That’s a damn small profit after four years of development…

How did we ever miss this?

Last month, Slightly Mad Studios announced that all financial backers of the community assisted racing sim Project CARS would receive around 110% of what they originally contributed to the title, indicating the notoriously buggy racing sim had actually turned a profit.

moneyWhile 110% is a big, happy number all on it’s own, the sad reality is that simple investment dynamics make the net profit your average WMD user has earned almost completely useless; especially considering the title has been in development since late 2011. Yes, everybody received their entire investment back, but the whole idea was to try and turn a substantial profit off the title, and on that front, it failed miserably. In most cases, unless you had several thousand dollars to burn and desperately needed to shoehorn yourself into the highest position of a community by paying your way into it, investing in the future of pCars was simply not worth your time.


  • Had you put $10 into Project CARS, you received fuck all, which is understandable.
  • Had you put $25 into Project CARS, you’ll earn enough to buy a bag full of 5 cent candies from your nearest 7-Eleven approximately four times a year. You didn’t even receive the game, even though that’s what was originally planned.
  • Had you put $110 into Project CARS, Slightly Mad Studios is essentially taking you to McDonald’s once every few months, as well as giving you the finished game for free.
  • Had you put a little over $1000 into Project CARS, not only did you receive the game for free, if you choose to put what you’ve earned back on your investment towards video games, your yearly purchases are paid for.
  • Had you instigated an argument with your significant other, won said argument, and dropped $25,000 on Project CARS, you’ve actually got some nice spending money now, as well as a game that’s most likely collecting dust at the moment.

For the three most popular membership levels, there was virtually no benefit to parting with even a minuscule amount of cash, as the actual profit in most cases was completely and utterly useless. To put it into perspective, a teenager in America working a minimum wage job would make more money in his first shift than what pCars paid out to “Senior” WMD members after four years of constant testing and shilling.

“But these profits will be paid out quarterly, so multiply everything by four!”

Except the game needs to continue to skyrocket in popularity, and it’s not. Forza Motorsport 6 is out on the Xbox One and is generally regarded as one of the best console racing sims ever made. The Playstation 4 will see Gran Turismo 7 sometime soon, and on the PC… well… this graph displays how quickly the Project CARS hype train was derailed:

fancy-graphIt’s a very disappointing end to this experiment in game development; the sad reality is that entire sites were turned into Project CARS advertising blogs so people could have a free lunch at McDonald’s every four months courtesy of Slightly Mad Studios.


32 thoughts on “That’s a damn small profit after four years of development…

  1. After pcars shilling on virtualr for months (years), they’ve turned their way into rf2. As trying to gain back respect from the simracing community, by saying, “look we know what we do, but pcars shilling was ‘necessary’ for our ‘business'”.


    1. Don’t forget to put out the hot-plate afterwards ๐Ÿ˜€

      seriously: Project Cars actually putting peoples’ “investments” back into their hands … is a friggin’ success in my books! “Look, we’re still alive. And ALL YOUR MONEY is, as well!”


    1. Well we got a decent “sim” with RF2 and actual sim features, all without having to “invest”,or put up with that cunt Bell, so Im cool about that, Im happy to talk RF2 up where appropriate because its a quality sim, and quality sims in all genres are a endangered species, dont need a stake in it to feel “special”.

      Also Im almost certain Bell is paying out with cash raised for Shift 4 (pcars2), raise money for it, once closed, 2 weeks later payout lol, taken for a ride that lot.


    2. All I got with PCars was 3 years wasted submitting bugs that, for the most part, never got fixed and I got my 50bucks back plus 5bucks “profit” and an awful racing game pretending to be a sim that I only boot up after an update which is just a habit. I got in the habit of looking forward to the daily updates in the hope that maybe the next update will make the physics and FFB worth a shit finally…………it never happened.

      What did I get for my $44 I paid to ISI for RF2? I got the best physics and FFB available in a consumer racing simulator by a large margin and the core is steadily being improved and all the updates and dlc cars and tracks are free. For a good sim like RF2, I would be perfectly happy to pay for their DLC.


      1. No doubt at all. I absolutely love rF2 and do believe it’s the best sim I own (in which I own all bar PCars). I also immensely enjoy R3E, AC, GSCE and have fun in iRacing. I just don’t agree with the current crop of “rF2 is the best and if don’t agree you should die of cancer” type of comments that have popped up around the net lately. We know rF2 is amazing, but other sims have certain qualities that appeal to other people.


  2. Not sure where your numbers came from or if all tiers got the same rewards but I put in 25โ‚ฌ and then later another 25โ‚ฌ when the assholes changed their minds that you wouldn’t get the game at that tier anymore. So for my 50โ‚ฌ I got 49.50โ‚ฌ back the other day. Meaning pCARS cost me 50 cents euro, about what the pile of shit is worth.

    But the Aussy dollar has fallen like a brick lately so I could ‘profit’ to the tune of some dollars if I converted it back but instead bought Mad Max from some cheap cd key place in euros and didn’t have to pay any currency conversion fee!!! *WINNING* Finally I get feel like a winner after having faith in Ian Smells fucktard scheme! ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Any suggestions on what games I should buy with the rest of the euros? GTA V?


  3. A 10% return for 4 years of tying up that money is pretty bad investmentwise, the money in my savings account made ~6% and I could withdraw that any time I need it. Your typical stock market investment would have done 20% or so, with a bit higher risk – on the other hand, that just means you expand the timeframe for withdrawal – don’t do it the week after the market took a nosedive. Proper venture capitalists (which is what buying into PCars 4 years ago basically is) expect a way better return than that, since it’s very high risk.


