Sony closes Evolution Studios, the company responsible for Driveclub

By midian182
Mar 23, 2016
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  1. Sony has announced that it is closing UK-based games developer Evolution Studios, the company behind the MotorStorm series and Driveclub. The Japanese tech giant said the closure is part of its European restructuring efforts and follows reviews of “short and medium term” plans.

    "As part of this process we have reviewed and assessed all current projects and plans for the short and medium term and have decided to make some changes to the European studios structure. It has been decided that Evolution Studio will close,” Sony said in a statement.

    Sony confirmed that the action will result in some compulsory redundancies, but the company promised that it will try to find places for employees on other projects wherever possible. Evolution already let 55 people go last year after Sony moved focus toward supporting Driveclub as a service.

    Evolution Studios was founded in Cheshire in 1999 by Martin Kenwright and Ian Hetherington. The company was responsible for the successful World Rally Championship games on the PlayStation 2 and the MotorStorm series on the PlayStation 3 (and MotorStorm: RC on the Vita). In 2007, Evolution was acquired by Sony.

    It was the studio’s last title, Driveclub, where Evolution ran into problems. Originally meant to be a launch title for the PlayStation 4 in 2013, the racer was delayed by almost a year. Once it did arrive, its online features – a key component of the game - didn’t work for many people.

    Despite the shaky start, Driveclub received numerous upgrades and patches since its launch, improving it to the point where many consider it to be one of the better racing games available. Evolution announced last July that Driveclub had surpassed two million sales.

    Evolution was also working on a PlayStation VR version of Driveclub; it’s unclear whether this will now be abandoned or moved to another Sony division.

    It’s been confirmed by Evolution community manager Jamie Brayshaw that Driveclub will continue to be supported by other PlayStation teams. "It's the end of an incredible era for Evolution Studios," Brayshaw wrote. "Driveclub will live on under the care of the awesome team at PlayStation and we hope it will continue to thrive in their safe hands and with continued support from all of you, the players, our community."

    March has been a bad month for the UK games industry; in addition to Evolution’s closure, it was reported that Microsoft had canceled Fable Legends and was in discussions to shutter the company responsible for the series, Lionhead Studios.

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  2. ghostf1re

    ghostf1re TS Enthusiast Posts: 77   +35

    I don't own a PS4, I own an Xbox One. The reason for this is simply because I enjoy the Xbox and I have more friends that have the platform. Don't get me wrong, I'm a Playstation fan too, I just don't own one as of now. Maybe I'll buy the PS4.5 or whatever they are going to call it. Regardless, I played Driveclub when it came out and I did not like it even a little bit. The graphics were cool, but graphics alone do not make a racing game. I have always been a die hard Forza fan, so you can consider my opinion a little biased if you want. Forza is a far deeper game than Driveclub ever was and the way each vehicle handled along with the ability to tune the vehicles is the biggest thing about Forza. Their attention to detail on each specific car is what sets it apart from all other racing games. The Forza vs Driveclub debate was just stupid in my opinion from the start. Forza is for the hardcore racers. Driveclub is for the people who like racing games, but don't need a lot of depth. Just load up, hop in a car, drive. That's my style and my opinion about the game.
  3. davislane1

    davislane1 TS Evangelist Posts: 3,379   +2,167

    It's arcade vs simulator. The only people who didn't like it were people expecing NFS or Gran Turismo.

    As an arcade is one of the best on the market.
  4. Kevin82485

    Kevin82485 TS Booster Posts: 159   +41

    This is a shame. Drive Club may have been a hapless game when it was released, but with the extensive updates to the game and tons of additional content added to it (tracks, cars, and even motorcycles), Drive Club turned into a phenomenal game. I really enjoy playing it.

    I have an Xbox One as well, and have played every Forza game that has ever been released. I enjoy Drive Club just as much as Forza for the fact that they are different and offer different styles of play. I like simulator-ish games like Forza (Forza is not a true simulator, I don't care what you say), and I like arcade-ish racers like Drive Club (there are some levels of simulation in Drive Club).

    It leaves the future of Drive Club in uncertainty, but I would highly recommend Drive Club, its season pass, and bike expansion to anyone who own a PS4.

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