Yesterday, Electronic Arts announced that it was discontinuing further development of the Project CARS series and canceling development on the next installment. As said Reliable insider Tom Henderson, the publisher has also shut down the DiRT franchise created by Codemasters.
According to Henderson, Codemasters is currently working on new games for the F1, GRID and WRC series. The British studio lost at least two franchises after joining Electronic Arts.
The insider hasn’t said anything about the reasons behind DiRT’s closure, but it’s likely the publisher was unhappy with the latest game’s success. Released in November 2020, DiRT 5 was also ambiguously accepted by journalists (Rating on metacritical – 72-83/100) and users (59% of positive reviews in steam, the total number of reviews – more than 2300). Many were disappointed with the arcade controls and simplified physics, although some, on the contrary, considered the direction chosen by the authors successful, like our reviewer Mikhail Ponomarev.
Players also complained about missing settings in multiplayer, optimization and technical issues. On the PC, the network component was not popular right from the start: on the day of publication, the race was just picking up 648 People at a time, and their personal best remains 1203 users gathered during the free play days in March 2021. During the last month online has remained under 100 players.
Against the background of this news, users of Reddit and other sites started doing it Phone call Electronic Arts franchise killer and fault publishers by buying studios only to destroy their projects. However some written downthat the unsuccessful Project CARS 3 ended the series before Electronic Arts intervened.
After announcing the end of support for Project CARS, former boss of Slightly Mad Studios series creator Ian Bell criticized the company’s decision Twitter. “EA, keep cool, he wrote. — I’ve already said everything and I still haven’t changed my mind because they keep confirming my point. Now, what do those numbers (sorry, so people with hopes, dreams, and families) look like at the bottom of your charts?
Bell refers to his earlier comments on the policy of the publisher he worked with during development of Need For Speed: Shift and Shift 2 Unleashed. 2017, when Slightly Mad Studios was not yet owned by Electronic Arts, the head saidthat the company offered the studio $1.5 million (or pounds sterling) to create Need For Speed: Shift 3 on the condition that it not collaborate with other publishers. Two weeks after signing the contract, Electronic Arts canceled the project, leaving the team in financial distress. Then Bell called partners “corporate monster”.
Bell is now planning to open a new studio, Mildly Annoyed Games, and develop the sequel to GTR 2, Blimey’s 2006 FIA GT racing game! games. The boss intends to invite employees from Slightly Mad Studios to the team.