Criticism of the founder of Slightly Mod on EA’s policies

Ian Bell, the founder and former CEO of Slightly Mad Studios, has criticized the major game industry publisher following Electronic Arts’ decision to cancel the Project Cars series.

In 2009, Ian Bell founded Slightly Mod Studio in London, focusing on making racing games. After this studio was sold to Codemasters for $30 million and then Codemasters was acquired by EA in February 2021, he continued to lead Slightly Mod. Finally, Bell left his studio last October and said about it that due to the clarity of the future of this studio, the time has come to step down from its management.

In the past few days, EA officially announced that it has decided to end the development and investment in the Project Cars series; A decision that will have a significant impact on the more than 160 capable workforce of Slightly Mod Studio. However, EA committed to hiring these developers in other studios making racing games or other similar sectors.

Further, Bell reacted to the announcement of EA’s decision and wrote on Twitter: “EA is great as always. I gave my word and I stand by every word so that they continue to prove it. What do these numbers look like at the bottom of the spreadsheets, I mean people with hopes, dreams and families?” The founder of Slightly Mod has not had a good relationship with EA in the past. He believes that this big publisher has already tried to destroy Slightly Mod after the release of its first two games, Need for Speed: Shift in 2009 and its sequel, Shift 2: Unleashed in 2011.

Project Cars 2 game

Bell claimed in a 2017 YouTube interview, “We had made a game called Need for Speed: Shift, and then we developed Shift 2. EA contacted me two months after Shift 2 and said if you agreed not to negotiate with any other publisher about game development or other agreements, we would pay you 1.5 million and sign the contract for Shift 3. Sounds like a good deal, I said. I took 1.5 million and paid a lot of bonuses to the employees. However, two weeks before Shift 3 was supposed to start, they canceled the game without any warning and said, “We’re not doing it anymore.”

Bell went on to explain that EA’s move exposed Slightly Mod to a financial crisis, so that eventually EA managed to poach some key members of the studio: “They sent emails to three, four or five of our key people. Two of them actually left; Because we were in a financial crisis. We had nothing left. we are done They literally destroyed our company. They tried to destroy us and steal our technology.”

Black and white car in Project Cars 2 game

Bell describes former EA Global Studios head Patrik Söderlund as “the worst corporate monster” and said of his attempt to buy Slightly Mod: “They tried to destroy us in a way that there’s no other way to put it. They tried to destroy us and we have no love for EA in this company. So yes, I remortgaged my house and put the cash toward the studio’s production line.

In three months, I paid my staff so that we managed to make a few more games and move on. We have no respect for EA. I will never do business with them again and have no respect for them. They are horrible people. They are corporate monsters.”

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