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EA announces an end to Slightly Mad Studios' Project CARS franchise

Slightly Mad Studios' Project Cars franchise is ending as Electronic Arts prioritizes other racing franchises with live-service potential.

Electronic Arts'  Project Cars has made its last ride. In a statement provided to GamesIndustry, the publisher announced that it had chosen to "stop further development and investment" in the racing franchise. 

The end of Project Cars comes following an update to EA's overall "racing portfolio," and the determination that another entry in the series lacks long-term growth potential. Slightly Mad Studios' franchise originally found success in a market that was dominated by racing game veterans such as Playground Games (Forza) and EA (Need for Speed, Burnout).

"Decisions like these are very hard, but allow us to prioritize our focus in areas where we believe we have the strongest opportunity to create experiences that fans will love," continued EA. "With shifting fan expectations, we recognize the need to evolve our games beyond pure play, providing experiences for fans to also watch, create and connect with their friends."

While game franchises will often end, it's not every day that a franchise will be definitively ended by its publisher. Typically, publishers will play coy and quietly put a franchise on ice for a number of years. 

But EA's more definitive here, and outright states that the franchise's existence didn't match with its overall goals. The cancellation, it continued, was brought on by a desire to "focus on our strengths in our racing portfolio...and expanding our franchises to be more socially-led with long-term live services that will engage global communities."

Project Cars franchise began in 2015, spawning a mobile spinoff and two sequels that released in 2017 and 2020. All three entries were published by Bandai Namco, shortly before Slightly Mad was acquired by Codemasters in 2019, which itself was acquired by EA in 2021. 

Codemasters initially purchased the developer to co-develop "new racing experiences," and with the express purpose of helping it grow as a presence in the racing game genre.

A fourth Project Cars was in the works, said Slightly Mad on Twitter, but that project has now been canceled.

The developers at Slightly Mad will be placed into roles at studios developing other EA Sports and racing titles, confirmed EA.

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