Papyrus Design Group, Inc. was founded by David Kaemmer and his business partner Omar Khudari in 1987. It lasted for 17 years and is best known for its series of racing games based on the NASCAR and IndyCar leagues, with a stress on realism, as well as Grand Prix Legends.
Inspired by Pole Position and Flight Simulator, Kaemmer wanted to make a "simulator on the race track" and approached Electronic Arts to develop an Indy 500-based PC game. Their first game, Indianapolis 500: The Simulation was released in 1989 with a single Indianapolis circuit. The game was famous for its realistic handling, grip, and a believable throttle-to-brake interaction.
Papyrus then did not release another game for four years, until IndyCar Racing in 1993. The year after became a real breakthrough year when they moved from open-wheeled cars to closed cockpit stock cars with Nascar Racing (1994), selling in excess of 1,000,000 units. The sequel to IndyCar, IndyCar Racing II arrived in 1996 and was re-released one year and a half later as CART Racing with Rendition 3D support for Windows 95.
The same year, NASCAR Racing 2 was released, and 800,000 units were sold worldwide, followed by the expansion pack NASCAR Grand National Series Expansion Pack in 1997. In the fall of 1998, the company released its acclaimed historical open-wheeled simulation Grand Prix Legends, with a completely new physics engine, simulating both new and old race cars with extreme realism. Next, the company released six more NASCAR games: NASCAR Legends (1998), NASCAR Racing - 1999 Edition (1999), NASCAR Racing 3 (2000) and NASCAR Racing 4 (2001). NASCAR Racing 4 had a revamped physics engine and took full advantage of 3D acceleration. Next up were NASCAR Racing 2002 Season and NASCAR Racing 2003 Season.
As simulations became hard to market, as they are often considered difficult and time-consuming, the 2003 version would be the last Papyrus game. Electronic Arts had also snapped up the exclusive NASCAR license for all platforms, taking away their core audience. In May 2004, publisher Vivendi Universal Games closed down the company, but in July David Kaemmer bought back the source code and assets for his company FIRST, LLC (now known as iRacing.com Motorsports Simulations), which he had founded one month earlier.
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