In an instant, it became my most anticipated game of 2018. Kunos Simulazioni, developers of the brilliant Assetto Corsa, had bagged the rights to the Blancpain GT series - perhaps motorsport's healthiest championship, and certainly one that boasts the most diverse manufacturer participation with Ferrari, Porsche, Lamborghini, Aston Martin, BMW, Mercedes, Bentley, Audi and McLaren all taking part. Not a bad list, really, and the racing's more than half decent too.
What is it that makes the prospect of Assetto Corsa Competizione, as the officially licensed game is to be called when it hits Early Access this summer, so exciting? It's a long overdue appearance of a game that represents real motorsport outside beyond the world of F1, and one that promises the kind of authenticity you just can't find anywhere else. I don't need detailed career modes, loot boxes full of car mods or pages of fictional emails to scroll through; just give me a season of real races against real teams and drivers run to real rules, governed by a simple points table, and you've got everything I need.
And in Assetto Corsa Competizione it looks like we're finally getting the successor to GTR 2 that I've pined for for years. Indeed, you've got to feel a little sorry for Simbin's UK studio that's quietly working on GTR 3 - a large part of the appeal of GTR 2 was how it co-opted the FIA GT Championship, starring the Spa 24 Hours as its centrepiece, and now Assetto Corsa Competizione is taking on that series' spiritual successor and getting Belgium's endurance classic to boot. The licence is a large part of the appeal, so there must have been some competition over it.