Onrush Developer Codemaster Evo Hit By Layoffs

Despite some rather positive reviews from critics, Onrush really didn’t do well at the tills. The innovative racer genre mashup charted poorly in its first week and dropped out of the charts soon after, leading to some hefty price cuts just a few weeks after release.

Sadly, this has led to Codemasters Evo – who were previously Evolution Studios under Sony and rescued from closure by Codemasters back in 2016 – seeing a hefty round of layoffs, which anonymous sources have described to Eurogamer as the studio being “decapitated”.

Senior staff have been fired or asked to re-interview for their positions, which includes game director Paul “Rushy” Rustchynsky, who has been the face of the studio for the last few years. While it sounds like the rank and file have been kept largely intact, these reports also say that junior staff and newer hires have also been affected.

The general feeling is that Evo will now have to pivot more in line with Codemasters’ general plan, either through working on other Codemasters titles (which would make sense while the studio finds its footing once again), or on less risky projects.

It’s a real shame to see, as the studio have produced some great games that, whether for long technical issues at launch or risky pushes outside the arcade racer, simply haven’t seen their rewards at the tills.

Our thoughts go out to all those affected, and hope they land on their feet soon.

Source: Eurogamer

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  1. That first sentence could probably be rewritten as “Despite inexplicably positive reviews from critics, everyone had decided it was a bit shit and didn’t bother with it”

    The beta probably didn’t help things. Give people a chance to play it and realise it’s terrible before release? Bad plan. And by the time it was released, nobody was going to believe the reviews.

    I’m guessing it’s not worth buying at a bargain price now? Presumably nobody playing it?

  2. Codemasters took a risk on new IP and a new idea to boot and it failed. Sadly that is what can happen and the results were inevitable after poor sales numbers. Codemasters not that long ago were in trouble themselves before “saving” Evolution so it is to be expected that they couldn’t plug the missing takings for long. Sadly it will probably put Codies off trying something radically new again soon.

  3. I’ve loved it – massive shame it didn’t find more fans. Hoping the folks affected can find something soon.

  4. I tried the beta/demo and enjoyed it but didn’t think there was enough depth to keep me interested long term.

    Shame to hear about the lay-offs, never nice.

  5. This is sad news but I’m glad the studio’s still open so hopefully they can rebuild and move forward.
    Onrush was always going to be a tough sell, given it’s niche within a niche flavour and as fun as it is I only picked it up after the free weekend and recent sale due to concerns over longevity.
    I’ve been having a blast jumping in every now and then since I did get it and for now there seems to be enough people playing.
    I do think they’re a very talented bunch of developers but some poor business decisions have hurt them.
    DriveClub still is an amazing game but it’s launch issues, delays and late Plus version dominated public opinion to the point where even the sublime bikes expansion couldn’t save it when everything was running smoothly.
    This feels all too similar to the Blur situation but in this case the studio still lives to fight another day.

  6. My problem with the onrush beta wasnt that it wasnt fun, because it was. But that it felt more like a multiplayer mode in a bigger game, like say Dirt or whatever. It just didnt feel like a whole game to me… Which would have been ok if it was 20€ or so, but for full price? Still seems a crazy idea to me…

    • Agreed, the modes seemed like an extra tacked on to a proper racing game. The just didn’t make the racing game to go with it, which seems really odd. It would have took a few weeks to create a traditional racing game, all they needed was a lap counter and a start line but the seemed to be 100% against that.

  7. I can’t say i’m surprised. Onrush seemed like a very odd gamble for a studio known for it’s racing games.

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