Project CARS 2 GamesCom screenshot

EA has reportedly canceled the Project CARS and Dirt franchises

Back in 2017, Slightly Mad Studios’ CEO explained how Electronic Arts attempted to destroy Slightly Mad Studios. Back then, Ian Bell claimed that he would not be working ever again with EA. However, here we are today with EA owning Slightly Mad Studios, shutting it down, and canceling its racing game, Project CARS.

For those wondering, in 2019, Codemasters acquired Slightly Mad Studios. And then, in 2021, Electronic Arts acquired Codemasters. So, in an ironic turn of events, Ian Bell’s studios returned to EA. Ironically, this is almost exactly what happened with Human Head Studios and Bethesda.

But anyway, as EA told GamesIndustry:

“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.”

According to reports, EA will be also dropping the Dirt series. However, Codemasters will be still working on rally games as EA has acquired the WRC license. So this feels more like a rebranding. It remains to be seen though whether or not the WRC games will be as hardcore as the DiRT Rally games.