It’s time to talk about another acquisition that I and at least one other person didn’t see coming, and it once again involves the racing-game genre. Codemasters has a handful of ongoing series in their garage, such as Dirt, Grid, and the official Formula 1 games. They now own new territory thanks to their acquisition of fellow British developer Slightly Mad Studios, makers of the Project CARS IP. If you ask me, this is a big deal because they’re two of the most prominent companies when it comes to today’s racing games, not to mention they both have really good assets and licenses. With this purchase comes very valid questions — Is one of the four aforementioned series being canned? Which licenses that Slightly Mad Studios owned could be used in Codemasters’ Grid series, and vice versa for the Project CARS series? Regardless of what theories we come up with, the best thing we can do is to wait for Codies to give us the answer..And you bet your buttons I’m excited to know what’s up.
If you love motorsport sims like I do, there’s a chance you’ll know the name Slightly Mad Studios; After developing titles in the Need for Speed and Test Drive franchises, the British studio started their own crowdfunded IP called Project CARS, which now has two iterations that have been lauded for their realism, graphics, and car-and-track roster. But the developers are not resting on their laurels, as they have revealed plans to launch their first game console — The MadBox.
Slightly Mad Studios’ CEO Ian Bell spoke to several gaming websites to give us the first details; With the help of a group of investors instead of crowdfunding, the MadBox is aiming to be the most powerful console in the market and reach 180 FPS in VR mode. We don’t know how this will affect the graphics and resolution, what computer parts will be used, or how much the console will sell for, but we will definitely find out before its release date of “3.5 years from now.”
As a bonus, anyone who purchases the MadBox will get a license to develop games using the Madness Engine, which makes this both a console and development kit; Developers can also port their work to PC and rival consoles “at the touch of a button.” Speaking of rival consoles, SMS have stated there will be no exclusive games on their system, which makes sense since their main (Or only) focus is on racing games.
Although outsiders might deem Slightly Mad’s statements unrealistic or hyperbolic, I’m extremely curious to see the ultimate fate of the MadBox; It doesn’t need to replace the current consoles, but should still be given a chance to fit in.