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Sony Closes Driveclub Developer Evolution Studios

Longstanding studio, which developed games across PS2, PS3 and PS4, is axed as part of wider restructure.

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Driveclub developer Evolution Studios has been closed by its parent company Sony. According to a statement issued to GameSpot, the closure was enacted as part of a restructure to its European studios.

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"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. It has been decided that Evolution Studio will close."

Sony said it will attempt to shift some developers from Evolution studios, which is also known for its work on the World Rally Championship and Motorstorm franchises, to other teams. It noted, however, that there will be some compulsory redundancies.

"Where possible we will try to reallocate people onto other projects," it said. "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.

"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."

Paul Rustchynsky, director of Driveclub, posted a message addressing the closure on Twitter.

"Before I sign off to take a break and spend some time with my family I just wanted to say a few words," he said. "Firstly, a big, big thank you to all the fans that have supported us throughout Evo's storied history; we couldn't have achieved what we did without you.

"Thank you to Sony who helped Evo rise to the top tier of racing game teams in the world, working as a first party team has been a fantastic experience.

"Last but certainly not least: A massive thank you to the whole team at Evo, it truly has been an honour to work with such a talented, passionate and determined group of people. I hope you will all join me in celebrating Evolution by picking up a pad, throwing on your favourite Evo game, and giving us a victory lap."

Evolution community manager Jamie Brayshaw also released a statement on Evolution's closure, confirming that Driveclub will continue to be supported by other teams at PlayStation.

"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.

"Community has always been at the heart of everything we've worked hard for at Evo. Your endless enthusiasm, support, honesty, and energy was always our biggest motivator. You all helped Evo to become one of the greatest racing gaming studios in the world, and we can't thank you enough for that. You will continue to inspire us while we all take a little break and work out what we're going to do next ... Thank you once more, for everything. The best is yet to come."

Since its launch in October 2014, Driveclub sold over 2 million copies. Although the game was initially criticised for being a barebones experience at launch, Evolution has released numerous content updates and, over time, it has improved significantly.

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