalling" system. Promising "vast improvements to on-track anti-cheating via new Payback and Rulebook systems" the new feature will "constantly monitor your on-track behaviour against the regulations of the current motorsport, and enforce you to pay any infringement back with either time or positions depending on its severity". So it seems that gone are the often frustrating slowdown penalties sim racers are so used to having to obey in other games, and in it's place SMS are proposing that the game will automatically determine the infringement time and offer a suitable penalty of a time or position deduction. It is expected that the driver will have control as to when they choose to receive their punishment. It is not yet clear if this feature can be overridden by the traditional live marshals during a league event, or what level of adjustability these features enjoy. Whilst the attention paid to the on track action is appreciated from SMS, perhaps one of the most obvious and helpful features due to be brought in to PCARS 2 will be the raft of broadcasting features proposed for the game. As anyone with experience of running leagues in their spare time will confirm, putting on a well organised event and running a decent quality broadcast at the same time are not easy tasks, often made unnecessarily difficult by the game software on which they are trying to use. In Project CARS 2 this area is due to receive some considerable attention with a wave of new broadcasting, streaming and directing features built in to the software as standard. Now players will be able to assign both a director and commentator to specific roles within the race, and also stream directly to Twitch or YouTube gaming live. Additionally players within the Primetime area of the can browse a list of live events currently being streamed. This will be a helpful and hopefully streamlined way to access broadcasts with the software. The role of the Director will be a non-competing player responsible for directing the action that is being streamed. They will have access to a bespoke Directing Suite where they will be able to immediately jump to watch a specific player or view from a particular part of the circuit, toggle onscreen overlays such as split times and standings for the watching audience, and get informed of incidents, overtakes, penalties, and all the action out on track. The Broadcaster is another non-competing player responsible for streaming the event for others to watch. They will receive the live view from the Director and can commentate on the images sent from the Race Director. All these new features do look like a considerable improvement on both the original title and the way in which events are traditionally streamed at present. It will be interesting to see if this is the beginning of a new way to supply online racing and broadcasting functionality, and if other games look upon this model as a reference for their own titles going forward. Project CARS 2 is expected to be released on Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and PC during Q4 2017. Check out the Project CARS 2 sub forum here at RaceDepartmet to keep abreast of all the latest news and discussions surrounding the sequel of Slightly Mad Studios best selling racing game. Join in with your fellow community members and get involved with the discussion today! Do you think Project CARS 2 will mark a significant shift in the way online racing will be implemented in future sims? Are you interested in the new features? Do you watch live sim racing eSports? Let us know in the comments section below!