A few short days ago, we published a pretty substantial amount of information on Project CARS 2, stuff that most likely wasn’t meant for public knowledge any time soon. Slightly Mad Studios wasn’t too happy, and a refund for $98 Canadian Dollars appeared in my Inbox this morning.
This is pretty big news for PRC.net, as it essentially confirms that some of the more controversial stuff we’ve posted might actually be legitimate – and I’ll explain the reasoning behind that in ways the average reader can understand.
First, back in the middle of July, I bought into the Project CARS 2 crowdfunding project for around $100, and despite the Real Name Policy, signed up under the alias of a girl who had made headlines earlier this year for accusing a one-night-stand of raping her because he figured out she was crazy and ran for the hills. Not only should I have been removed for breaking the Real Name Policy, Slightly Mad Studios also had every reason to remove me for posting a lengthy article detailing my experiences with an early build of Project CARS 2.
In fact, I even taunted them directly in the article, saying that I would receive all of my money back once they caught wind of the article (and it was hard not to, people link our shit everywhere), and I essentially got to try the game for free.
A month later, we leaked internal forum screenshots displaying the Historic Daytona Beach Road Course in development for Project CARS 2, as well as information that confirmed an amateur oval racing car would be built on the 1990 Caper Monterrey chassis already seen in the original game.
Again, Slightly Mad Studios did not seem to care.
We then ran a slew of articles showing the entire Project CARS franchise in a negative light throughout the back half of summer, and now into fall. We talked about the extreme reduction in active pCars players, the goofy E-Sport implementation, pathetic profits the original game generated for WMD members, the lack of communication from the developers as bug reports piled up, how much was left out of the original game from the initial pitch, and the hilarious timeline of false promises about the Nintendo Wii U release.
So, to summarize so far, Slightly Mad Studios…
- Did not care that we leaked genuine information about new cars and tracks in pCars 2
- Did not care that we exposed the drastic decline in their userbase since launch
- Did not care that we shit on their lousy attempts at becoming an E-Sport
- Did not care that we essentially did a mini-review on a private beta build not meant for the public’s eyes
- Did not care that we blatantly exposed some of the features and content intentionally removed from the first game to be included in the second game
- Did not care that we made fun of the lackluster profits the WMD project generated
- Did not care I signed up under a fake name
- Did not care I’d displayed that developers had stopped responding to bug reports in the way they’d done in the past
In an effort to bring more Project CARS 2 news to the forefront, news that you won’t find anywhere else, I simply ventured to the WMD forums and started clicking around.
First, I displayed that there was a pretty big chance pCars 2 would see the inclusion of Ferrari. Previously, the team hadn’t appeared to care when I leaked info about certain cars or tracks being included that were largely under wraps, such as Daytona Beach. If they did care, I would have gotten booted a lot sooner, because we ran multiple articles on this stuff earlier without issues.
Second, I drew attention to the re-build of Indianapolis Motor Speedway, and how without a doubt the track was removed from the vanilla Project CARS release, only to be inserted later as a new feature, whether it be DLC, or a new track for the game’s inevitable sequel. Previously, the team hadn’t appeared to care when I published a lengthy article describing what was removed from the vanilla game, only to be placed in the sequel as a new feature. If they did care, I would have gotten booted a lot sooner, because we ran multiple articles on this stuff earlier without issues.
Third, I pointed out a recent topic in the General Discussion section which saw a user inquiring about a June 2016 release date for the title, and the thread was quickly locked. I drew comparisons to the last time a seemingly random release date was placed on an online retailer, and how the date was scarily accurate for how far in advance the date appeared, to the point where the developers hadn’t even announced the first of the two upcoming delays yet.
Within a day of our site being linked to the private Slightly Mad Studios developer forum, I received a full refund in the Email and finally got the boot.
So the one thing that made them care enough to remove me, was publicizing a release date. Even though a moderator quickly came to shut down the forum thread talking about the random June 2016 release date on an obscure online retailer, the fact that it got out in the first place, scared them enough to take action and make sure I couldn’t continue my shitty investigative journalism.
Why did they lock the initial forum thread discussing the release date? I’m not sure. Hell, why not keep it unlocked to laugh at our site specifically for reporting it as the truth? There’s no harm in letting people shitpost for a page or two, laughing at such a bold statement from a retailerthat implied a game still heavily in beta would be out on shelves in less than a year.
Why was that tidbit of information the last straw? It’s a release date. All it means is that you’ll (potentially) get to buy the game that day. It’s not a leaked video displaying the game in a complete state of disarray, nor is it a huge genre-defining feature that must be kept under wraps in order to guarantee a surprise and leave the competition choking on exhaust fumes. In the long run, a release date doesn’t reveal much – when Call of Duty release dates are leaked (sometimes as early as January or February), it says absolutely squat about the game itself.
So why is there so much sensitivity over one date, to the point that drawing attention to it results in the thread being locked fairly quickly, and leaking it to the public gets you booted from the forums after a string of infinitely more damning articles?
My best guess is that maybe, just maybe, it might be legit – or somewhere in the ballpark.
Anyways, I have $95 in my Steam account as of this moment that I didn’t expect to have. Any suggestions?