  4. So .. you got your game, got your money back and then some (no matter how much more) and it is wrong? Hmmmm makes me think of Kickstarter. Also it is just first payment, nowhere was stated that next one won’t be bigger (or smaller, sure).

    So … sure guys … continue shitting on pCARS …. and keep thinking you are the right ones, the elite of simracers … it won’t change the fact that pCARS still has much more online racers a day (that is PC only) than any other racing sim (btw. which is proven by graph in your own article).

    … and yea, keep telling yourselves, that it is because it is less hardcore ๐Ÿ˜€


      1. He didn’t got his money back: he followed the development, he played the game early, the the got *more* than his money get, some free contents.. and the final game.
        The “profit” is negligible, it’s the whole “deal” that is pretty amazing (nothing like this has been done before Project CARS, in the gaming industry).


  5. I don’t quite get the rF2 hype, either. It’s been a dormant sim for so long and all of a sudden recently everyone’s been in love with it. I don’t know. I do not like its looks, particularly its extremely narrow colour palette (grass and tarmac) and its almost complete lack of shades, gradients and shadows, I don’t like its primitive font and HUD, which look like it was created on an Atari 65 XL, I don’t like the limited number of tracks which are not conversions of coversions and finally, I really do not think the physics are all that great. Most ISI-made cars exhibit a substantial amount of understeer to the point of being undriveable due to the front wheels not really having any grip in corners. I guess people get the impression that the cars are so awesome because it is really necessary to work the steering wheel hard almost all the time to get the cars to point in the right direction. So all those continuous corrections perhaps “feel right” but I really doubt if in reality you have to work so hard just to keep the car on the track.


  6. I paid 45โ‚ฌ at the start, I had the possibility to follow how a game is developed from the inside (call it a bullshit, but it was very interesting), I had the possibility to play it while it was developed, then I received the retail game (Steam version), then I received back the โ‚ฌ45 I paid plus a little 10% (2.5โ‚ฌ), then a paid DLC the first month (plus another paid DLC will be free for me), and eventually I will receive some other small profits for the next 2 years (I guess they will be in the same order of those 2.5โ‚ฌ for each quarter, because of my small contribution, but they’ll still free money).

    Now do this for every game out there… where I have to sign? You must be crazy or a hater or I dunno what to criticize all this? I really don’t understand who wrote this article: for one time that something good has been done (no matter how much you could hate the game, I like it much… and it’s FREE for me!) you are bashing it?

    Also, did you realized that the game have sold more than 1 million copies, it’s incredible for a brand new name.. do you call this a “fail”?

    Who is not happy with all this, must have something wrong in their brain… honest.


    1. I wrote the wrong “profit” (for what it count), that is 4.5โ‚ฌ in my case. I also want to add that the profit aspect was something considered only by the Managers and Senior Managers, none of us (up to Seniors) have ever imagined to become rich with the profits (we wouldn’t even with a 500% profit, considering the small amount we put it). Our interest was to play the game early, and to follow the development, most of us were even “surprised” to receive the money back at the end!

      The Managers and the Senior Managers on the other side are having some money back, you say that you may earn more than 10% by “investing” somewhere else: a bank won’t give you back those net interests; and considering the crisis we are experiencing by 5 years, by investing elsewhere (unless you are someone who is used to play with this stuff) would have probably lost their money, rather than having a 10% back.

      The “whole idea” as you called it, it’s wrong in your head. The whole idea instead was to collect the money to develop a game (like Kickstarter) plus paying back the people who have helped to realize this idea (while kickstarter doesn’t share the profits with you!).

      Now you can find something wrong in every thing if you really hate someone…. but for me, this has been an amazing great deal.


      1. If having your money back + 10% is a “small given”, then any other game (like GSCE, rF, iRacing, AC) is a total fail, since they did gave us nothing: nor money, nor even fun for most of them.


    1. Probably not but you will get value for your money that you won’t get from PCars. With GSCE you will get a very competent racing sim and very very few bugs.


      1. GSCE is based on a 10 year old engine. I would hope ISI have got most of the bugs out by now. Reiza have managed to put a few new ones back in though (AI pit just before the end of the race, championship scoring screwed), and release a patch which completely breaks the game (1.38 non steam version). That’s software for you – no one is perfect.

        But the topic is about the return on your money for crowdfunding a game, not on the relative merits of one sim over another. With pCARS you get your money back and some profit. With GSCE you get no money back.

        However the topic does completely miss the point IMO. Only big investors put money into a game to make money. Most put money in to help produce a new sim (or develop an existing one in the case of GSCE), for early access, to see how a sim is developed and maybe have a tiny bit of influence on the process.


    2. I don’t agree. For me the value of money is about the return you get from spending my money, for a video game this return is the fun, and there isn’t much talk about about this: GSCE is born dead, it isn’t either played by the ones who actually paid for it. Under this aspect PCARS (for the majority) is a better “investment” in terms of fun (and by a while..).


  7. Isn’t the game play directly connected to the “fun” you get from a video game? If a video game is not fun but boring, it’s not played by anyone. That’s why iRacing and Project Cars have the most users playing them, because (not for me, but for the majority, looking at the everyday stats) they are fun to play. Unless all those people are playing a game they doesn’t like.


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