New company lands exclusive NASCAR video game rights

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NASCAR’s video game rights have shifted not only back to an American-based company, but one that’s right in the heart of stock car country.

Charlotte, N.C.-based DMi Games has announced that it has acquired exclusive licensing rights to produce NASCAR games as part of a multi-year agreement.

They’ll be taking over for UK-based Eutechnyx, which has been the NASCAR licensee since 2010.

As part of the deal, DMi has acquired from Eutechnyx “certain NASCAR-related assets” including core art assets such as cars and tracks. It has also received some existing NASCAR games, such as the NASCAR Manager mobile app.

“It is a deal that had been in the works for several months,” DMi president Ed Martin writes in an open letter on his company’s website. “But it was something that could not be disclosed until everything was finalized. And by ‘everything,’ I mean a very long and complex set of negotiations and agreements.

“Just to give you some context, a contemporary NASCAR video game has over 1,000 licensed and approved properties in it. Thatโ€™s a lot of stakeholders and people to get organized!”

Martin says his group plans to “develop & publish a wide range of games across pretty much any interactive entertainment platform you can imagine โ€“ including console, PC and mobile.” He then confirms in his letter that an all-new NASCAR game will be produced by DMi for the Playstation 4, Xbox One, and PC platforms in 2016.

Eutechnyx will close out their NASCAR tenure with “NASCAR ’15,” an update of its previous “NASCAR ’14” game that will have an online-only release this spring for Playstation 3, Xbox 360, and PC.

In a separate statement put out by DMi Games’ parent company, HC2 Holdings, NASCAR’s VP of licensing/consumer products, Blake Davidson, said the new partnership would provide “a first-class gaming experience to our fans.”

He also cited DMi’s roots in Charlotte, a home for many teams within the NASCAR industry.

“Establishing the company in Charlotte, a central location for the NASCAR industry, will only strengthen this great partnership,” Davidson added.

Lewis Hamilton receives Daytona 500 invitation from Bubba Wallace

Lewis Hamilton Bubba Wallace
Rudy Carezzevoli/Getty Images
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Lewis Hamilton is a fan of the new NASCAR Cup Series team formed by Denny Hamlin and Michael Jordan to field a car for Bubba Wallace.

Will the six-time Formula One champion also be a fan in person at a NASCAR race in the near future?

Wallace is hoping so.

After Hamilton tweeted his support Tuesday morning about the news of a Hamlin-Jordan-Wallace team making its debut with the 2021 season, Wallace responded with a sly invitation to the Daytona 500.

Much would need to be worked out, starting with how much garage and grandstand access would be afforded for a 2021 season opener that likely would occur during a still ongoing novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

But it would seem fitting given that Hamilton and Wallace have been two of the world’s most outspoken Black athletes about the quest for diversity and racial justice. Hamilton recently reaffirmed his commitment to activism after his donning a Breonna Taylor shirt sparked an FIA inquiry.

The idea of Hamilton attending the season opener already had legs, too. The Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 driver has expressed a desire to race the Daytona 500 after he has retired from Formula One.

He was a spectator (with racing legend Mario Andretti) at four-time champion Jeff Gordon’s final Cup race as a full-time in the 2015 season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway. In 2011, Hamilton swapped cars with three-time champion Tony Stewart at Watkins Glen International.

Having rubbed shoulders with other racing greats so often, it only would be fitting if Hamilton — who is one victory from tying Michael Schumacher’s career record and also could tie the F1 record with a seventh championship this season — spent some time with the greatest basketball player of all time.

Jeff Gordon was flanked by Mario Andretti and Lewis Hamilton before the 2015 Cup season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway (Jared C. Tilton/NASCAR via Getty Images).