Sony Closes Driveclub Developer Evolution Studios

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

194 Comments
Please use a html5 video capable browser to watch videos.
This video has an invalid file format.
00:00:00
Sorry, but you can't access this content!
Please enter your date of birth to view this video

By clicking 'enter', you agree to GameSpot's
Terms of Use and Privacy Policy

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.

No Caption Provided

"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.

Got a news tip or want to contact us directly? Email news@gamespot.com

Join the conversation
There are 194 comments about this story
194 Comments  RefreshSorted By 
GameSpot has a zero tolerance policy when it comes to toxic conduct in comments. Any abusive, racist, sexist, threatening, bullying, vulgar, and otherwise objectionable behavior will result in moderation and/or account termination. Please keep your discussion civil.

Avatar image for Revl8n
Revl8n

Drive club was only 2 years late...in other words it is deserved.

Avatar image for ps3gamer1234
ps3gamer1234

I wanted a PS4 MotorStorm reboot, now that will never happen. Imagine the mud and dirt and crashes with PS4 power.

Avatar image for HIZLO
HIZLO

@ps3gamer1234: I couldn't agree more.

Avatar image for letsgame82
letsgame82

Xbox don't even know how to strike back, the old Xbox would've offered those employees a job on twitter just like Playstation did lol Phil sucking the banter out of console gaming

Avatar image for brazprince
BrazPrince

Cant say im sad but Damn sonyy

Avatar image for AyatollaofRnR
AyatollaofRnR

Unfortunately Drive Club was a bit of a disaster, even though it was improved over time. It launched in a poor state and didn't end up doing what Sony had hoped.

Avatar image for livedreamplay
LiveDreamPlay

@AyatollaofRnR: Still brought the cash in big time. But even if we label it as a failed project, it still doesn't make sense from this perspective, all the other games they made were successful...

Avatar image for Rufus_the_rat
Rufus_the_rat

Don't worry, the upcoming VR will totally compensate for Sony closing half its first party studios.

Even though racing games are probably the best use of current VR tech possible.

Who needs good games when the gimmick alone will suffice, right?

Avatar image for livedreamplay
LiveDreamPlay

@Rufus_the_rat: The gimmick alone won't suffice though, Xbox proved that time and again, and I'm pretty sure Sony knows that. We'll see what happens.

Avatar image for MATERAZZI_23
MATERAZZI_23

Hmmm that's just too bad...

Just wanna say thank you for the first MotorStorm, it was a memorable experience for me.

Avatar image for nurnberg
nurnberg

It makes sense... Why keep people who are bad at their job? It took like three months for Driveclub to work properly. This is beyond terrible. This broken game embarrassed Sony as it was a PS4 exclusive.

Avatar image for neoprime
NeoPrime

Shame, their work on the WRC series created one of the best rally series of all time, even better than Colin McRae IMO, and the Motorstorm trilogy were not as good but still great, I didn't think Driveclub was their best efforts but certainly not bad enough to warrant closing the studio down.

Avatar image for Dcyple3000
Dcyple3000

Its a studio restructuring. Not closing cause the studio is bleeding the company like LionHead was DriveClub is not going anywhere. it sold to well. on top of that, most won't lose their jobs and if they do it says in the article they will assist in talking to devs to get them a place.

Fanboys are stupid i swear.

Avatar image for Immendorf
Immendorf

Hi karma, hi ps fanboys

The exclusive driving game sold OVER 2 MILLION on a gaming platform that has sold OVER 40 MILLION

There fixed it for you, next time when you guys try yo brag about numbers, make sure you also mention the player base. Cause 38 million skipping an exclusive driving game (and tbh there weren't many alternatives to play too) is a lot worth to mention than that

Avatar image for RSM-HQ
RSM-HQ

@Immendorf: I think you need to take a games budget into consideration. This game clearly feel short, on both sales and critical expectations. Mostly due to how much money was thrown into its production. Big money doesn't fix a mediocre developer. Sony would be wise to learn this lesson in future.

Bloodborne however sold about the same with FROM and SJS being very happy how it sold.

So as mentioned, depends on the budget.

Avatar image for livedreamplay
LiveDreamPlay

@Immendorf: You are so off track it's hilarious (no pun intended). In console gaming, over 2 million is great for an exclusive. Forza Horizon 2 (which came exactly around that time) sold 1.3 million, Forza 5 sold 2 million (it was a launch product), so yeah, Driveclub did great in sales for how delayed and flawed it was. You presenting facts that confirm that and attaching them to negative statements is really funny for me, made my morning...

Avatar image for barom
barom

Ahh, was afraid of this after seeing the DriveClub launch. Kept hoping for a new Motorstorm.

Avatar image for deactivated-5afeea4d8be41

Oh my god the sky is falling! Now Sony are closing their studios. Does that mean Sony are going to stop making consoles. It's the beginning of the end!

