Sony has announced that it has decided to close Driveclub developer Evolution Studios. The development studio had been part of Sony for over 10 years and worked on titles such as WRC, Motorstorm and of course, Driveclub.
The studio suffered layoffs last year following Sony’s decision to shift the focus of Driveclub so that it became a service. Unfortunately, Sony has now gone a step further by deciding to close the studio for good. In a statement released by Sony, the company has said that it will try to keep as many staff as possible by moving them onto other projects however there will be redundancies as a result of the studio’s closure.
For those staff who aren’t able to be relocated within the company, Sony has promised to assist staff in any way they can including by talking to local employers and other development studios to help them find new employment.
“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,” said the Statement released by Sony.
“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.”
Driveclub finally released in 2014 despite originally being announced as a launch title for the PS4 following delays. At its launch, Driveclub was in a terrible state being unplayable for many gamers, however Evolution Studios have managed to fix Driveclub since its release leading to it becoming one of the best racing games available on the PlayStation 4. A PlayStation VR version of the game had been in development by Evolution Studios, however following the announcement of their closure it now looks as if that project has now been cancelled.
It hasn’t been a great couple of weeks for UK development studios as Fable developers Lionhead Studios were also closed down by Microsoft recently.