Sony to close DriveClub developer Evolution Studios

After of series of mishaps during the development of DriveClub, Sony is shutting down Evolution Studios.

Sony confirmed today morning that they’ll be closing UK-based developer Evolution Studios’ doors because of “changes to the European studio structure.”

Originally slated as a launch title for Sony’s PS4, DriveClub was delayed nearly a year before hitting store shelves. Unfortunately, the game was bogged down with matchmaking issues and bugs for weeks. By the time things were up and running, Evolution lost gamer’s attention, and DriveClub struggled to gain traction.

DriveClub-Bikes-59

The developer fought to keep DriveClub relevant. They released a free “PS+” edition of the game to give PlayStation gamers a taste of what they were missing and even launched DriveClub Bikes, which added motorcycle racing to the mix. Despite Evolution’s efforts over the past two years, the studio was unable to make themselves valuable to the PlayStation brand.

Sony released an official statement on the matter:

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.

Just weeks ago, Microsoft closed UK-based developer Lionhead Studios after their MOBA Fable Legends remained in development hell. Following the announcement, Sony held a meet-and-greet in the UK to speak with Lionhead Studio staff who were affected by the closing. Now that Sony has closed their UK-based studios just two weeks later, it seems it was merely​ a PR stunt and nothing more.

 
What do you think of Sony closing down Evolution Studios? Did you enjoy DriveClub after Evolution ironed out the bugs? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below or on Twitter!

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