I really like Project CARS. It's one of the most generous and comprehensive racing games ever made, and even if it didn't revolutionize its genre, it's still one of the best racing games on PC right now. Hell, racing in the rain at Laguna Seca at sunset was probably worth the price of admission by itself. So I'm a fan.
And yet I'm not sure what to make of developer Slightly Mad Studios' announcement that they are opening up crowdunding for Project CARS 2. Less than two months after Project CARS came out.
The announcement on the Project CARS website is predictably sunny about the future of Project CARS and the series return to crowdfunding:
With an existing schedule of ON DEMAND content already underway to continue providing Project CARS with fresh new features, updates, and great things to play with throughout the year, Slightly Mad Studios now turns its attention to the future with the announcement of the continuation of the franchise with Project CARS 2. And once again, the sequel will be created, tested, and ultimately approved by you – the gamers - through the WMD Portal crowd-funding platform.
SMS are promising even more tracks, with 50 locations and over 200 courses, as well as the introduction of other motorsports like Rally and Touge (which has always been the best feature in the GRID series). So that's cool. But… this is still really soon, you know?
To be fair to SMS, they are still releasing new content for Project CARS, and they promise they're working on outstanding issues with the game.
But SMS are still getting a pretty rough ride from players in the comments on their announcement. A few people are asking whether or not this is a joke, plus a few angry players are demanding SMS fix the current game before making a new one.
Honestly, though, this announcement makes me more apprehensive than anything. Why are they fundraising already? That they're making Project CARS 2 is not a surprise at all. But announcing it so soon after the first one, and turning immediately back to crowdfunding, makes me wonder whether Project CARS missed the mark in terms of sales.
Even if everything is just fine and dandy in Project CARS land, this seems like bad timing. Rather than trying to build more momentum for the game with new car and track packs, as well as updates to quash the game's biggest issues, SMS seem to be playing it off the stage to make room for more crowd-funded delayed gratification. It was fun a few years ago, because Project CARS was filling a need. Now, with Project CARS still a new game, will the community still have the same level of enthusiasm for a new funding campaign?