Remember Slightly Mad Studios’ online side project World of Speed that was being developed alongside Project CARS 2 as an arcade, team-focused street racing game? Initially announced back in 2014, the perpetual silence surrounding the game over the last few years led us to believe the game had been scrapped – the last we had heard about the title was back in 2015. Turns out it’s been picked up by a different developer and has had a stealth release on Steam Early Access.
World of Speed is now being developed by Saber Interactive, known for TimeShift, NBA Playgrounds and its support work on Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary and Halo: The Master Chief Collection. The US developer also recently announced the upcoming console port of Spintires: Mudrunner.
“From now on, the project will be carried by a new development team, whose goal is to add lots of cool new features to World of Speed while keeping the original spirit of the game intact,” a statement reads on the game’s official website. “More importantly, developers are going to place great emphasis on cooperating with players – both old and new.”
“This renewed paradigm implies that further production will be done in close collaboration with the World of Speed community. All game design ideas, feature suggestions and feedback from players will be considered and carefully evaluated. The most promising, interesting and well supported ideas will be added to our production schedule.”
Currently available on Steam Early Access for £6.99, World of Speed is an online street racer with 50 licensed cars that can be customised with a range of body styling elements, wheel options, paint and unique color schemes. 12 detailed street circuits are included based in real-world locations like Moscow, Monaco, and London running on Slightly Mad Studios’ Madness engine.
The final game is expected to be released within the next six months and will be free-to-play for everyone after release. Here’s a rundown of all the features the developer is currently working on adding, as listed on the game’s Early Access page:
Auto-Clubs. Teams of players – an analog of clans from the usual MMO – will have access to unique club game modes: clubs will fight each other for influence over the territories. Strong clubs will not only receive recognition and respect from others, but also access to unique cars, club garage, car decals and special bonuses.
The player's team. The player will be able to hire unique NPC specialists – mechanics, agents, drivers. Each of them can be developed and upgraded, increasing the efficiency of cars, reducing tuning costs, and accessing unique visual styling elements.
More cars. One of the most important items in our plan is the addition of new dealers with new cool models and auto brands, including both classic models of muscle cars and ultra modern super cars. With each update, we will add new cars, so as a result, you will get more than a hundred different samples of licensed cars.
More tracks. Our goal is the regular addition of new routes. By the time of release we would like to bring the total number of tracks in the game to several dozens. At the same time, our plans are not limited to the release of the game, and we, of course, will continue to add new content to it.
And much more. An integrated system of replays, custom races, a full chat system, a complicated rating system, a variety of daily events, an expanded player profile and a huge number of other game elements are already planned.
In a genre currently dominated by realistic simulations, it’s good to see the release of a new Project Gotham-style arcade racer.