Codemasters “Biggest AAA Game” is World Rally Championship Amid QA Troubles

Despite previous claims that Codemasters is committed to the DiRT series going forward, sources suggest that this is no longer the case. 

Job listings of Codemasters’ “most ambitious and biggest” AAA game were first revealed in August 2021, hyping up racing fans about the possibilities of what the title could be.
 

According to sources familiar with Codemasters plans, the title is on the World Rally Championship.

In 2020, Codemasters signed an exclusive five-year deal spanning from 2023 to 2027 to develop and publish games based on the FIA World Rally Championship series (via GI.biz). Despite previous claims that Codemasters is committed to the DiRT series going forward, sources suggest that this is no longer the case. 

DiRT Rally 3 was seemingly scrapped in late 2021, with the studio now focusing on F1, GRID, and the WRC going forward. In fact, hints of the change came in February 2022, with the official Twitter profile of the DiRT account being changed to @EASPORTSRally. The mode was to coincide with the announcement of Jon Armstrong’s Rally3 car story but to lay the foundations of the change.

The Original Dirt Game Account in 2019.

This same Twitter account was renamed EA Sports Rally. 

EA Sports Rally.
Older Dirt Account Renamed to EA Sports Rally, as evident by the Joined July 2010 Date.

It’s unclear when the new WRC game will be announced, but the title is scheduled to release sometime in 2023. However, the development of the game could be off to a rough start with sources within Codemasters implying that the studio is currently ongoing some huge problems within its QA department.

The studio, which had around 200 individuals under QA several months ago has now been reduced to an estimated 120. According to four individuals who wish to remain anonymous, the problem lies with Codemasters leadership and EA, which has resulted in poor management of the QA department.

Concerns in Town Hall meetings are ignored, with recent contracts being unconventionally compared to other studios. In December 2021, the whole QA department had their contracts renewed until March 2022 (3 months) with the latest contract being offered to July 2022 (4 months).

The latest contract has offered QA a £600 pay increase on top of their salaried amount, plus entitlement to EA Games which usually 10 EA titles per year for free. Staff had hoped that the acquisition of the studio by EA would have resolved the issues, but nothing has yet changed, with those speaking out feeling like they are not a true part of the Electronic Arts family. As a result, QA reductions seem to be because of QA staff choosing to not renew rather than contract terminations.

It’s not clear what ramifications this will have on Codemasters’ future titles, but it’s hoped by those still at the studio that these issues will be resolved promptly.

EA was contacted for comment but did not reply before this article went live. We’ll update accordingly if a comment is provided.

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Tom Henderson


Having worked at various sites alongside sharing exclusive information from the Video Games Industry. Tom Henderson presently works as Investigate Journalist at eXputer. Follow him on YouTube & Twitter, see what he is up to!