Project CARS Delayed Again

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Somewhat overshadowed by yesterday’s excitement over the Assetto Corsa Dream Pack and iRacing Season 2 build was the news that Project CARS will be delayed once more (burying the lead anyone?).  This marks the third delay for the title after the original Fall 2014 release was moved to March to ‘avoid the holiday season’.  But then came the news last month that the title needed more polishing and would be pushed back a few weeks to April.  And now Slightly Mad Studios has gone for the trifecta and pushed the title back to mid-May (no exact date this time…).  Here’s what the studio had to say about the delay.

“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” said Ian Bell, Head of Studio at Slightly Mad Studios.

“Again, we want to thank our fans for their support and patience on this matter. There’s a high expectancy from racing fans around the world that Project CARS is going to be an exciting new contender in the simulation racing space and we firmly believe gamers deserve it to be in its most complete and polished state when they come to play it on day one. And since the gaming community is our primary focus and has always been at the heart of the project during development, we would like to offer some free content to all players as compensation for this short delay and as acknowledgement of how grateful we are. This gift, that we’re sure is going to excite fans, will be available from day one and revealed shortly. Keep an eye on our website for more info.”

So, here we are again.  What more is there to say?  I believe there’s two factors going on here.  First, software is difficult and massive problems can pop up out of the blue and blow up your schedule.  On the other hand, the Project CARS PR effort made a big push about the title not only being out last Fall but being the best racing simulator out there.  These delays are the exact opposite of that and really dampen the excitement that the title had last summer.

I will say that I’m not totally buying the ‘0.1%’ comment.  For better or worse, these days games get pushed out the door when they’re 90% done…if we’re lucky (thanks DLC!).  Hitting deadlines and getting some positive cash flow after years of development (i.e. loans)  is critical.  If Project CARS was 99.9% done, it would be out by now.  The delay has to be caused by something more substantial.  The lack of Xbox One footage has been pointed out as evidence that the studio is struggling to get the performance it needs to launch.  Whatever the issue is, Xbox One or something else, it’s a big deal.

Fingers crossed this will be the last delay we’ll have to report on.

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