Few games this generation have given me as much fun over a long period of time as Driveclub. It wasn’t exactly a gift, but one thing is for sure: it kept on giving. Yet, the studio behind it is no more, as Sony mentioned in a statement reported by GamesIndustry.
“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.”
Personally, I’m absolutely stunned. Driveclub had a rocky start due to problems with the servers, but Evolution Studios turned it around in a masterful way, producing an enormous amount of new features and content, and building it up to one of the best racing games of this generation.
This is my filtered and composed reaction. You can read the unfiltered one here.
Following the closure of Lionhead by Microsoft, it’s difficult not to wonder if something is going on in the UK, pushing the unexpected shuttering of major local studios with a long and glorious history.
We also wonder, at least for now, what will happen to Driveclub VR, that was showcased just a few days ago at GDC, and for which more information were promised to come at E3.
One thing is for sure: I will miss the work of Paul Rustchynsky and of his team. Our hearts are with them, and we hope that they will soon find a new studio where to express their undeniable talent.