Sony Shuts Down Driveclub Developer Evolution Studios

Sony Shuts Down Driveclub Developer Evolution Studios

Evolution Studios, the developers behind Motorstorm and Driveclub, have been shut down, Sony confirmed to GamesIndustry.biz. Sony told the publication the decision came after a regular review of every developer within Sony to ensure "a competitive landscape can create and produce high quality, innovative and commercially viable projects".

"It is regrettable that this decision will lead to compulsory redundancies," the company said as part of a statement. "We accept that this decision will mean that we risk losing high calibre staff but by focusing on other Studios that already have exciting new projects in development we believe we will be in a stronger position going forward and able to offer the best possible content of the highest quality for our consumers."

It's unclear what this means for the future of Driveclub, the studio's last game. Only last night, game director Paul Rustchynsky was retweeting screens fans had taken in-game. Driveclub has still regularly updated with new content, and Evolution was working on a VR version.

Evolution even showed off Driveclub VR at GDC last week.

We've asked Sony for details on the future of Driveclub, as the company's current statement doesn't include details on possible future development. Evolution says the game is "in the hands of PlayStation," suggesting an internal team may continue work on it.

A little over a year ago, roughly half the studio was laid off, following the game's shaky launch.

Ugh, how good would Motorstorm have looked on PS4??

[GamesIndustry.biz]


Comments

    #ColinWasRight

    Should have closed them a lot earlier. Driveclub was suppose to be a launch game then got delayed a full year and it was still a mess,

      And ended up being absolutely superb.

        Agreed. Awesome way to go out though. Another publisher might have just shat out Driveclub and closed the studio, but at least Evo was allowed to delay the release and then follow up launch by continuing to work on the game, producing one of the best season passes in memory and a polished experience that is second to none.

        Yeah, it had some launch issues, but the game is spectacular now!
        I am gutted to see them close, was hoping for a Drive Club sequel with PSVR.

        Genuine question - was it really superb?

        I remember hearing a lot about the lackluster car list, no customization and even complaints about the racing and events themselves.

        It does look pretty though.

          Car list was good, although initially it was pretty much all European cars - they added some Japanese / US cars later on. According to the link below, there were 50 original cars, plus 15 added through patches or free DLC downloads. That's hardly lacklustre, and then there are another 40+ available in the various DLC packs. Taking it to 108. That's obviously less than something like Gran Turismo, but the other side of that is that it doesn't have as much filler as GT (dull hatchbacks and family sedans and 87 different Skylines etc).

          https://www.gtplanet.net/forum/threads/available-cars-in-driveclub-including-dlc-cars.322067/

          Customization - nope (apart from changing the paint job), but who cares? Again, it's not Gran Turismo / Forza / whatever. It's closer to something like Race Driver GRID. The actual racing is heaps of fun. Handling is fun (again - it's not a simulation type game), the AI is pretty average, but that seems to be the case in most driving games. Some events sh*t me (e.g. the drift ones), but that could just be a matter of personal taste - there are probably people out there who love the drift events.

          And yeah, it looks amazing. Although in some cases I think it goes too far in the name of showing off - there are some occasions when the weather effects get to be so much that you can barely even see the road, especially at night (seriously - if you're putting on a night time car race somewhere, maybe set up some lights along the track?).

            Maybe I've been spoilt with the likes of Forza but yes, that does sound like an underwhelming number of cars IMO. Nothing wrong with having hatchbacks and sedans in a racing game either. Id say quite a lot of people care about the lack of customization, it was constantly talked about pre and post release but I guess people will always find something to complain about.

            I remember watching some comparison videos of Driveclub and Horizon 2 and it looked incredible in comparison so I cant fault it there. Hopefully they didnt go the FM6 route and add cars without headlights and still expect you to complete night races..

            Cheers for the detailed reply mate.

    Being owned by a publisher sucks. Shutting companies down and putting people out of work without a second thought all because it makes the books look a little nicer.

      Although when you aren't owned by a publisher you can end up like Star Citizen, basically living hand to mouth and sweating on continuing funding just to get your game finished. Publishers are mostly good for setting budgets and deadlines. They can be blinkered by profit, yes, but unless you are a not-for-profit then you probably should be.

        I think Star Citizen may be a bad example... they've pulled in over $100M. If they're living hand-to-mouth then they're being disgustingly mismanaged.

        But generally you're right. A company is often indie and limping from contract to contract or they're owned by a publisher who could shut them down in an instant (it's not quite as willy-nilly as that, but it sure can feel like it).

        Gameloft recently announced improved profits based in large part on shutting studios. If the studio's game is already available for purchase then shutting them down makes your numbers look good because your expenses instantly drop. Hell, there are plenty more developers where they came from.

        At least when an indie studio struggles and fails it feels human. These closures just feel cold.

      If Evolution had been independent, they would probably have shut down due to (a) missing their original deadline by a year then (b) having an EXTREMELY shaky launch.

      The game was fixed later, but if they hadn't had publisher money backing them up the game may never have been released.

    Man, a Motorstorm game on PS4 would have been mental!

      Perhaps it could've been like what was depicted in the trailer for the original...

      I would be froffin for that one.

        Agreed, this thought keeps coming back to me whenever I think about the trailers put out for the PS3 all those years ago.

    Damn, hopefully they can reform under a new company. Their technical skill is second to none. Maybe Forza needs a third developer!

    For anyone who doesn't already have Driveclub, it's currently on sale for $14.95 on PSN which includes the game and the first season pass. Add the Bikes expansion for $12 and that's an awful lot of racing goodness for not much money.

    Last edited 23/03/16 8:46 am

      $14.95!!? That's insanely cheap! Get it, get it, get it now!

    First Studio Liverpool, now Evolution. Two standout studios, and two standout (albeit niche) and 'traditional' PlayStation franchises, killed... No more wipeout, now no more motorstorm. Sad day.

    Awwwwwwwwwwwww :/
    I always wanted to see a PS4 Motorstorm. I didn't mind Driveclub - shaky though the launch was, once they ironed it out it was a solid racing game. But yeah, always wanted to see a Motorstorm game running on the PS4. Real shame :/

    It probably didn't help that they were trying to sell a full priced online game (which would pretty much require a PS+ subscription to properly appreciate), after Sony had said that all PS+ subscribers would get a version of it for free.

    While the PS+ version wasn't available at launch, I never considered buying the game because I wanted to see what was included in the free version first.

      Delaying the free PS+ version didn't help, but the game was never full priced for PS+ subscribers - the cheap upgrade to the full game ("full game for PS+" or whatever they called it) was available for PS+ subscribers from the start, well before the free version finally arrived. That's what I bought... I think I paid a little under $30 for the full game, and that was months before the free version came out.

      That's probably part of the problem - the game sold over 2m copies before the PS+ version finally came out, but I suspect a lot of those would have been that cheap PS+ upgrade or other cheap versions in various sales. So 2m+ sales probably didn't translate into as much revenue as it otherwise might have.

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