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Excluisve Interview: Marco Massarutto from Kunos Simulazioni - Part two

Photo credit: Kunos Simulazioni

Welcome to part two of our conversation with Marco Massarutto from Kunos Simulazioni. Last time we covered topics such as how Marco started working with Stefano Casillo and the thought process behind the success of Assetto Corsa.
In part two, we are talking about their latest project, Assetto Corsa Competizione, the world of esport and the future of the Assetto Corsa brand.
Enjoy!


When developing cars, do you receive data from manufacturers and teams and if so, which sort of data do you receive and how does it affect the development of your content?

Each car manufacturer has a different approach. Sometimes you negotiate the license through an external agency or even directly with the licensing team of the manufacturer, but you can't necessarily expect that the licensing manager will tell the engineers to cooperate with you to provide you with the data you need, or that the person you negotiate with has all the data and information you need. 
Not to mention the motorsport team of a manufacturer, that usually behaves as a separate entity. So getting the license to reproduce a car is one thing, getting all the data you need is a different matter, and sometimes the two things are not connected, but it has improved over the last 10 years or so.

I can say that through the years we gained a very good reputation so the level of cooperation we can expect from a manufacturer is quite high. We have a list of parameters, except for the CAD files, that we ask them to compile, but through the years we also built a very powerful network with drivers, engineers, workshops, owners, who help us to get access to the cars and data we are interested in when we don’t drive them personally.

People were excited when you announced Assetto Corsa Competizione. How did the deal to become the official GT World Challenge videogame come to fruition?

When Stefano and I started to think about what's the next AC. Our aim was to explore how deep we could go in terms of physics, features, gameplay and if we could focus on a single racing series, and the GT World Challenge seemed to be perfect. Beautiful high-performance racing cars, the best brands, the best tracks, one tyre compound.

So I got in touch with SRO and when we met each other, they were looking for an official product and seeing that the creators of Assetto Corsa were interested in producing it, everybody was excited by this opportunity.

The last couple of years, sim racing has increased in popularity within the world of esport. Have you felt a difference over the years and how do you see the future of the business?

Unfortunately, Covid-19 forced real motorsport to stay at home, and we saw a very different approach about the way the automotive and motorsport industry looked at sim racing. Even if things had started to change 2-3 years earlier, this pandemic has been a huge accelerator that allowed a lot of people to go far more in-depth with sim racing than ever before.
Having Valentino Rossi, Charles Leclerc, Francesco Bagnaia and many others racing with us while Sky Sport F1 streamed the race on TV says a lot about the potential. car manufacturers and racing teams seem to understand what sim racing is about far more, and they are already working to organize esport activities for the years to come.

Is there something that has surprised you in a positive and/or negative way during the 15 years Kunos has exited?

Well, when we released netKar PRO in 2006 I didn’t imagine that our debut would be so tough, and for many years we had to face a lot of professional and personal challenges.
On the other side, if you ten years ago you told me that more than 3 million users would have played our simulation, I wouldn’t believe that.
One thing that makes me so proud is seeing the dedication a lot of users have for AC and AC Competizione, and they continue to ask for more content and more features because they are still excited about our simulation.

Also, if I think how the approach and relationships with the automotive industry have changed in the last 10 years, it’s something that makes me so proud about the good reputation we gained thanks to our dedication and hard work, and the opportunities that it brought.

How does the future look like for Kunos Simulazioni and the Assetto Corsa brand? Will we see an Assetto Corsa 2 or could we see a title with other motorsport organizations like ACO?

It’s a bit early to talk about it, but we miss road cars so much, and our users love them so badly, so it’s definitely something we want to consider in the future. The only thing I can guarantee you is that realism and car handling will continue to be part of our DNA forever.

You can almost feel the passion for sim racing, motorsport and cars in general from what Marco said. It was a pleasure to interview him and who knows, maybe we soon will see some big events with the car manufacturers involved as Marco mentioned.
This is the end of our interview with Marco Massarutto. We hope you have enjoyed it and let us know what you found most interesting of what he said.

From Global SimRacing Hub, thank you to Marco Massarutto and Kunos Simulazioni for taking time for this interview. If you want to find streams and race broadcasts with Assetto Corsa and Assetto Corsa Competizione, don’t look further. It’s all here on GSRH.gg

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