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Sony Has Closed Evolution Studios

End of an era.

Well this news seems to have come from out of nowhere but Sony has confirmed to Gamesindustry.biz that it is closing down Evolution Studios, whose latest game was Driveclub. The studio itself was first formed in 1999, and released World Rally Championship on PS2 on 2001. This was followed by four more WRC games on that platform before Evolution moved onto the Motorstorm series on PS3 and Vita.

Those of you who were waiting for a Driveclub 2 or a new Motorstorm will be disappointed, because unless Sony brings in another studio to work on those IPs they look to be over. Sony’s full statement is below.

Regular reviews take place throughout SCE Worldwide Studios, ensuring that the resources that we have in such a competitive landscape can create and produce high quality, innovative and commercially viable projects.

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.

As a result, it has been decided that Evolution Studio will close.

It is regrettable that this decision will lead to compulsory redundancies. 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.

Where possible we will try to reallocate people onto other projects. If appropriate opportunities are not possible within the company, we will assist staff in any way we can, including speaking with local employers and with other development companies.

Evolution has been an important part of SCE Worldwide Studios for over 10 years – working on ground-breaking racing titles like WRC, Motorstorm and DRIVECLUB.

This decision should not take anything away from the great work that Evolution has produced.

Update: Paul Rustchynsky, now formerly of Evolution has released a small statement on Twitter.

Source: GamesIndustry

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46 Comments
  1. TheShepanator
    Member
    Since: Nov 2009

    That’s really rubbish. Motorstorm Pacific Rift is my favourite racing game of all time.
    They should have carried that on instead of going for their ‘dream project’ and kind of sh*tting the bed in the process.

    Comment posted on 22/03/2016 at 15:40.
  2. JR.
    Member
    Since: Apr 2013

    Well that’s unfortunate. Driveclub was brilliant.

    Comment posted on 22/03/2016 at 15:54.
  3. MOVE
    Member
    Since: Mar 2010

    Very disappointing and surprising!

    While they did have some issues in the last couple of years with Motorstorm 3 bombing and DriveClub having difficulties, I actually didn’t see this coming.

    And the “and have decided to make some changes to the European studios structure.”, does not sound good at all!

    Comment posted on 22/03/2016 at 15:54.
  4. MOVE
    Member
    Since: Mar 2010

    … and this now means that Sony have cut of WipeOut, Motorstorm and DriveClub in the last 3-4 years. What gives?

    Comment posted on 22/03/2016 at 15:56.
    • bunimomike
      Member
      Since: Jul 2009

      Sony has to be more fiscally responsible and I guess this is part of it.

      Comment posted on 22/03/2016 at 16:18.
      • ron_mcphatty
        Member
        Since: Sep 2008

        Good finances are one thing, closing such popular studios is another! This is such a shame, Evo have put out absolutely stellar games, I hope those guys can enjoy their downtime and move on to bigger and better things. Booo Sony, thumbs down, angry emoji, growly noise and a fart in their general direction!

        Comment posted on 22/03/2016 at 16:26.
      • JesseDeya
        Member
        Since: Jan 2010

        When fiscal success is tied to brand recognition, it seems strange to shutter two studios that produce iconic racing titles synonymous with Playstation. Wipeout needs no explanation, but Motorstorm was/is an excellent series and held a special place for early PS3 owners as THE showcase game for friends and sheer fun.

        Driveclub, whilst a new IP, had rightfully earned back any respect it may have lost on launch, and in fact far exceeded what most people expected. With such a good standing hard earned it seems crazy to bin the IP at time when VR is positioned to launch and racing games are a PERFECT match.

        /smh

        Comment posted on 24/03/2016 at 21:43.
    • Zimsalabim
      Member
      Since: Aug 2010

      What gives? The death of AAA games, as the budget is now split between VR and the rest. Sony can’t do (afford) it all, so something has to give.

      Look at the asymmetric success of Rocket League (revenue vs. dev costs) and then compare to DC.

      There’s your answer. Sad. But true.

      Comment posted on 22/03/2016 at 19:29.
  5. Pixel_nme
    Member
    Since: Mar 2014

    Nooooooo i absolutely love the Motorstorm series and was really hoping for a PS4 release,also really enjoy my time with Driveclub beautiful game with amazing support still have loads to get through,sad times hopefully Motorstorm lives on in some way and the staff find employment swiftly :(

    Comment posted on 22/03/2016 at 15:59.
    • camdaz
      Member
      Since: May 2009

      So were most of their other games.
      One of my all time favourite Studios, a real shame.

      Comment posted on 22/03/2016 at 17:36.
      • Pixel_nme
        Member
        Since: Mar 2014

        Ditto indeed.

        Comment posted on 22/03/2016 at 20:37.
  6. Tuffcub
    On the naughty step.
    Since: Dec 2008

    So I guess we can wave goodbye to Driveclub VR…

    Comment posted on 22/03/2016 at 16:11.
    • TSBonyman
      Member
      Since: Dec 2009

      “Driveclub will live on under the care of the awesome team at Sony and we hope it will continue to thrive in their safe hands and with support from all of you, the players, our community”
      Jamie Brayshaw’s Twitter (community manager at Evo)

      So, nothing unconfirmed as of yet..

      Comment posted on 22/03/2016 at 16:34.
    • Bigboner
      Banned
      Since: Mar 2016

      This comment is hidden.

