Porsche 935 in Project CARS 3

EA Discontinues Project CARS Franchise

After three releases for console and PC as well as a mobile game, the Slightly Mad Studios racing title has been cancelled by Electronic Arts.

Image credit: Slightly Mad Studios

Reported from gamesindustry.biz and now officially confirmed, the Project CARS series will be no more. EA has pulled the plug on the series which began as everyone’s hope for a realistic racing simulation for console players.

The announcement was made internally with many of Slightly Mad Studios’ employees either expected to be let go or moved to more appropriate future projects. This comes not long after Slightly Mad Studios was acquired by Codemasters in 2019, before they themselves were acquired by Electronic Arts in 2021.

Wasted Potential

The first two games in the series were Project CARS, released in 2015, and Project CARS 2, released in 2017. They had their shortcomings but for the most part, they were positively received by the community, who had contributed to the funding of the game. The ‘CARS’ in the title stood for ‘Community Assisted Racing Simulator’.

But when Project CARS 3 released in 2020, it signalled the beginning of the end. A lot of basic features that are commonplace in more simulated racing titles like being able to go into the pits, qualifying, tyre and fuel usage had all been done away with. The game was the runt of the Project CARS game litter.

As a result of the fanbase of the series being built on how the first two games were made, the violent swerve into something more reminiscent of GRID and Need for Speed left many of the fans feeling let down. No surprise then to see that the third instalment sold poorly compared to the first two.

It seemed that SMS’ attempt to cater to a more widespread audience of casual racing fans had failed, and not long after EA bought Codemasters, SMS founder Ian Bell had left to work on a revival for the GTR games. Despite promises of a Project CARS 4 which Bell claimed in a tweet would be the most realistic simulation yet, it’s now a case of what might have been.

What do you make of the demise of the Project CARS series? Tell us on Twitter at @OverTake_gg or in the comments down below!

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