Namco Bandai, Slightly Mad Studios partner for Project Cars launch
Project CARS is set to be released on the latest generation of consoles in November 2014 thanks to a worldwide distribution agreement between publisher Bandai Namco and Slightly Mad Studios. The racing simulator has gotten quite a lot of attention for its stunning visuals and the developer’s DIY approach to crowdfunding through WMD – World of Mass Development – which offered consumer-investors the chance to take part in the game’s creation in proportion with their donations. It’s not surprising that Slightly Mad have created such a beautiful game since their previous titles include Need for Speed: Shift, Shift 2 Unleashed, and Test Drive: Ferrari Racing Legends, but it is a definite milestone to see a project crowdfunded by a home-built portal get such a high-profile publishing deal.
“We are tremendously happy to be collaborating with Slightly Mad Studios on this promising title, in which community expectations are fusing with racers expertise to craft the next generation of simulation!” said Bandai Namco’s VP of third parties Alberto González Lorca. This isn’t the first time Project CARS has made its way into the limelight through a business deal. Slightly Mad have scooped up contracts with McLaren Automotive, Renault, Bentley, Audi, and Automobile Club de l’Ouest – organizers of the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
This new deal makes it possible for Project CARS to launch on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Wii U, Windows PCs, and SteamOS this Fall. The game was originally meant for launch on the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 as well, but those versions have since been canceled. Making up for the loss of the older consoles, Slightly Mad Studios has embraced the next generation with an extra helping of enthusiasm and announced plans to make the game compatible with PS4 virtual reality headset Project Morpheus. The studio has also entered into an agreement with Panasonic that will take advantage of the new 4K televisions the company produces.
Project Cars promises players a chance to race in single player mode to earn Historic Goals and win recognition in the Hall of Fame before switching over to multiplayer to take advantage of competitive race weekends, leaderboard time challenges, or community events. Some who race their way to victory could even earn real-world prizes. Slightly Mad says Bandai Namco is the perfect publisher to bring their creation to the public. “With a portfolio of prestigious, popular, and iconic titles under their wing, Bandai Namco are the perfect partners to bring our pioneering community-driven game to players around the world,” said studio head Ian Bell. It’s certainly a good sign that Project CARS is appearing on so many platforms. Most competitive racing games are limited as platform xclusives and with the backing of a company like Bandai it’s hard to imagine a half-hearted launch for such a supercharged property.