Interview: Slightly Mad Studios on Project CARS Changes, Future Updates, Switch Support

By Drew Hurley 06.09.2020

Cubed3 recently reviewed Project CARS 3, which is now available on PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC systems, awarding it a Bronze Award, 7/10 score, stating that it's "a brand new, arcade racer that wider audiences can truly enjoy". Following on from this, Drew Hurley caught up with Slightly Mad Studios' Joe Barron - Marketing and Esports Manager - to discuss the various changes made to this third entry, the development team's history, plans for the future, and thoughts on racing for Nintendo Switch.

Image for Interview: Slightly Mad Studios on Project CARS Changes, Future Updates, Switch Support

Cubed3: Times flies, doesn't it? Looking back to when you first did the crowdfunding for PC1, how do you feel now? Would you say you've achieved everything you wanted? Are there any lessons you've learned since back then, times you feel things could have been done better, ideas you wished could have been implemented, etc?

Joe Barron, Marketing and Esports Manager at Slightly Mad Studios: We did approach some areas of the development a little differently this time around. Without a community of crowdfunding backers playing the game day-to-day, we were able to develop the game with a little more creative freedom to explore our own ideas and concepts in more unique ways. On the other hand, we didn't have the same level of daily user feedback to review, of course, so we definitely had lots of new opportunities during the development of this title, but with new challenges at the same time.

Cubed3: This new iteration is such a huge departure from the previous entries in the series! What led you to go down this route?

Joe Barron: We wanted to make simulation racing a more inclusive and welcoming place for new fans. The technology underpinning Project CARS 3 is an improved version of the Madness Engine, with all of the authenticity of physics, weather, and so on, that die-hard fans would expect, but with new modes and features designed to create a more engaging, rewarding, and personal experience - to help to find a new generation of racing fans. Whether it's the improvements to gamepad controls, career mode, customisation, multiplayer, or any of the other big steps we made with this game, we really wanted to introduce new people to this hobby of sim-racing, and inspire them to find their own driving style.

Image for Interview: Slightly Mad Studios on Project CARS Changes, Future Updates, Switch Support

Cubed3: Is this going to be the style for any future instalments in the series, too?

Joe Barron: We're planning lots of post-release support and content for Project CARS 3, so we haven't really started to think too far into the future just yet. For sure, we will review the game balance, updates, new content, and more together with the fans as this new game continues to develop and mature. We definitely have lots of ideas for the future, and we're also beginning to share technology and expertise with our new colleagues at Codemasters, so it's all super exciting.

Cubed3: There are some amazing cars in the expansive catalogue here. What are some of your favourites?

Joe Barron: Personally, I've always been a fan of GT racing, so the new cars we have in those categories, like the Corvette C8R and McLaren 720S GT3, are high up on my list. It's been great to add more Japanese cars this time around, as well. The new Toyota Supra is great fun, and it's one of my favourites to spend time with when it comes to tinkering with upgrades and tweaking my custom livery design. The new open wheel cars, like the updated IndyCar and the new Formula E racer, are awesome, too. As always with Project CARS, there is huge depth in the car list, so everyone will have a different favourite, be it a modern hybrid monster, or something from the grand history of motorsport.

Cubed3: Equally, there are some truly iconic tracks! Some countries have only a few tracks within them, though. Were there any you wanted to include but weren't able to? Will there be future DLC to add such tracks and more?

Joe Barron: You can definitely expect several extra tracks to come to the game in the months ahead. We've got some very cool stuff in the pipeline. Track licensing was a real challenge this year due to Covid-19 causing most real motorsport venues to shut down for many months, but we're proud to have kept up our tally of having the most circuits of any console racing game, and that list is only going to get bigger.

Cubed3: From a personal point of view, I'd love to see a street race through Shinjuku, what do you think?

Joe Barron: I'm a big fan of the car culture in Japan, so more Japanese locations would be cool, for sure. I often look at some of our big open-road tracks that are set in places like California and imagine what something similar might look like if it were set in the mountain roads of Japan. That's just one from my personal wish list, though!

Cubed3: What do you think about games like GRID and Burnout Paradise making their way to Switch, despite many developers' concerns on the system's lower spec?

Joe Barron: It's interesting to see some of those racing titles from the previous generation making their way to Switch, but, even then, there are some compromises being made to fit them onto that platform. Arcade racers like Burnout are definitely a good fit for the platform, though, especially in portable mode.

Cubed3: For all those Nintendo fans that have missed out on Project Cars so far, is there any hope their wishes will get fulfilled at some point? Even if it wasn't PC3, but something like a port - PC1&2 Deluxe, perhaps?

Joe Barron: We don't have any plans for Nintendo platforms at this time.

Image for Interview: Slightly Mad Studios on Project CARS Changes, Future Updates, Switch Support

Cubed3: Are there any updates on your future projects, such as Project CARS GO?

Joe Barron: Watch this space. We'll have more to say about Project CARS GO in the near future.

Cubed3: Speaking totally hypothetically here... Just how much would it rock to get your hands on the F-Zero licence? Or would you have another Nintendo license you'd love to turn your expert hand to?

Joe Barron: I can't say that we've ever thought about working on a Nintendo franchise, to be honest. Almost all of its titles would be fun to work on one day, but we're very much focused on authentic racing games, so I'm not sure how we would go about tackling something like F-Zero! There are lots of other retro racing titles that I would personally love to bring back one day, though. I'm a bit of a retro collector and there is a lot of inspiration that can still be found in the racing games of the past, particularly from the 32-bit era. Those games had big personalities that we don't always see to the same extent in the modern world of simulation.

Box art for Project CARS 3

Slightly Mad Studios


Bandai Namco





C3 Score

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European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   

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