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Originally, many gamers were excited when they found out that Slightly Mad Studios had signed a distribution deal with Bandai Namco Games for the console release of Project CARS, the crowd-sourced racing simulator that sports next-generation graphics and physics. However, things quickly turned sour when it was revealed that Bandai Namco made it known that the Wii U version of Project CARS had been delayed to 2015. The company finally came forward to explain why the delay took place.
Wii U Daily managed to get the quote from Bandai Namco, who offered a “joint” explanation on behalf of Slightly Mad Studios, stating that...
“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.”
Fans have become quite livid at the sort of outcome that this situation has generated for a couple of reasons. See, Project CARS was funded by the game community. It's not an AAA budgeted racing sim and publishers didn't have a hand in its development; the entire thing was a passion project between Slightly Mad Studios and the gaming community. Hitherto, everything was fine before Bandai Namco was labeled as a distributor for the game and then dropped the news that the Wii U version of the game would be delayed.
The community felt a betrayal of trust.
If the Xbox One or PS4 version of the game had been delayed then it the backlash wouldn't have been as bad considering that the Wii U and PC versions of the game had been in development a lot longer than the Xbox One or PS4 renditions. However, finding out that the Wii U was put on the backburner for Sony and Microsoft's systems helped push a lot of gamers over the edge.
While Bandai Namco's PR response is that the delay is for “quality”, we've also seen this very same thing happen before from other AAA publishers. Sega pulled the same stunt with Aliens: Colonial Marines, although that game was miserable any which way about it. EA pulled a similar stunt with both Need for Speed: Most Wanted U and Crysis 3. Ubisoft pulled the same stunt with Rayman Legends and Watch Dogs.
Many Nintendo fans are becoming somewhat irascible with the treatment third-party publishers are giving the Wii U, and this straw could break the camel's back as far as Project CARS is concerned.
Project CARS for the Xbox One and PS4 will be releasing at retail this November, facing down against platform exclusives Driveclub and Forza Horizon 2, as well as Ubisoft's multiplatform title The Crew. Meanwhile, the Wii U has no realistic racing sims releasing this fall... instead, Project CARS will be releasing sometime in 2015 for Nintendo's system, most likely to an embittered sales response from Wii U owners.