As revealed by GamesIndustry.biz, EA has internally shut down all future development on the Project Cars series. All staff impacted will be moved into other appropriate roles “where we can.”
Project Cars debuted in 2015 on the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, and was followed up by two sequels, plus a mobile spinoff. The entire franchise was the work of Slightly Mad Studios, which had also developed entries in the Need for Speed, Shift, and Test Drive series. It was acquired in 2019 by Codemasters under EA for approximately $30 million. At the time of the acquisition, Slightly Mad Studios staffed 150 employees, who may now be relocated into new roles.
An EA spokesperson told GamesIndustry.biz that “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.”
The spokesperson goes on to say how difficult these decisions are, but are necessary to provide the types of experiences their fans are looking for. They mention focusing their racing efforts on “licensed IP, open-world experiences, and expanding our franchises to be more socially-led with long-term live services that will engage global communities.”
While it is unclear if Slight Mad Studios as a whole will be shut down, EA’s statement at least confirms that some staff will be shifted into new roles, including other parts of EA, as best they can. The statement concludes with, “Our priority now is on providing as much support as possible to our people through this transition.” While this does leave the future of these employees uncertain, there is an unfortunately high likelihood a certain number will be laid off.
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