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.
While 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:
It’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.