When Project Cars initially released, racing fans found an absolute gem of a game. The title earned itself fantastic reviews for its authentic-feeling racing sim gameplay, but it turns out that developer Slightly Mad Studios may have never been around to make the game – at least according to CEO Ian Bell.
In a very candid interview, Bell talked at length about the Project Cars studio’s history. Slightly Mad had earned itself plaudits for work on the Need for Speed: Shift games, and so often questions have been asked as to exactly why a third game in the series was never released. According to Bell, this is entirely down to EA, with the Slightly Mad Studios CEO claiming that the publisher tried to “kill” the developer.
We made a game called Need for Speed: Shift, we made a game called Shift 2 and EA came to me and said “we’ll give you 1.5 million if you agree not to talk to any other publisher, to agree any other games or work on any other arrangement with any other publisher, and we’ll give you 1.5 million and we’ll sign Shift 3.” So I said okay, that sounds like a good deal. I took the 1.5 million, I paid the guys lots of bonuses, and two weeks before we were due to start Shift 3 it was cancelled with no warning. They said “we are not doing that anymore.”
The full interview can be seen below.
Following on from this, Bell then claims that EA sent emails to some of the key developers at Slightly Mad to try and bring them on board, with members of staff leaving for the publisher due to the difficulty that the studio was in. “We were in trouble, we had nothing left,” explained Bell, before categorically stating that EA “literally destroyed our company.”
“They tried to kill us, they tried to steal our technology as well,” continued Bell. “They tried to f**k us over – there is no other way to put it.” Given the circumstances, it’s understandable the Bell and the now-reinvigorated Slightly Mad Studios has no intention of letting bygones be bygones, either. “We have no love for EA and this company,” said Bell.
Although Slightly Mad did make it out of this difficult situation, it was not without personal sacrifices from Bell himself, who mortgaged his home to ensure that the company could keep going. Thankfully, the studio has managed to turn it around – even reclaiming those staff that left for EA – and Project Cars 2 is extremely close to launch. Given that it promises support for three 4K monitor support, it’s unlikely anyone is going to be missing Need for Speed: Shift again any time soon.
Project Cars 2 releases on September 22, 2017, for PC, PS4, and Xbox One.
Source: SpotTheOzzie (YouTube)