Yesterday Slightly Mad Studios revealed that Project CARS 2 was now in development opening up their World of Mass Development portal once again for players to pledge to the creation of the game.

In total they’re looking for £7 million for the new game that’s set to include more disciplines, off-road racing styles, more cars, more tracks, and co-operative play. With £250,000 already contributed by Slightly Mad Studios, they’re obviously hoping the player will stump up more cash to not only get the game, but access to the forum to see development progress.

So far, with a round 12 hours on the clock, they’ve already raised £63,000 which isn’t bad going. But around the time of the announcement there was also many comments from fans asking whether this announcement was either a joke, or telling Slightly Mad that they should be fixing the first game before hand.

Now. Is it too soon to announce the second game? I don’t actually think so. If you think about it, development studios are working on their next game almost immediately after the release of the last, take the Call of Duty series for example, we know another game is coming in 2016 and development likely began on that entry as soon as Call of Duty: Ghosts launched in 2013. Would we be annoyed if Activision announced that Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare was in development soon after the release of Ghosts? It depends.

The fact that Slightly Mad Studios has announced development this early rather than keeping it under wraps like most other studios, has for some reason caused more negative feedback than positive. But why?

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Granted, the example I gave above has three studios working on the franchise in rotation, whereas Project CARS 2 has just the one studio, this understandably has caused fans to be concerned as to where Slightly Mad Studios priorities are placed, though they say they’re still going to be supporting the title in the future.

Another cause for concern, at least with the more vocal characters online, is that going down the crowdfunding route once again feels a little greedy, something I have to agree on.

Project CARS did pretty well for itself when it launched, staying in first place in the UK charts for two weeks running, and selling 1 million copies a little under a month after it launched, which for the sake of argument we’ll say cost £45 a copy, means in under a month the game earned £45 million for itself.

Of course, I don’t know how the whole developer / publisher relationship goes down, likely Bandai Namco snagged a chunk of that cash, but still. Surely Slightly Mad Studio has a little more than £250,000 to put towards the development of Project CARS 2?

Though with this added cash injection they could afford to hire some more staffers to work on both games simultaneously.

That aside, it’s definitely worth mentioning that when players stump up £50 to get access to the game when it launches as well as entry into the game’s forums, they’re not only contributing to the cost, but like with Project CARS, they’ll have a more direct input to the development of the game itself. After all the game is called Project Community Assisted Racing Simulator.

So to answer my own question, is it too soon for Project CARS 2? Personally, I don’t think so. Given what goes into making a new game, the amount of community input which goes into the Project CARS games, and the overall support Slightly Mad Studios has for their community, I think right now, while the iron’s hot if you will, is a good time to announce the new game.

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If we look back at Project CARS which began development some time in 2011 (maybe even sooner), that was four-ish years between conception and release. So by that estimate, Project CARS 2 may not launch until 2018/19.

Should the new game go down the crowdfunding route again? I’m not sure. I don’t think it’s a terrible idea considering how well the last game did. But given the current reaction of fans, it might be a little too soon to be already asking for £50 for a game we might not see until 2019.

I do think however the reason for most peoples annoyance with the announcement is that Slightly Mad Studios didn’t just say “Hey, Project CARS 2 is happening, want to help us fund it?” they actually said “Hey, you know all those features you wanted for PCARS? Well they’re coming to Project CARS 2! Help us fund it!”

Taking my Call of Duty example again, if Activision announced Advanced Warfare just after Ghosts and revealed all of the features the current game has, such as boost jump, energy weapons, and EXO abilities, I’d probably be lusting for those features looking at Ghosts with jade-coloured glasses.

So to wrap up, do I think it’s too soon for the game? It’s not too soon to announce the game in my opinion, but to share all of the new features as well as asking for more cash does leave a bit of a bitter taste in my mouth.

I’d love to know your thoughts? Do you think its too soon? Or are you happy that another game is on the horizon? Leave a comment below.

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