After some weeks thinking about it I finally decided myself to put it on paper. I guess it is not an easy decision to make by iRacing, but maybe it is not the proper one, in my humble opinion of course. We have been playing thousand of games during the last two decades or more using same method to present data, everything in the same package, launcher, data, settings, and game itself. Almost none game used a different approach by a lack of possibilities by that time. Console games didn’t have this alternative available until recently with dashboard/OS like systems and even with that, it wasn’t an easy option to integrate. Every studio wants to make their own decision on how player enter game and interact with its very own platform, isolating them to select other games or ways to spent their spare time.
PC market was a little different, and there was some big attempts to substitute lobbies and rooms by web interfaces. Battle.net and Microsoft Zone’s were some of them to control one of the biggest first hits on the multiplayer era, like Diablo, Age of Empires and Starcraft.
Iracing being released in 2008 decided, maybe a long time before, follow a similar path to accelerate and offer more alternative to the usual ‘only in game’ interface. Iracing was offering forums, stats, menus, and chats outside the game, in a non intrusive and multitasking way to interact with the simulator and let the user to control his/her own time through the browser.
iRacing web interface needed a complete revamp by these dates, but the staff make a different and, in my point of view, unintelligent choice. They, maybe thinking in VR headsets, who knows, try to repack the entire experience again as a capped and regular arcade-console game, having a whole desktop in our sight to achieve something we could do with barely a few clicks and half of space before. Now using more CPU and GPU power to show some useless background graphics which will not improve our racing experience at all.
Making a new web to the material design era, or other similar and modern design, it was an easier option, without meaning a big change for anyone it would improve our feeling and bring iRacing into the present with less effort. New User Interface is an unwanted, unasked improvement requiring many man/hours of programming and beta testing, debugging errors, rethinking how to fix something that was already working, a new complete overhaul of a very well known product to shake the community and offer something that its not a novelty, nor include better features, nor it is shinier, nor its nothing to be distinctive and differential in such a competitive world of simracing products.
For me its sounds a one man not sufficiently thoroughly thought decision, a harmful one, a wrong one. Now seems too late now to back out.