Seeing all of the repeated questions being asked over and over (and over) again. I decided that we as a community should try and hopefully help take a bit of a load off the Moderators, previous WMD members, devs, and Ian himself by creating this FAQ regarding Project CARS 2. In this thread you'll be able to find answers to most of the common questions and/or responses people have about this announcement including quotes from Ian and other staff/wmd members. I've combed through all 50+ pages of the announcement thread as well as a bunch of other threads and will continue to keep this thread updated as much as possible.
Project CARS 2 "For Dummies"
Q: What is it?
A: SMS has announced that they are planning to begin development on Project CARS 2. They have set up a WMD funding site with information as well as membership levels. Note that this is an announcement of development, not that a game is going to drop within months. Many game studios do not announce anywhere close to this early in the development cycle. However, since SMS is being different by allowing the public to assist in the game's development through the WMD portal, an announcement needs to be made this early to give the public a chance to get it from the very beginning. Think of this as less of a "we're going to release PCars2" and more of a "PCars has been enough of a success for us to want to make a sequel".
Q: PCars2 already? PCars1 was just released!
A: Believe it or not, this is actually how game development works. Whether it be SMS with PCars, MS with the Forza series, even games like Call of Duty and Grand Theft Auto start the next installment of the series soon after the release of the previous game (sometimes even before).
A: PCars 1 is finished from a production standpoint. Additional content and bugfixes will continue to be released. SMS has a team of roughly 40 people working on PCars 1 still correcting issues and prepping/finishing DLC content. In fact, since Project Cars 2 was announced, SMS has also announced Project CARS patch 2.0 announced Project CARS patch 3.0 containing over 75 over 140 fixes, adjustments and additions across all platforms.
A: Not everyone can help. A person who is a texture artist has no idea how to code the FFB system. The person(s) who designed the GUI and menus haven't the slightest clue how to code AI. To paraphrase Star Trek: "Damnit Jim I'm a 3d artist not a code developer!"
From my own experiences, 40 people on a post-release piece of software is extensive. Especially when it consists of 1/3rd of your total development team. (I work in the IT industry and deal with many pieces of software from many different companies.)
Q: Isn't it too soon to release a sequel?
A: PCars2 isn't going to be released tomorrow. It is being built essentially from scratch which means it may take years before a product ever hits the shelves/steam.
Q: I just bought PCars 1? I feel ripped off!
A: You needn't worry. Project Cars is still being supported and will still have lots of content on the way both free and paid DLC. In addition to that, PCars2 will still be a couple years away from release so you'll still get plenty of great playtime in on the first installment of the series.
A: It's the unfortunate reality that trying to package everything under the sun into a game would extend it's development time indefinitely. As a result sometimes features that were planned or even announced may not make it into the final game. Project Cars is not the first game to be subject to this reality and it definitely won't be the last.
Another way to answer this question with a counter question: Would you rather play Project Cars 1 now sans a few features. Or would you rather put up with delay after delay and have the game turn into a Duke Nukem Forever style marathon development that may or may not ever see the light of day?
A: It's less about funding the title and more about allowing the community the opportunity to help, in a significant way, with the development of the game.
A: The price points are set where they are to help prevent trolls and other people who aren't actually serious about helping from being a big problem. You have to want to help if you're willing to shell out serious money to be a WMD member.
Q: I don't have a PC. Can I help develop on the XB1/PS4 platform?
A: Tentatively, the Silver toolkit will be required. It will likely depend on how things go with Microsoft and XB1 Early Access to determine that though.
A: You will still have the opportunity to influence the game's direction. Have input on the design, modes, features, and everything else. The only thing you would be unable to do is test.
Q: How long are the signups for WMD going to last?
A: It has been announced that signups for pCars2 will be closed on 9/1/2015.
Q: Will signups for WMD be re-opened in the future?
A: Not likely. As it stands the current quota of members in WMD for pCars 2 has been met.
Q: Can I upgrade my tier at a later time (ie: start with Bronze and upgrade to Gold)?
Q: Are there going to be real racing drivers helping develop PCars2?
Q: Can I get a tl:dr version of this FAQ?
Well, it isn't exactly short, but user ermo did a fantastic job here.
Again, I will continue to update this thread as more information arises. If community members would like to post questions and their associated answers (from a reliable source) below I will add them to the FAQ as well. (And credit the appropriate people.)
Note: All quotes where trimmed for context and to remove names.
Thanks to ermo for the tl;dr rundown.
Thanks to ermo, stux & Umer Ahmad & for additional questions and info contributions.
A special thanks to Ian and the WMD crew for providing the answers and reference material cited here.
P.S. To any naysayers/whiners who even think of trying to crash this thread: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z7X2_V60YK8