While Slightly Mad Studios have spent the past few years hard at work on the inevitable disastrous release of Project CARS, anoter, much smaller project of theirs was quietly lurking in the shadows. A Free to Play title primarily intended for the Russian market, World of Speed was to be released alongside Project CARS as an easier offering compared to the much more difficult and detailed console simulator that brought the company back into the spotlight. While many video game journalists indeed got their hands on the title in order to pen the standard preview articles and videos regarding the game, we’re now three months into 2016 and the game is simply not here.
Thankfully, our boy Dane R. has whipped up a fantastic piece regarding the fate of World of Speed to begin the weekend here at PRC.net. It’s Reader Submission time!
Yes, it’s arcade stuff, developed by Slightly Mad Studios, AND a free to play game – the unholy trinity of racing sims – but nevertheless I had great hopes for World of Speed. Publisher my.com promised a lot of nice features the game should have – including a lot of cars and tracks, tuning parts, exciting multi-player challenges and a so called “real free to play system” (sorry for German website, the original one is down) where you theoretically don’t have to spend a single cent.
Of course a great part of the pledged content is from Project CARS, including cars like the Mercedes SLS AMG, Pagani Huayra or the Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution X as well as tracks such as Bathurst or Brands Hatch. But there were also all-new announcements, new car brands like Volkswagen with their first Golf GTI or fantastic looking road courses such as the Mountain Spiral Road.
The game is developed by Andy Tudor and his wannabe game studio, but programming a comparative arcade racer is not as difficult as a simulator so I was quite interested in this project. This was in February 2014 when the game was announced. Later in 2014 I tried the first public version of the game at Gamescom in Cologne. It felt a bit like a more arcadey version of the Shift titles, but was absolutely okay for pre-alpha stuff.
Near the end of 2014 there was plenty of news regarding new cars and so features. A closed beta was promised for the end of 2014. In February 2015, my.com declared that this beta would take place during the second half of 2015. And that’s quite all. The last presented car was a Toyota Corolla almost one year ago. On Facebook they show some screenshots and shitty wallpapers from time to time. But as you can see under a photo posted in March of 2016, most of the people do not believe the game is coming out at all.
And with the announcement a few months ago that Slightly Mad Studios is working on a Red Bull Air Race simulator, I’m of the same opinion – the game will never come out. But I ask myself why I’m annoyed at this behavior: it’s typical of Slightly Mad Studios to act like this.
Oh boy, I get to leak some shit today! Thank you for writing to us about this, as while I’ve not really forgotten about World of Speed, I wasn’t aware anyone really cared enough about this game to update our coverage regarding it. But I guess, if Slightly Mad Studios promised something that had the potential to be a decent Free to Play racer, there would be some kind of following, right?
Anyways, I’ve heard from two or three reputable sources that World of Speed is merely part of a long list of side projects Slightly Mad Studios used to help fund the development Project CARS. Once they got paid, they fucked off and didn’t really care if they completed the game or not. Another one of these “side projects” would be the alleged opening of another division of Slightly Mad Studios in Asia, presumably for financial incentives offered by the government. I’m told by one of these informants that “it shouldn’t be hard to connect the dots” regarding how Slightly Mad Studios operates behind closed doors. Indeed, it’s no secret that the team over in London had troubles getting Project CARS out onto the shelf – cutting corners left and right in the weeks leading up to release via absurd decisions such as the omission of Q/A testing for the console edition. It wouldn’t surprise me if many shady deals were made for a couple thousand Euros here and there. That’s just how Ian Bell rolls.
This may potentially spell disaster for the Red Bull Air Race sim as well. Currently, Slightly Mad Studios are hard at work on Project CARS 2, with a few remaining staff members polishing up the original for those still playing it. They’ve obviously got a mighty task, as glitches found in Shift 2 Unleashed back in 2011 still remain in Project CARS despite something like eleven or twelve patches, but the point I’m trying to make is that the team is solely dedicated to one franchise that they still can’t really get right.
Aside from that one trailer released last summer, have we heard anything more about the Red Bull Air Race Game? Nope. We haven’t heard anything about World of Speed, either, while Bell and the boys at Slightly Mad Studios continue to claim that the team is hard at work on Project CARS 2 via various forum posts directly asking him about the subject. Are these other games coming at all? Probably not. Will the rabid WMD viral marketers still claim we’re the crazy ones? Probably.