Stalled: Project CARS’ Latest Delay

So pretty

Back when I used to write about console games I remember covering racing game Driveclub’s repeated delays – how the game slipped from a launch title for PS4 to an early 2014 title to a slightly later 2014 title and eventually came out in October of that year.

Great times.

It’s nice, then, that Project CARS [official site] is trying to fill that delayed console game void in my heart with another delay of its own.

The Slightly Mad Studios racer is a multiplatform effort, originally set to come out in 2014. The first delay pushed the release back to March 2015 to allow for polishing. Early April was the next target and studio head, Ian Bell, noted that “these extra days will allow us to provide the best game experience that our fans deserve”.

It’s now being billed for a mid-May launch. Here’s Ian Bell again:

“Despite our long heritage and pedigree in making critically-acclaimed racing games, Project CARS is by far the grandest and most intricately detailed of them all. Despite therefore the game being 99.9% complete, the remaining 0.1% attending to small issues and bugs has been tricky to anticipate. We’re absolutely dedicated to delivering a ground-breaking experience and by targeting mid-May fans can be assured that’s what they’ll receive.”

The thing is, all the delays have that same reasoning – the game is basically finished, we’re just polishing it and fixing little things. At this point Project CARS feels like a loading screen that’s frozen on 99.9% complete.

As compensation for the delay there will be some free content available from day one. What exactly the gift is hasn’t been announced but is billed as “going to excite fans” and will be “revealed shortly”. I’m currently wondering whether the gift will also be subject to several delays and will maybe spawn a secondary compensation gift which also gets delayed.

More on this story as it gets delayed develops.


  1. mft-dev says:

    I guess that means it will ship without a need for a hotfix or patch until the time comes to milk the DLC cow? 99.9% is pretty confident after all.

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  2. SlimShanks says:

    This seems to be what happens nowadays. I feel like (outside of AAA games) I spend a lot of time watching dev teams make very little progress on projects. That said, smaller teams are the norm, so we had better get used to it. The alternative is hiring more, and running out of money, so I’ll just be try to be happy whenever a game comes out in less than 5 years.

  3. oggnogg says:

    If they have developed software before then they should know that the last ten percent of stuff take another 90% of time.

  4. Don Reba says:

    You would have loved covering STALKER from 2003 to 2007.

  5. Prolar Bear says:

    Everybody saw this coming, pretty much. I’m starting to think PCars isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.

    Also, obligatory mention for the RPS racing team yo

    • Grizzly says:

      Honestly I do prefer this approach over Assetto Corsa “We call it released so that we can sell more copies” approach.

      • Prolar Bear says:

        Well, you do have a point. What worries me is SMS’ stance on forum bans and some rumors about things going on behind the WMD curtains. That said, I don’t have it so I’ll reserve judgment for when it comes out.

        • Cinek says:

          Anyone can elaborate on that?

        • Synesthesia says:

          I’d also like to know more about this.

        • mattlambertson says:

          This crap has been going on for years. I was interested in the game and even contributed a little to the initial crowdfunding but as it veered further off course (sorry) I gradually came to realize it was never going to launch as a successful game. People should have known better than to trust the developers behind Need for Speed Shift II. Literally every press article about the game (except for those about delays) is about how pretty the graphics are, and not only have they stopped being better than their competitors in the meantime, but those graphics were only ever achievable at about 3FPS. It’s basically a glorified motorsport photography simulator. Everything else, it seems to do worse than its competitors.

          I could be wrong and there could be an amazing game hiding inside the mess that was every development build I ever downloaded, and I’ve love to be shown otherwise in May, but at this point I have no faith. I wonder if my unused “junior member” privileges will be stripped away for this post though :P

          • P.Funk says:

            So what are you basing this on? Where do you get this idea that all of its simulation chops are inferior to its mean competition? I don’t play Project Cars though I play many other sims, several more robust than PCars is likely to be in terms of pure simulation fidelity of cars. However someone I’ve come to trust quite well on the topic of sim racing on the internet has couched his words on PCars carefully.

            He’s never been much wrong about anything I do have experience with, so I have trouble with your unsupported assumption. Take this all of course as a non PCars fanboy. I doubt I’ll buy it on release. Still, as Mr. Box says, the conversation around PCars is peculiar and in his opinion apparently undeserved. WTF that has to do with release delays is beyond me.

            link to

            So I guess I’m saying, I’ll take his word over yours.

  6. airmikee says:

    Reading Ian Bell’s past statements it’s clear his university degree was in “Corporate Bullshit Speak”.

    “Project CARS has always led the pack in terms of insane detail.” Made 16 months ago. Does he really think that anyone would be stupid enough to believe that a game that just started development already beats the racing games that have been established and sold for the past couple decades?

    “Despite our long heritage and pedigree in making critically-acclaimed racing games” And let’s not forget about Ian Bell flushing Blimey Games down the toilet to sell its assets to another company owned by Ian Bell, but only after jumping ship from SimBin which actually has a long heritage and pedigree of making critically-acclaimed racing games. Does he really believe that releasing three games in six years makes a heritage or pedigree? I wonder what he would say about SimBin’s 20+ racing games released in the last ten years.

    Bell, Braben, Molyneaux, the list of people that need to shut the fuck up and go back to sitting in front of a computer entering code through the keyboard keeps growing and growing and growing and growing..

  7. brgillespie says:

    In other words, they’re secretly planning a console release. This is complete speculation, but I can’t otherwise fathom why a self-described “hardcore PC racing simulation” would remove basic racing simulation shit like caution flags and such.

    All this tells me is that simulations such as iRacing, rFactor 2, Asseto Corsa, and even old shit like GTR 2 have zero to worry about regarding pCars.

    • brgillespie says:

      Disregard, I see there’s nothing secret about their console release.

  8. mattlambertson says:

    Another thing that turned me off (continuing my post up above somewhere) is that when the crowdfunding was going on, they were replying to every backer’s opinions on what they want in an ideal racing sim and saying “yeah, yeah! we’ll do that, because this is a game made by the sim racers, for the sim racers” and many of these were features that are quite missing from other racing sims, like the ability to fully customize the AI drivers you are racing against (I mean I can’t be the only one who wants to create a ridiculous fantasy racing league with the best drivers in the world from every series racing mixed disciplines (Vettle and Alonso vs Gordon and Johnson vs Loeb and Ogler vs Power and Dixon? pleeeaaaase?) and from WMD’s comments during the crowdfunder I really believed this would finally be the game to make things like that happen, they even put forth the idea of customizing not only the talent level but the personalities of the AI drivers. But once the crowdfunding was over their focus shifted to consoles in a similar manner to Godus shifting from PC to mobile devices. And they’ve been stripping features ever since; this is not something that started only a few months ago. It just keeps getting worse and worse as they realize what a deep hole they dug themselves by promising the world and then apparently lacking the resources to create a decently optimized base game. I feel bad for the employees and anyone who truly believed in the potential of this game but as popcorn-party-worthy drama it’s quite interesting to see it all fall apart like I knew it probably would since two years ago. I got tired of seeing all those articles here and on kotaku about how amazing the graphics were, because I knew it was a slideshow on anything but maybe a 5GHz rig with dual Titans.


  9. bad guy says:

    Project Hype