People shouldn’t be surprised when a company delists sports or racing games that contain licensed content, especially if sequels to those games remain on the market. In this case, however, the follow-up is less popular with fans. There are currently multiple ways to cheaply try Project Cars and Project Cars 2 while they’re still available.
On Monday, developer Slightly Mad Studios revealed that it would remove Project Cars and Project Cars 2 from digital storefronts this fall due to expiring car and track licenses. It will first delist the second game on September 21, then the original on October 3. After the removal, players who own either racing simulator will keep all content and functionality, including multiplayer, for the foreseeable future.
Likely due to the impending removal, both games are currently available at sizeable discounts on PC. The original 2015 game is 70 percent off at just $4.49 on Steam. A Steam code for the 2017 sequel is 93 percent off on both the Deluxe and Standard editions at Green Man Gaming for $6.34 and $4.22, respectively. The digital PlayStation version of the first title is also 60 percent off at $5.99, but there are currently no discounts for either game on Xbox.
Players who still aren’t sure about spending under $10 combined for both games can try them in a couple of other ways. Project Cars 1 comes with EA Play on PlayStation and Steam but doesn’t appear in the subscription’s Xbox selection or on EA’s website despite EA owning Slightly Mad Studios. Project Cars 2 has a free demo on Steam.
After early October, only Project Cars 3 will be available digitally (physical console editions of all three games still exist), but that 2020 release got a colder reception from fans than its predecessors. Its Steam Page currently shows a “Mixed” user review rating while the other two carry “Mostly Positive” or “Very Positive” ratings. The third title also has metascores in the 70s, while the first two sit in the 80s. Critics mainly took issue with Project Cars 3’s severe difficulty and grindy career mode.
“Impossible to recommend to fans of Project CARS 2,” said IGN’s review. “Project CARS 3 is a total 180 for the series.”
In 2019, Codemasters purchased Project Cars developer Slightly Mad Studios for $30 million. Just a year later, EA bought Codemasters for $1.2 billion, giving the publisher a large stable of racing games that includes Project Cars, GRID, Need for Speed, F1, Need for Speed, and Burnout.