Yesterday, Electronic Arts confirmed the end of the Project CARS franchise, and it seems that another Codemasters series might also be on the chopping block. According to reporting from Insider Gaming, the Dirt franchise "has also been internally canceled." As of this writing, EA has yet to confirm rumors surrounding the series, so fans should take this with a grain of salt until we get some kind of announcement. While the main series could be going away, Dirt Rally will continue on as EA Sports Rally.
EA's statement regarding the end of Project CARS seemed to imply that the publisher was looking to consolidate its racing franchises. The company's use of the "EA Sports Rally" name in place of "Dirt Rally" would seem to fit well with that theme of consolidation. It's possible that EA simply found the existence of the two Dirt series redundant, but there's simply no way of knowing for sure. If Dirt really is coming to an end, hopefully EA will move staff into other roles with the company, just as it's planning to do with the team at Slightly Mad Studios.
The Dirt series has a long history at Codemasters. Dirt began life in 1998 as Colin McRae Rally, and saw several games released under that name before the release of Colin McRae: Dirt in 2007. McRae died in a helicopter crash shortly after the game's release, and Codemasters decided to drop his name from the title, first in North America for Dirt 2, and then globally with Dirt 3. If rumors of Dirt's cancellation are correct, 2020's Dirt 5 will mark the final game in the series. Given the long history of the franchise, a lot of fans will assuredly be disappointed to see it come to an end!
EA purchased Codemasters in 2021 for $1.2 billion, when it beat out an offer from Take-Two. The publisher purchased the company specifically for its strength in producing racing games. Readers can find out more about that acquisition right here.
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