Project Cars started out as a project by Slightly Mad Studios which they took to kickstarter for funding.
One of the key aspects to the funding pitch was that it was to be released on PC and Wii U and that both versions were already in production and would receive equal time and effort to make the best possible versions. Naturally this garnered a lot of attention from Wii U owners who pledged their money to the campaign. SM then added PS3 and X360 to the kickstarter
They then released a poll on their website asking consumers which versions of the game people would purchase.
While this can be shrugged off as being a vocal minority of Wii U owners, it’s clear where the genuine support of the product was coming from. It’s also worth noting Xbox One has the least amount of votes. This could be attributed to lack of awareness of it, however. But it could also be that Xbox owners are not interested as they have Forza on their system. This is followed by PS4 as the 2nd lowest interest. It’s worth remembering that kickstarter pledgers were giving their money over for Wii U, PS3 and X360 versions, as the campaign promised.
All the while Slightly Mad were constantly providing Nintendo fans of reassurances about the Wii U release.
Ultimately the kickstarter secured Slightly Mad Studios over 500,000 euro.
A few months down the line and SM announce that Project Cars will be published by Namco Bandai. Initially this seemed good as it looked like they would be getting further funding to make a better game. It was announced to be coming to Xbox One, PS4, Wii U and PC.
So, the X360 and PS3 backers were left in the dust.
The latest news however is that while the PS4, X1 and PC versions will release this November. The Wii U version will be released at an unspecified time in 2015. Some empty PR bullshit was also provided
“We’re committed to delivering an exceptional and unique experience for racing fans on Wii U and for this we kindly ask our devoted and passionate Nintendo fans for a little more time in order to ensure the game delivers on our vision of being the most authentic, beautiful, and technically-advanced racing game on any platform.”
That’s not an explanation in any form of why the game is being delayed. Are you saying the Wii U version needs more time? Why is that? Why do the other versions not require as much time as the Wii U? Are they getting less perfected products? No, this does not make sense.
I think we all know why it’s being delayed. I think there are two rational possibilities
- There is no Wii U version. A delay is a less impactful statement to a cancellation. There will be silence on the Wii U version until it’s forgotten about
- Or more likely, the Wii U version was seen as secondary priority to Namco Bandai who don’t think Wii U owners would buy a racing game. Therefore development focus was shifted to the PS4 and X1 which share similar architecture.
Both of these possibilities stink in my opinion. If I’m a secondary priority to a company then they are a secondary priority to me. Slightly Mad were one of the few devs who were vocal supporters of the Wii U. It felt like a huge stab in the back to supporters and especially to Wii U owners who actually backed the campaign.
I for one will not be purchasing this game any more. I am sick of this treatment from most 3rd party developers and publishers. As someone who owns multiple consoles I am for parity for all console owners. Wii U owners don’t just own Wii Us. The impact these type of delays have on sales is enormous. But ultimately Wii U owners will get blamed for the inevitable poor sales now, should the game even release.