While they started as a bit more of a racing sim company, Codemasters transition to the pseudo-sim (not a hardcore racing sim but far from a simple arcade racer) has come with massive critical acclaim. The launch of the Dirt series from the Colin McRae Rally franchise and the transition of the sim TOCA Race Driver series to Grid were met with praise from critics and gamers alike.
Then 2012 happened. Someone at Codemasters went a little crazy and decided that more arcade-style racing games were what Codies needed to get to the next level. The result was Dirt: Showdown, F1 Race Stars and Grid 2 all being released in quick succession. The pseudo-sim gameplay had been replaced with arcadey minigames, shallow gameplay, and a disregard for proper racing and the laws of physics, respectively.
While the F1 franchise motored on, the rest of Codemasters’ IP floundered without a direction. The company’s move from sim to arcade was backfiring with critics and fans. So Codies did something rare for the games industry: They listened to their fans. The gamers who were fed up with the direction of Codemasters would get their way with the latest iteration of the Grid franchise. Getting away from the arcade/floaty driving style of Grid 2, Grid Autosport would be a return to the more sim style of racing that Grid and the Race Driver franchises were known for.