Via a Tweet, CEO, and founder of Slightly Mad Studios, Ian Bell, announced that he will be leaving the company, best known for its popular Project CARS series.
Slightly Mad Studios was founded in 2009, and became the award-winning team behind era-defining games such as the GTR series, Need For Speed Shift™, Shift 2 Unleashed, Red Bull Air Race, the popular Project CARS franchise, and many other top-tier games.
Back in November 2019, the well-known British games developer Codemasters officially announced that they had acquired the London-based Slightly Mad Studios. The announcement also confirmed that Ian Bell would retain his position as Founder and CEO of Slightly Mad Studios.
In December 2020, Electronic Arts (EA) confirmed that they in their turn had reached an agreement with Codemasters to take over the UK gaming company at a value no less than $1.2 billion, outbidding an offer by Take-Two Interactive.
Shortly after, Codemasters CEO Frank Sagnier and Glu Mobile CEO Nick Earl decided to leave the EA concern. This makes Ian Bell the third developer CEO to leave Electronic Arts following a company takeover. None of those involved have officially stated the real reason for Bell’s departure.
Whatever the reason, Mr. Ian Bell has my respect as he has played a major role in building what we now call the sim racing industry. He came a long way since the early days, when in 2001 he co-founded the SimBin modding team which produced a number of successful free add-ons for various racing games, culminating in the highly popular GTR2002 mod. The SimBin modding group, later on, became the foundation for the famed SimBin Studios. The rest is history.
SMS began as a mad dream by a bunch of ambitious racing fans in a bedsit back in the late-90s. With the studio’s future now assured, the time is right for me to step aside. It’s been a ride and a privilege to share our dreams with you. Thank you!
— Ian Bell Free Entity. Look out for TherapyGlobal (@bell_sms) October 29, 2021