Project CARS 2 Devs Hire Pro-GamerGate Critic As Consultant
PRC Project CARS 2
(Last Updated On: March 29, 2017)

The Pretend Race Cars website is known in the sim-racing community as being unrelenting, unforgiving and remorseless when it comes to critiquing, criticizing, and comminuting past and present racing sims. Well, imagine the surprise when it was revealed that one of Pretend Race Cars’ biggest targets decided to bring on their biggest critic as a consultant.

Austin Ogonoski was one of Project CARS’ biggest detractors, taking developers Slightly Mad Studios to task for the things they got wrong, the things they promised but didn’t deliver, and the issues that came up within the community that many other websites didn’t bother reporting on. Well, Austin and the rest of the crew at Pretend Race Cars have been sponsored by Slightly Mad Studios, and they were also offered consulting work to help provide feedback on Project CARS 2 for home consoles and PC.

Over on the Pretend Race Cars website, they write…

“After we interviewed Ian [Bell] in July of last year, he began seeing PRC in a bit of a different light – genuinely appreciating some of the lengthy critical posts about Project CARS written by myself or anonymous Reader Submissions – and we began conversing in a somewhat productive manner. Wanting to progress my own amateur racing career beyond econobox racing, and with Ian needing a creative way to promote his upcoming game – which you now know as Project CARS 2 – a sponsorship deal made a surprising amount of sense.”

Austin and the crew at PRC will be using the sponsorship to further their dreams of real life race car driving. The Chevrolet SS that they’ll be driving has received sponsorship from Slightly Mad Studios as a way to pay for their advancement in the racing field.

But that’s not all…

Slightly Mad Studios also decided to bring on Austin as a consultant for Project CARS 2.

[Update: I was informed that the consultancy gig was negotiated back in November of 2016]

So how does it work that a website known for being critical of a developer and their game is now working for the developer in helping them make the game? Well, it’s explained that full disclosures will be in place and they’ll be providing regular updates to the community… updates that don’t breach the NDA, of course…

“In the interest of maintaining transparency with our readers, I am indeed paid by Slightly Mad Studios for my internal feedback, and they have provided me with a complimentary PC to experience the pre-release versions with as little performance hiccups as possible. However, I have it in writing that the abrasive style that fuels entries on PRC will not be hindered by our new partnership with Slightly Mad Studios, and there are no quotas enforced in regards to publishing X amount of viral marketing pieces.”

The really big news, however, is that Austin and the rest of PRC have not shied away from making it known that they support ethics in journalism. They support #GamerGate.

They’ve tipped us off to some ethical breaches by other outlets in the past, and they did an entire post about #GamerGate and their role in wanting better ethics in journalism regarding the sim racing community.

In a separate post, recently published on December 30th, 2016, Austin explains that the reason he supported #GamerGate was because he was tired of all the shills in gaming media and how dishonest and disruptive the medium of media journalism has become when it’s time for consumers to search up reputable reviews of games they plan to spend $60 through $80 on…

“Let me start off by saying that I’m a supporter of the #Gamergate movement. No, I don’t align myself with the few rogue man-children who made shitty fake Twitter accounts and emailed bogus bomb threats that perpetual victims such as Zoe Quinn and Anita Sarkeesian took seriously for reasons only God understands (it’s the internet, very few death threats are even the least bit genuine), but there’s no point in ignoring the elephant in the room: actual video game journalism has turned into third party marketing, and it really sucks.


“[…] many people on this planet, $80 is a lot of money to part with, and they rely on both mainstream and independent outlets to guide them in the right direction. I feel it’s wrong to fuck with those people, and blatantly lie about the product they’ll receive after busting open their respective wallets. And as a gamer, I enjoy reading about video games while taking a dump or chilling in bed – not sitting through extended length commercials thinly disguised as video game reviews.”

Those few “man-children” he mentions were put in the cross-hairs of the FBI, but the closest thing they found was that they were trolls with ties to the SomethingAwful forums. The FBI ended up wrapping up their case when it was discovered that there was no actionable evidence proving that #GamerGate was a harassment campaign.

Meanwhile, the hashtag has been used continually to inform and enlighten people about ethical breaches by various online media outlets. This has resulted in some outlets either culling the unethical members of their staff or improving their ethics policies, which just recently happened when Destructoid updated their policy to adhere to the FTC standards and include a termination clause for staff who commit an explicit conflict of interest.

PRC never shied away from telling it like it is, and Slightly Mad Studios found that to be an integral part of why they wanted to bring them on as consultants and to sponsor them in their real life racing endeavors.

Some people see it as selling out – as evident in the explosive comment section below the original post on PRC – others see it as the PRC crew growing up and moving forward with their dream. No matter where you stand, the one thing that stands head and shoulders above it all is that while #GamerGate has been blamed for nearly every ill that has happened socially, civilly and politically in the past three years, the one thing that you can absolutely blame on #GamerGate is that someone who supported it and was critical of a development studio, has joined that studio as a consultant because they took ethics in media journalism seriously. Now take that to the pit and torque it.

(Main image courtesy of

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Billy has been rustling Jimmies for years covering video games, technology and digital trends within the electronics entertainment space. The GJP cried and their tears became his milkshake. Need to get in touch? Try the Contact Page.

  • Ohh well……..

  • Sgt. Pickles

    Lol. PRC is such a garbage site.

  • Disqusted

    Pro-Gamergate, which probably basically means “someone who actually plays games”. Already a step in the right direction over hiring professional victims with little to no gaming experience or insight.

  • fnd

    How long until harassment campaign to take out pro gamergate critic?

