Sony Closes Driveclub Developer Evolution Studios

by Mike Futter on Mar 22, 2016 at 07:25 AM

Update 3: Sony has confirmed Evolution's closure to us. The publisher shared a statement that has been circulating today calling the layoffs "compulsory redundancies."

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.

Update 2: Evolution senior community manager Jamie Brayshaw took to Twitter, confirming the studio's closure. Sony has yet to respond to our requests for comment.

Brayshaw says that Driveclub will continue under the PlayStation team's supervision. The title was recently shown at a PlayStation VR showcase during GDC.

Update 1: We're waiting to confirm Sony's statement, but former Evolution employee and Driveclub game director Paul Rustchynsky shared thoughts on Twitter this morning.

Original Story (March 22, 2016 @ 10:36 a.m. Central):

After significant layoffs a year ago, Sony has reportedly closed Evolution Studios. The company’s most recent title, Driveclub, will live on in PlayStation VR when the hardware launches later this fall.

Evolution was founded in 1999 in the UK, and was responsible for the World Rally Championship and MotorStorm franchises. The studio was purchased by Sony in 2007.

Driveclub, which was released in 2014, suffered from significant problems with server loads. The company laid off a number of staff members in March 2015 as the team transitioned to support Driveclub as a service.

We've reached out to Sony to confirm reports and will update should we receive a response.

[Source: GamesIndustry]


Our Take
Our thoughts are with those affected. As we near the end of the fiscal year for many companies, we can only hope this is the last bit of this type of news.