      Comment posted on 22/03/2016 at 21:55.
      • The Lone Steven
        Never heard of him.
        Since: May 2010

        Because Tuffcub knew that by disliking Driveclub would cause their downfall. Damn that devious man! I swear, he is an evil genius sometimes.

        Comment posted on 22/03/2016 at 22:03.
      • Avenger
        Member
        Since: Oct 2012

        Yep, Tuffcub did it all along with the community. Sony, PlayStation and Evolution had nothing to do with this. Nothing.

        Comment posted on 22/03/2016 at 22:11.
      • The Lone Steven
        Never heard of him.
        Since: May 2010

        First, it was Evolution. Next, it shall be NAUGHTY DOG! DUN DUN DUUUUUUUUUUUUUU!

        Comment posted on 22/03/2016 at 22:17.
      • Tuffcub
        On the naughty step.
        Since: Dec 2008

        I’m a bear not a dog. At least get one part of your criticisms factually correct.

        Comment posted on 23/03/2016 at 09:21.
      • double-o-dave
        Member
        Since: Nov 2008

        Response of the week… right there above me!

        Comment posted on 23/03/2016 at 09:43.
      • Tuffcub
        On the naughty step.
        Since: Dec 2008

        Comment posted on 24/03/2016 at 09:10.
  7. TSBonyman
    Member
    Since: Dec 2009

    Funny isn’t it, last week Sony were holding an event for former employees of Lionhead, then this happens.
    I’m shocked and saddened, hope all the folks at Evolution find new jobs soon.

    Comment posted on 22/03/2016 at 16:18.
  8. homerjnick
    Member
    Since: Jun 2010

    Whilst it is a tad sad the simple fact was Driveclub was an absolute mess when first released…who was to blame for that?

    Did Sony push Evolution to release it when Evolution said it wasn’t ready or did Evolution say it was ready and then realize how butchered it was?

    I feel for the guys who will lose their jobs but the blame as to what happened to Driveclub’s launch has to land somewhere…if only this served as a reminder to all other studios to stop releasing half-completed games that require several patches just to get them in a working state!

    Shall be interesting to see if No Mans Sky, Mirrors Edge Catalyst & Uncharted 4 require massive amount of patches given that they were all delayed so they could “polish” them up…I suspect not.

    In today’s market if you release a shoddy game expect to have dire consequences…pity as I am not convinced the blame lies with Evolution and after many patches it is an excellent racer!

    Comment posted on 22/03/2016 at 16:42.
    • Bigboner
      Banned
      Since: Mar 2016

      This comment is hidden.

      Comment posted on 22/03/2016 at 21:57.
      • The Lone Steven
        Never heard of him.
        Since: May 2010

        Really?

        Because i recall a lot of people making a lot of noise when MS made Tomb Raider 2 a timed exclusive. Not what i would call a free pass and there has been games on both platforms that have beeen torn apart for needing giant patches.

        And no, TSA is not biased or working for MS etc…

        Comment posted on 22/03/2016 at 22:05.
      • Avenger
        Member
        Since: Oct 2012

        Again, correct. There were just some hiccups for a couple of weeks. It wasn’t like half the online features had to be disabled for an extended period of time and the PS+ version pulled from the store for several months. Oh wait.

        Comment posted on 22/03/2016 at 22:18.
      • Starman
        Member
        Since: Jul 2011

        There were plenty of articles about the Halo MCC online woes. Though how a game on a different platform affects this I don’t know.

        Comment posted on 22/03/2016 at 23:07.
      • The Lone Steven
        Never heard of him.
        Since: May 2010

        I find your lack of faith in the Sonystar to be disturbing, Starman.

        Comment posted on 22/03/2016 at 23:09.
      • homerjnick
        Member
        Since: Jun 2010

        I think The Lone Steven needs to go and review all the issues with Driveclub…it may seem a distant memory but it had huge problems for a lot longer than 2 weeks.

        Comment posted on 23/03/2016 at 09:02.
      • The Lone Steven
        Never heard of him.
        Since: May 2010

        Or i was making a Darth Vader reference out of the blue and pointing out to Bigboner that both platforms have had games which got torn apart due to the state it was released in.

        Comment posted on 23/03/2016 at 10:28.
      • bunimomike
        Member
        Since: Jul 2009

        Driveclub’s launch was a mess. One of the worst we’ve seen and definitely one of the worst when it came to the media-fallout from it all.

        Actually, I’m hard pressed to think of a worse launch in recent years. AC: Unity was laughable but fixed quickly in comparison.

        Comment posted on 23/03/2016 at 10:38.
      • homerjnick
        Member
        Since: Jun 2010

        The Lone Steven…I was actually referring to your first reply to my OP…not your last post!

        Comment posted on 23/03/2016 at 17:22.
  9. alistair6969
    Member
    Since: Aug 2013

    I found it sad & ironic they closing them down the fact driveclub was delay didn’t help.

    The question is what going to happen to driveclub itself with the servers will the game go the same way?

    Comment posted on 22/03/2016 at 16:54.
  10. tactical20
    Member
    Since: May 2010

    Should have done Motorstorm 4 instead of Driveclub.

    Comment posted on 22/03/2016 at 17:05.
    • JR.
      Member
      Since: Apr 2013

      No way. Im glad they did Driveclub. There are hardly any new IP’s as it is this gen.

      Comment posted on 22/03/2016 at 17:26.
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