  • Michael P

    lol For a second I thought “Pretend Racing Cars site” was a sarcastic dig at the Race Department or No Grip forums, hadn’t heard of that site before.

    Ethics/SJW’s are far less of a problem with racers because we have outlets like Team VVV and Inside Sim Racing for trustworthy reviews and the only thing SJW’s can demand is female avatars (which is reasonable), so no real issues there thankfully.

    Honestly wasn’t a big fan of P Cars because of the garbage tier FFB, hopefully these guys get into Slightly Mad about that. Turn 10 have supposedly got a guy to help with the FFB and to implement realistic linear steering so P Cars 2 is of no interest to me unless the FFB is fixed.

    • TheScienceEnthusiast1130

      @Michael P

      What is FFB?

      • Michael P

        It’s force feed back in racing wheels.

        • TheScienceEnthusiast1130


    • fnd

      “and the only thing SJW’s can demand is female avatars (which is reasonable), so no real issues there thankfully.”

      Except realism goes off the grid, unless you bump up female stats to make woman more competitive, like big airbags.

      • Michael P

        lol You mean the airbags that their mamma’s DNA gave ’em? ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)

        I hear you, on a world scale you can count the truly successful female race drivers on 1 hand. Michele Mouton, Shirley Muldowney, Sabine Schmitz and Rachelle Splat are the only ones I’m aware of but it’s just as unrealistic that world class manufacturers are handing the keys to F1/WRC/GT cars to us wannabes too.

        Also I’m no slouch when it comes to racers (generally between 10-20th percentile in times) but if the gamertag wasn’t a lie, had a “Laura” hand asses to a bunch of us one time online.

  • SevTheBear
    • TheScienceEnthusiast1130

      Beautiful image <3

  • TheScienceEnthusiast1130

    Awesome 🙂

  • This is actually quite a strange yet intriguing development. I was hardly ever a fan of driving games, but if this one turns out to be truly exceptional, they might see my money.

    • Same here.

      Last time I really played driving games were almost 15 years ago where when games arcades were still alive, I used to play some of the racing arcade cabinets that had the full steering wheels, pedals, gears etc., such as Sega Rally and Ridge Racer.

      Those were the days though, when games were completely free of all the SJW feminist nonsense we see today.

      • Sega Rally Championship and Daytona USA at the arcade were dream games. I loved the sound and atmosphere those games used to create while in the arcade. Haven’t been to an arcade in years, so I have no idea if today’s gen have anything remotely as engaging.

        But yeah… the olden days were the good days.

        • The best recent driving game I’ve played is DriveClub, and that’s not remotely as exciting as some of those old arcade racers were.

          Maybe we’ll see something positive come of Drift Stage. That one looks like it’s the neon-soaked modern equivalent to Ridge Racer.

          • 90’s Arcade Racer looks good, too.

            Personally I didn’t have much fun with DriveClub. It’s okay… I think the VR component makes it feel a little more immersive than the vanilla game, but it’s a hard game for me to enjoy. It reminds me of a prettier version of Project Gotham Racing.

          • I haven’t heard anything about 90s Arcade Racer in a long time, though. I’m actually a little bit worried.

            DriveClub isn’t terrible. It’s just not particularly great. Graphics are awesome, and the driving is just in that perfect spot of not being full arcade but not full simulator either. It’s just not a terribly exciting game, for what it is. Could have done with a better soundtrack. Or at least the ability to play my own music over the races.

        • Some of the best times I had. Because I am in the UK, I am only 1 hours drive away from London, which meant I would sometimes go to London’s Trocadero centre which had arcades as well as a massive Sega World, which had 3 floors of arcade machines.

          On one floor I could be playing Daytona or Sega Rally, once I finished I could go to another floor and play Street Fighter Alpha 3 or KOF’98, once I finished that I could play some Tekken 3, then throw in a puzzle game or even some DDR, or that Sonic Blastman punching game that was always in every arcade. Used to go on the awesome themed Pinball games as well.

          The atmosphere and sounds were brilliant and I do miss it.

          Haven’t been for over a decade now, I’m not even sure if it’s still there any more. But damn, those were some great times.

          • Getting to play arcade versions of games was also a big draw for me as well, because back then in the SNES and Genesis eras, the arcade versions of the games were always far better, for example Street Fighter 2, Mortal Kombat 2, Final Fight, etc., there was always that amazing feeling of the arcade version because you spent so much time on the 16-bit console versions at home.

            It was kind of the same in the PS1 and Saturn era, certain games like Sega Rally and Ridge Racer ran at 30fps on the consoles, but they were high quality 60fps in the arcade. Not sure if you’re old enough to remember but that was the case back then.

          • Oh yeah… that’s so true. I loved, loved, loved, the CPS1 games at the arcade, especially stuff like Aliens vs Predator and The Punisher & Nick Fury. The latter game is something I used to play a lot. It was one of my all-time favorite beat-’em-up games alongside Vendetta.

            But yeah… arcade games had that extra juice under the hood and so they felt more all-encompassing and atmospheric in the arcade surrounding.

            The echo from the speakers blaring loudly throughout the dimly-lit hall; the cheese-stained carpet giving an orange tint to the burgundy Hagopian designs; the feel of the re-adjusted foot pedals that have been slightly misaligned from over-use; the one steering column that locks after being broken; the fight stick that’s just been loosened up enough to pull off quarter-circle specials with ease, especially thanks to the light layer of popcorn grease on the top knob….

            Man, I miss the arcades.

        • Certainly, Daytona was a classic of Arcades! Even today we can see those machines around us lol

          Cruis’n USA/World I remember was great, with KOF 2000/03, SoulCalibur II, Tekken Tag and Marvel vs Capcom.