Project Cars 4 was purported to be a return to type for a sequence that fell astray of its simulation roots, however this week we discovered that it received’t be something in any respect. The upcoming entry within the Slightly Mad Studios-developed sequence has been canceled, an Electronic Arts consultant lately confirmed to GameTrade.biz, leaving a large hole in EA’s racing repertoire.
EA says it’s working to position Slightly Mad employees in different roles across the firm, the place doable. This was the assertion the writer supplied to the positioning on Tuesday:
“Today we announced internally an update to our racing portfolio. Following an evaluation of the next Project CARS title and its longer-term growth potential, we have made the decision to stop further development and investment for the franchise.
“Decisions like these are very hard, but allow us to prioritise our focus in areas where we believe we have the strongest opportunity to create experiences that fans will love. We are focusing on our strengths in our racing portfolio, particularly licensed IP and open-world experiences, and expanding our franchises to be more socially-led with long-term live services that will engage global communities. Games are at the heart of sports and racing entertainment, and with shifting fan expectations, we recognise the need to evolve our games beyond pure play, providing experiences for fans to also watch, create and connect with their friends.
“We are working with everyone impacted by this decision to place them into suitable roles across our EA Sports and racing portfolio, as well as other parts of EA, wherever we can. Our priority now is on providing as much support as possible to our people through this transition.”
Electronic Arts accomplished its buy of Codemasters, the British firm identified for its historical past of beloved racing video games, in early 2021. When Codemasters arrived, it introduced IP together with Project Cars, Dirt, and Grid to EA’s secure; it additionally held the official F1 and WRC licenses. Of these, Project Cars is now confirmed useless; Dirt has presumably suffered the identical destiny to make method for the upcoming WRC title subsequent 12 months per Insider Gaming; and Grid’s future is unclear after Grid Legends’ lukewarm market reception. Only F1 and WRC stay.
That’s not shocking; in spite of everything, EA primarily purchased Codemasters to stake its declare on F1 prefer it has with soccer and soccer. And whereas it’s disappointing to see one other franchise retired — and sadly all too widespread when a comparatively smaller developer falls underneath the purview of a publishing goliath of EA’s scale — Project Cars and its growth group has endured a considerably troubled few years.
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The lead-up to Project Cars 3’s launch in late 2020 was fraught with complicated messaging in regards to the title’s nature. Former SMS studio head Ian Bell described PC3 “all of the sim you could want with all of the fun you could want,” whereas the primary and second entries had been totally of the sim camp. Fans sensed that the sport appeared to maneuver in a extra accessible, much less lifelike route, which grew to become very apparent upon launch.
I nonetheless had an excellent time with Project Cars 3. It’s a enjoyable recreation, and the dealing with on pad particularly was extraordinarily participating and about as pleasing because it will get. But it wasn’t what the viewers needed or anticipated, and within the wake of the sport’s launch, each Bell and design lead Paul Rustchynsky — the thoughts behind Sony’s MotorStorm and Driveclub — left Slightly Mad. Furthermore, SMS had fallen underneath EA’s umbrella as soon as once more by way of the Codemasters acquisition. It was an inauspicious growth, contemplating how the final time the 2 entities labored collectively, on Need For Speed Shift and Shift 2 Unleashed a decade earlier, issues didn’t finish so nicely.
Slightly Mad’s wellbeing appeared unsure, although EA hadn’t but outright canceled PC4, and the subsequent entry figured to serve an vital pillar within the writer’s arsenal of racing video games — a real, general-purpose sim with the ability to tackle the likes of iRacing and Assetto Corsa, if given correct care and consideration. Oh, what might’ve been.
It’s disheartening to lose one other racing franchise at a time when the style feels stagnant. Forza Horizon and F1 are good, however resoundingly repetitive and hardly boundary-pushing. Gran Turismo 7 is a elegant driving expertise wrapped in a single-player marketing campaign that always feels architected to maintain you from taking part in. Who’s to say what Need For Speed Unbound holds, however given the model’s observe document over the previous decade, tempered expectations are most likely finest. Rinse and repeat that sentiment for the upcoming Forza Motorsport, due subsequent 12 months.
I’m at the very least eagerly anticipating Codies’ first WRC recreation, although. The mixture of the Dirt Rally group’s mastery of off-road racing physics with the official sequence license looks as if a match made in heaven. Perhaps with EA liberating up but extra racing dev sources, it could cobble collectively a bunch of individuals to lastly make a brand new Burnout. There’s little question in my thoughts it’d promote, and in addition to, a man can solely play Burnout Paradise Remastered on each platform so many occasions.