Project CARS is Officially Dead

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Project CARS, the project started by sim racing business veteran Ian Bell, will not live to see another game. After 3 games, Slightly Mad Studios announced the demise of the franchise today.

Slightly Mad Studios posted to their Twitter the following picture today:

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This message announced the imminent demise of the Project CARS franchise, a once shining star on the sim racing horizon.

Currently, it is unclear what exactly led the studio to drop the development of the next game. What's for certain for many people, however, is that this is only one more nail in the coffin of, what many sim racers have seen for a long time, a waste of a franchise.

What started out as an enjoyable introduction for some to the sim racing world, became an arcade title by the most recent and third instalment.

And as seen by the message above, it seems like there will not be a fourth instalment coming.

In a statement to GamesIndustry.biz, an EA spokesperson said: "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."

Personally, I first started sim racing with a wheel on Project Cars 2, before switching to Assetto Corsa and Assetto Corsa Competizione. So this announcement doesn't go past me without any emotion.

But more importantly, what do you think of this announcement? What is your history with the Project CARS franchise? Let us know in the comments down below!
About author
Julian Strasser
Motorsports and Maker-stuff enthusiast. Part time jack-of-all-trades. Owner of tracc.eu, a sim racing-related service provider and its racing community.

Comments

The announcement said they were cancelling the "Dirt" series as well. I thought they just bought the rights to the WRC franchise. How is EA still around at this point?
 
The announcement said they were cancelling the "Dirt" series as well. I thought they just bought the rights to the WRC franchise. How is EA still around at this point?
The usual corporate thuggery of buyouts and acquisitions. If you can't beat your competition, just buy them out. Especially when someone like Codies were desperate for a cash flow.
 
The series never reached its potential, so I am not too disappointed to see it go. One good thing that came from SMS's venture into sim racing is AMS2 which successfully builds on PCars2's foundations.
 
Premium
I know, I have AMS2 and enjoy it.
But Reiza is just using the Madness Engine pretty much as it was when they got it.
They are not going to technically improve it significantly (physics and maybe sounds aside) like SMS had probably planned for PC4, especially on the graphics side (for example adding raytracing, DLSS, even better VR) and other evolutions that require deep specialized technical knowledge and much more programmers that Reiza currently has (compared to SMS).

True, true, but the important improvements and fixes are there
 
They knew how to hype a game; I'll give them that they got me twice. Taught me to be skeptical of anything in sim racing with the cliche catch words such as innovative or groundbreaking, and in particular if the focus seems to be eye candy. If it looks too good, it's probably for a reason. :O_o:
I know what you mean, twice I went for the PreOrder to get the extra stuff. Some of the extras were nice, but upon launch (on Xbox) I was met with very similar bugs from PC1 and PC2 which inevitable led me to having to wait several months for it to be playable.

What got me in part was what appeared to be the clear absence of QA. Upon loading some massive bugs were clearly within 10 minutes of playing, and using the excuse that QA was outsourced to another company just didn't cut it. It was like the QA team got paid upfront and then decided to go and sit on a beach in the Bahamas sipping cocktails for 6 months instead of testing.

Then came the issues where PC2 was not playable on an original Xbox and you had to buy an Xbox One X for it to be playable. Which again was unforgivable. The Consoles are closed systems and they should develop for the hardware, so it should either ran on the base system fine, and maybe add more features on more powerful consoles or should just not be supported at all on the lower end console. But I have seen more of this with some other titles more recently.

I weren't interested in PC3 given the arcade nature but was quietly looking forward and hopeful of a PC4, but would never have Preordered again, and would have waited for a good few months of bug fixes and reviews before I would take the plunge. But would never again pay any attention to what Ian Bell might say with regard to any future project.

I am thankful though, as PC1 and PC2 did rekindle my interest and love of Sim Racing which I had not had since the days of the Papyrus Indycar and Nascar Sims. And now, playing on PC in VR at least I can experience some of the better points of SMS's work, as the Madness Engine does perform well with VR in PC2 and AMS2.
 
We will never see what future iterations of the Madness Engine could have been, in term of advancing physics, graphics and other stuff. I hoped to see it implementing ray-tracing...
Really sad and a technical waste.
(that's assuming EA will never use the Madness Engine for upcoming games, which is more than likely since they are disbanding the people who made it).
Heard of AMS?
 
Just bring back Burnout 3 as a sim! :laugh:

But then we need BeamNG + a big budget publisher.... EA... oh no
I really wish they would do a remastered version of Burnout 3 for the modern consoles, that would be an instant purchase both the game and a new Xbox Series X. The game was awesome, I had so much fun playing that on the Original Xbox, quite possible one of my all time favourite games.
 
If PC4 were to be a full sim title, I want Reiza to continue the work that SMS had done for that title and incorporate that into AMS2 or a future AMS title.
 
Heard of AMS?

Yup, a bit as I'm an early backer of AMS2. But it's not Reiza that is going to bring the Madness Engine graphically to the next level (think ray-tracing and more) as I explained in another post. Only SMS and its talented software developers (which in much greater count than the 3 or 4 Reiza have) that conceived ME could do that (assumedly for PC4). No more.
 
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Ain't it interesting? How thousands and thousands and thousands of people are in the sim racing hobby only thanks to the single employee who created the ISI engine?
And ain't it interesting that the future of our hobby counts on the employee who's creating the physics engine for Rennsport and the other employee developing the physics engine for AC2? (and probably 1 or 2 more..).

I learned that, in sim racing, the physics engine is everything.
After that, no matter how many thousands of people sell you
DLC,
liveries,
mods,
setups,
or
subscription months
they're not changing your fate as a sim racer to the same extent as the two people mentioned above.
 
Yup, a bit as I'm an early backer of AMS2. But it's not Reiza that is going to bring the Madness Engine graphically to the next level (think ray-tracing and more) as I explained in another post. Only SMS and its talented software developers (which in much greater count than the 3 or 4 Reiza have) that conceived ME could do that (assumedly for PC4). No more.
Read my post above I talk about the same point.
 
Yup, a bit as I'm an early backer of AMS2. But it's not Reiza that is going to bring the Madness Engine graphically to the next level (think ray-tracing and more) as I explained in another post. Only SMS and its talented software developers (which in much greater count than the 3 or 4 Reiza have) that conceived ME could do that (assumedly for PC4). No more.
Graphics were never the weak point of the Madness engine. Glad Reiza is focusing on other areas. Physics and FFB are much more important than things like ray-tracing for me. I wish the work Reiza has already done could be retrospectively applied to PC2 somehow, because it contains some great content.
 
It's a shame PC2 was not better because it featured some very interesting cars and tracks and the game engine has a lot of potential. But it was never as satisfying as Assetto Corsa or Automobilista.
 
PC2 was great for the atmosphere during races. I found the physics frustrating but plkayed a lot in the decent cars. I think there were some talented people working on that team who should be proud of their work.
But the divisiveness, the drama, mixed messages, lack of support was bigger than the positives for me and when I read this headline I was suprised to be unaffected by the announcement.
For me, PCars stands as an excellent starting point with enough moving parts to create something exciting. Reiza recognised that, followed their instincts and they were right. We have AMS2 and it was worth the Drama of Project Cars, though I'm glad that's over with.
PCars ofcourse had to end with a little drama too...!
 

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