Our final entry over the weekend here at PRC.net was a Reader Submission focusing on the Italian developer Milestone exhibiting a complete detachment from reality – a team of over 100 employees claimed RIDE (2015) was a critical and commercial success despite scathing reviews from around both the industry and the community. As a response to the submission, I also included examples of two other sim racing developers who blatantly refused to believe their products had nagging issues, individuals who literally stick their fingers in their ears and invent their own story to satisfy their fragile egos. Today, we can add another developer to the list of delusional entities – Codemasters.
If you haven’t caught the announcement by now over at any one of the different mainstream sim racing publications, Codemasters have straight up hired the entire staff of Evolution Studios. The team that brought you WRC: Rally Evolved, Motorstorm, and DriveClub will now be flying under the Codemasters banner, and as a result the next few Codemasters releases will feature an added level of depth thanks to the studio effectively doubling in size. The Codemasters press release published earlier today on their official blog obviously tries to portray the potential of a bright and prosperous future, but it wasn’t long before the same old bullshit set in:
Codemasters CEO Frank Sagnier claims Formula One 2015 was a successful title which allowed them to expand the company. This could not be further from the truth. Blasted by casual Grand Prix fans and hardcore sim racers alike, F1 2015 was the worst of Codemasters’ Formula One efforts by a significant margin – shipping with an insane amount of yet-to-be rectified technical issues that warranted a current user score of 3.7 over on Metacritic (the picture below was taken in October of 2015).
I’ll honestly just ask the same question I did over the weekend in regards to Milestone: On what planet is a title like this considered a success?
The most refunded Codemasters title ever to be released on Steam is deemed a success by the company’s CEO. This is how detached software companies have become from their products – they’re substituting reality with their own delusions of grandeur. But we’re not done yet, as the press release then goes on to praise Evolution Studios for their previous work, basically writing that the new supergroup of developers will go on to make fantastic products:
A monumentally talented group of people, eh? Then why, if I search up news articles about DriveClub – the last release by Evolution Studios – are gaming sites blasting the title?
Let’s sit and organize the things said about DriveClub in the above article in an easy-to-read list, because maybe the pretty picture of the Koenigsegg distracted a few people:
- The PlayStation 4’s biggest embarrassment.
- [Reflects] badly on the PlayStation 4
- A Jumble of Broken Promises
- Unfinished Features
- Broken Features
- Mediocre Gameplay
- Failed Online Experiment
- Ambition has [gotten] way out of hand
Alright, so not only does the CEO of Codemasters claim their worst fully-priced retail release of all time was a success, the blog entry tries to generate excitement over the fact that all employees from a company who’s last game was described as “The PlayStation 4’s biggest embarrassment” have now joined the crew – and this will somehow serve to benefit the company in the future. How can anyone hit the Publish button on something so ridiculous? You know, maybe if Formula One 2015’s only flaw was the lack of a career mode, and DriveClub wasn’t described everywhere as a “failed online experiment”, I’d at least give Codemasters the benefit of the doubt – but this is going into an entirely new territory. Aside from DiRT Rally – which was admittedly really fucking good – you have two companies figuratively shitting out games and pretending like joining forces is somehow a good thing.
Now I’ll take things a step further and churn out a portion of a press release much more grounded in reality – because pretending you didn’t ship multiple trainwrecks during the 2014 and 2015 calendar years is really fucking stupid:
We here at Codemasters have taken note of the situation surrounding former employees at Evolution Studios, and have made the decision to welcome the entire team to the greater Codemasters family. Evolution Studios have spent multiple Sony console generations dedicated to producing a variety of mass-market auto racing titles, and we are excited at the potential this new opportunity brings us into 2016 and beyond. The increased size of the new and improved Codemasters team will allow us to embark on large-scale projects we could once only dream of, ideally serving to re-capture some of the classic Codemasters magic of the late 1990’s.
Was that so hard? No false promises, no fictional interpretations of reality, just a reasonable announcement that doesn’t set any unrealistic expectations other than “our games will hopefully get better with more manpower behind us.” Flesh this general babble out into a few more paragraphs, and you have a very down-to-earth announcement. I don’t see why this approach was neglected in favor of outright boasting about positive reception that basically didn’t exist.