Ford’s motorsport exploits now include racing events in the virtual world, as the carmaker has revealed the first details of its new “Fordzilla” Esports venture.
Launched at this year’s Gamescom expo in Cologne, Germany, Ford’s new Esports teams will allow racing game players across Europe represent the Blue Oval in high-level virtual racing events and championships.
At the time of writing, the Fordzilla programme doesn’t have any E-drivers to its name, though Ford says it will now begin a recruitment drive to find top talent to flesh out its teams in France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the UK.
Ford also claims the top drivers from each of the national teams will get the chance to race for the American carmaker in its flagship European Fordzilla team.
With the venture still in its infancy, Ford has yet to confirm which championships, events and competitions its E-drivers will participate in. The carmaker has, however, revealed its plans to field its Fordzilla athletes in races hosted on Forza Motorsport 7 – suggesting the esports team could be ready to race in the next Forza Racing Championship series.
Roelant de Waard, Ford of Europe’s Vice President of Marketing, Sales and Service said: “We at Ford have a racing pedigree that others can only envy. Now is the time to take that know-how and apply it to the world of Esports – capturing the imagination of a new generation of virtual racing drivers, inspiring them to take a ride in one of our Ford Performance vehicles.”
While Ford is the first mass-market car company to launch its own in-house esports initiative, it isn’t the first car maker to dip its toe into the virtual racing waters. Perhaps most notably, McLaren has run contests such as the McLaren Shadow Project to pad out its roster of E-drivers, and Porsche has in the past expressed an interest in running its own works esports outfit.
The Fordzilla launch also isn’t the first time Ford has hosted a major unveiling at Gamescom. Last year, Ford became the first car company to officially launch a new vehicle at a gaming convention, when it unveiled the Ford Ranger Raptor performance pick-up truck at the event.