EA has decided to drop Project CARS, the racing franchise from Slightly Mad Studios that has seen four installments since the launch of the property in May 2015. A spokesperson for EA revealed the news in a statement to GamesIndustry.biz, explaining how it had looked at the franchise’s “longer-term growth potential” and opted to “stop further development and investment for the franchise.” Affected staff will be moved to other EA roles wherever possible. The latest mainline installment of Project CARS is Project CARS 3, which was published by Bandai Namco in 2020 and promised the “thrill & emotion of authentic racing.”
“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,” said an EA spokesperson. “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.”
From a GamesIndustry.biz report:
The announcement was made internally and it’s unclear at this stage to which extent staff could be affected. EA said that employees working on Project CARS will be moved into “suitable” roles “wherever [they] can.”
As of 2019 when Codemasters acquired it, Slightly Mad Studios employed 150 staff.
GamesIndustry.biz understands Electronic Arts came to this decision after evaluating the status of Project CARS following its acquisition of Codemasters, concluding that it was unlikely to become a successful game or fit in with the rest of the publisher’s racing portfolio.