EA Scraps Project Cars And Dirt In Favor Of New Need For Speed

Industry News / 4 Comments

Project Cars and Dirt have officially reached the end of the road.

Electronic Arts has apparently decided to end both the Project Cars and Dirt racing game series. This comes as a crushing blow to both fans of the titles and the developers who worked hard to develop a long-standing reputation in the industry.

According to Games Industry, the two studios have been ordered to stop any developments required for either game via an internal announcement. Team members will be reallocated to different portfolios where possible. Undoubtedly, this will result in layoffs for some unfortunate developers.

While this is sad news, it shouldn't come as a surprise as the racing game industry has become a lot less competitive with almost no hope of matching up to the likes of Gran Turismo 7 or the Forza franchise.

Dirt Project Cars

It is a sad demise for two games that have grown cult followings, but if we look at the numbers, it should come as no surprise that the Project Cars portfolio was scrapped. The game's third iteration, launched in 2020, was a highly disjointed racing experience from Slightly Mad Studios. It left fans feeling short-changed, despite its thrilling roster, including the Mercedes-AMG GT R. This was reflected in its market performance as it brought in 86% fewer sales in its opening week compared to the well-received Project Cars 2.

EA will focus more on the Need for Speed franchise, with its latest edition set to launch later this month, despite a lack of Toyota products. The new strategy will follow the same direction Microsoft has taken with the Forza Horizon series by focusing on fewer racing titles with more versatility rather than specific disciplines such as track and rally.

Project Cars Project Cars

The publication was able to source a statement from an unnamed spokesperson of EA who confirmed the news. "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 decided to stop further development and investment for the franchise."

While the series will end, it is confirmed that the fans will still be catered for with upcoming open-world experiences that are multiplayer-focused, which will run for extended periods, similar to what was attempted with Need For Speed World in 2010.

The last few editions of Need for Speed show a clear direction to go the open-world route, with the upcoming Unbound set to feature one of the franchise's most extensive maps yet.

Dirt Dirt

Considering Project Cars had a short legacy that started with the Need for Speed: Shift series in 2009, enthusiasts may be hurt but are unlikely to lose much sleep. The demise of Dirt, as exposed by an unnamed employee, truly comes as a heartbreak as its history dates back to the hit 1998 Colin McRae Rally title and has been an authentic legacy brand for Codemasters.

Codemasters purchased slightly Mad Studios in 2019, which was then picked up by EA last year. It's no secret that as mergers are conducted, more fat has to be trimmed off the sides, and given how racing games don't usually bring in that much sales compared to action, adventure, and first-person shooters, this is a genre that is always more likely to take the hit.

Dirt Project Cars Project Cars
Source Credits: Games Industry

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