WON'T SOMEBODY PLEASE THINK OF THE CHILDREN!

End sarcasm*

Avatar image for lrdfancypants
lrdfancypants

Man, it seems like there is a studio closing every other day.

Avatar image for xenomorphalien
XenomorphAlien

@lrdfancypants: It is the sign of Ragnarok.

Avatar image for lrdfancypants
lrdfancypants

@xenomorphalien:

I wouldn't want to work in this industry.

Avatar image for xenomorphalien
XenomorphAlien

This sucks. Although their last game was a bit of a dud, at least they showed they were committed to supporting their games against the odds.

What a shitty month for developers it seems.

Avatar image for Zicoroen
Zicoroen

Forza killer, killed.

Avatar image for ExoticCharm
ExoticCharm

After all the BS fanboy comments about Lionhead, this seems like karma.

Avatar image for RSM-HQ
RSM-HQ

Not to be a jerk but 'good'.

Talent left the team after Motorstorm: Pacific Rift and it shows. That game was one of the best games on a PlayStation console. And what came after was very disappointing.

Rift was 2008, so they should praise above they lasted so long with the underwhelming games since.

Avatar image for Shadowdanc3r
Shadowdanc3r

Sony lost faith in Evolution after Driveclub, the Studios are now extinct.

Avatar image for MrFreehuggs
MrFreehuggs

Do you think anyone from Lionhead got hired by Evolution at the job fair?

Avatar image for brazprince
BrazPrince

@MrFreehuggs: lmau u jerk i spit out my juice

Avatar image for lrdfancypants
lrdfancypants

@MrFreehuggs:

That was my first thought lol.

I just setup my cubicle!

Avatar image for jimmydonegood
jimmydonegood

@MrFreehuggs: lol

Avatar image for bluebird08
bluebird08

Well that sucks! I was hoping down the line that evolution would make a motorstorm apocalypse 2. Apocalypse 1 on PS3 was freaking awesome!

Avatar image for darthrevenx
DarthRevenX

Well seeing as I wasn't a big fan of Motorstorm or driveclub for that matter I can't say I'm sad to lose this studio....

It sucks that people will lose their jobs though.....but if the closure means maybe a better studio opens or other studios are augmented by new dev's and they go on to make better games then this is a good thing but only time will tell......

Avatar image for DrunkenPunk800
DrunkenPunk800

So... I guess Sony DON'T want me to get a PS4? As I've stated MANY times, a new Motorstorm would be a surefire way to get me to buy one.

Avatar image for bobafetthatesu
BobaFettHatesU

@DrunkenPunk800: Didn't even read your request and just starting making a Duke Nukem game instead.

Avatar image for Spartan-1657
Spartan-1657

@DrunkenPunk800: Ya, it's all your fault man. They saw your random comment on a random site and decided "Oh ya? Well we're shutting down the studio now. That'll teach him to hold off buying a PS4. Got 'em"

Avatar image for DrunkenPunk800
DrunkenPunk800

@Spartan-1657: Could be. ;)

Avatar image for straightcur
straightcur

Sucks. But it is to be expected when you completely botch the release of what was supposed the be a flagship IP on their shiny new console. I hope this is a learning experience for all involved and that they eventually land on their feet.

Avatar image for jimmydonegood
jimmydonegood

Hahahahah. Maybe Microsoft should hold a recruitment event and post in on twitter. Nah they have class.

Avatar image for Immendorf
Immendorf

@jimmydonegood: epic haha

Avatar image for RSM-HQ
RSM-HQ

@jimmydonegood: Fanboi detected.

Avatar image for R2C25
R2C25

@RSM-HQ: tell him off on the mirror.

Avatar image for RSM-HQ
RSM-HQ

@R2C25: Ok. What is my fanboi elegance?

I need a script for this role :D

Motivation dood, what's my motivation!!

Avatar image for europeitch
europeitch

I wonder if they're getting invited to Sony's developer event. Hypocrites

Avatar image for heavengirl15
HeavenGirl15

@europeitch: Yes, I almost had tears in my eyes when Sony invited the Lionhead developers for the recruitment event. Sony looked so sincere and pro-gamer that it never crossed my mind that they were just doing a PR thing :)

Avatar image for LPDisturbedHU
LPDisturbedHU

@europeitch: In Sony's defense, the Fable devs worked on much different content and could bring fresh new ideas/IP to Sony's brand, or are more likely to bring different content than the Evolution Studios devs would.

Still sucks though.

Avatar image for jasonredemption
jasonredemption

I'm sad because one of the big reasons I chose PS3 was the Motorstorm series. I hope Sony get someone else to resurrect that series as I loved it.

Avatar image for Attitude2000
Attitude2000

@jasonredemption: I did too. And before that ATV Offroad games.