In a surprise revelation, former Slightly Mad Studios CEO Ian Bell is reviving the revered GTR series.
Tentatively called GTR Revival, the new entry in the GTR racing simulation is in development by Bell's new company, Mildly Annoyed Games.
Former Slightly Mad Studios CEO Ian Bell announces GTR Revival
Writing on Twitter, the former Slightly Mad Studios CEO revealed he is working on a “follow-up to GTR 2 with the original team.”
This includes former SimBin developers Stephen Viljoen, Andy Garton, Stephen Baysted, Henrik Roos, Johan Roos, Vik Klomiets, and “everyone of note who made GTR2 what it was.”
Released in 2005, the original GTR was an officially licensed FIA GT Championship game praised for its realistic driving physics for the time.
It was developed by SimBin, a company founded by Ian Bell, Henrik Roos and Johan Roos in 2003. A GT Legends spin-off followed in 2005 before GTR2 arrived in 2006.
Both sequels were developed in collaboration with SimBin and Blimey! Games, which was also founded by Ian Bell. After GTR2, he would go on to create Slightly Mad Studios, the developer behind the Need for Speed Shift and Project CARS series.
Slightly Mad Studios was then acquired by Codemasters in November 2019. One year later, Codemasters was bought by EA in a deal worth $1.2 billion.
While Project CARS 4 is reportedly still in development at Slightly Mad Studios, Bell is reviving the GTR series; the spiritual predecessor to Project CARS.
“Zero publisher input”
Just to make things confusing, a direct sequel to GTR2 was also in development by Simbin Studios UK. But with no updates for several years, GTR3 was seemingly scrapped. Now, Bell is stepping in to fill the void.
GTR Revival is in development by Bell’s new company Mildly Annoyed Games with “zero publisher input.” Bell promises GTR Revival will be “hardcore, balls to the wall, no compromise.”
Back in March, he also Tweeted about his dream sim racing game combining rFactor 2’s physics with Unreal Engine 5, likely hinting at GTR Revival's ambitions. “Imagine RF2 physics, tweaked in an Unreal 5 world… I do. Dreams can come true,” he said.
With no screenshots, release date, or confirmed platforms, GTR Revival is likely at an early stage of development.
Since GTR2, the sim racing scene has expanded significantly with the likes of rFactor 2, iRacing, and Assetto Corsa Competizione leading the race. A new sim racing game helmed by former developers of the original GTR series is a very exciting prospect, but it will need to stand out in the increasingly crowded sim racing market.