Today’s Reader Submission comes to us from Alex R.
I’ve just recently noticed your submission section and after coming to terms with the fact that Project CARS is nowhere near what is was cracked up to be, I’ve plucked up the courage to write in with an interesting thread on the Official PCARS forum. Without trying to start this letter too generically you guys do a fantastic job of digging out some really interesting facets of the racing game scene and it’s incredibly enjoyable to read through the comments afterwards!
Anyway I’m part of a group of console based racers and saw this game as a gateway into the sim racing or at least more realistic racing world. After our frustrations finally boiling over with the flaws in the game one of our members and a guy I’ve known for about 2 years posted in the ‘Assetto Corsa Coming to console’ thread on the official PCARS forum:
Now whilst dyr_gl isn’t exactly the kind of guy to keep his opinions to himself, all he asks for throughout his posts is for a solid answer. The dude lives in Spain and has spent a heck of a lot of the percentage of his income on a wheel for the game, and has clear concerns regarding the random wheel movements the game seems to force upon the wheel. After his first post erring on the side of negativity, obviously this culminated later along in the thread with Head of Studio Ian Bell telling dyr to “remove his tin foil hat”…
Anyway a bit of too-ing and fro-ing later between himself and hardcore loyalists (the post about general forum members having any idea how WMD works was a particular highlight, the whole thread is well worth a read…) and Mr Bell responds to a visibly quite irate Dyr in this next post with a straight up request for a ban:
Dyr then told us about his run in with the PCARS militia on our own forum, where another member of our group named Liquid7394 decided to ask a fairly simple but direct question on the PCARS forum in the very same thread. This was met with a response by the man himself again Ian Bell:
Now this is where it get’s interesting, by quoting Dyr’s post Liquid inevitably put himself square on the radar of the PCARS Negativity Police and received an infraction pretty much immediately. Another member above Liquid’s initial question, Libor Sabrik, stated that he to shared Dyr’s sentiments and has also all of a sudden mysteriously received an infraction… Liquid was then sent two very intriguing emails following his infraction, one is a notification for the infraction, the other a response from Ian Bell for the reason:
Unfortunately it appears a public forum designed for a gaming community to speak their mind about a video game whether both positive or negative has once again shown it’s similarities to North Korea where absolutely anything negative will land you in hot water.
The conclusion for me looks like the PCARS devs/WMD members trying to find excuses for their game in a thread about an upcoming competitor. A lot of “we are looking into the issues”, “we’re on a limited budget” and a overall “why don’t you just like our game?” vibe whilst everyone is talking about another title that could well blow PCARS completely off the map if Kunos learns from SMS’ mistakes. The studio has no idea how to relate to the console users, I’ve experienced this myself. Obviously the discussion is quite heated and intense (along with a bit of fishing for a reaction I admit) but for the head of studio to straight up respond in the way he did to Liquid7394’s quite simple question shouts of a studio that are seriously struggling with the rigors of releasing a game to the mass market and general competition. When I mean struggling, I mean really struggling… to the point where I’m expecting a meltdown imminently.
I’m sure there’s many examples of this kind of thing all across the PCARS forum and I have already asked Dyr to provide some posts/threads from others that he has seen of a similar ilk. I know you guys have run a few similar posts in the past about the way SMS and the WMD crowd handle negativity, but I’d just thought I’d pass this on as it relates to a couple of guys I’ve been racing with a fair bit!
You’re right Alex, we’re well aware of how the pCars fanboys, SMS staff, and forum police react to negativity. I can’t say this is surprising because we seem to cover it every week, but you’d think they’d figure out by now that this behavior is really detrimental to their public image. To me, it reminds me how Eutechnyx handled the release of NASCAR The Game 2011. Pretty much any negativity whatsoever had you removed from the forum immediately, and simply siding with someone who was a “known troublemaker” made the moderators pay extra attention to you.
What’s really hilarious about all this is that at the end of the day, these people eventually have to log out of the forums and play the broken game they’re defending. Sure, getting rid of negativity may be part of their job or it may put them on the good side of Slightly Mad Studios when it comes to internal forum politics, but deleting negative comments doesn’t mean the glitches just go away:
EDIT: It’s also important to note that you can’t link to pretendracecars.net on any Project CARS related forum – it’s a legit censored word. Try it and see for yourself!