Layoffs At DriveClub Developer Evolution Studios
Evolution Studios, the developer of the PlayStation 4 title Driveclub and the Motorstorm franchise will be faced with a round of redundancies. Last week Sony released a statement where they stated that they had restructured Evolution Studios, with a focus on updating DriveClub as a service going forward.
Independent sources that spoke to Eurogamer have said that the studio will lose up to 55 members of staff. This is apparently close to half the studio, but some of the 55 may be kept on as independent contractors. Sony have yet to explain their reasoning behind the layoffs.
DriveClub had and initial launch date alongside the PS4 in 2013. The title was delayed a month before release and did not launch until the following October in 2014. Presumably the delay would have been a factor in the redundancies at the studio. The extra 10 months of development would have been costly for Sony and the game was not without issues when it released.
At launch DriveClub was supposed to have a PlayStation Plus edition for users of the service. This was delayed indefinitely as the game was marred by server issues at launch, for a game that relied so much on connectivity and social interaction this was a very major issue. Almost six months on from the its release, the PS+ edition is still nowhere to be seen. The paid version of the game however, is currently in perfect working order and in my opinion once of the best racing titles of the last ten years.
Here is the statement Sony released in regards to the restructure:
Evolution Studios will now focus on DriveClub as a service going forward, in particular, the important launch of the PS Plus Edition. We will be restructuring Evolution Studios to ensure that SCE WWS and in particular, Evolution Studios are in the best position to achieve these goals.
Our first party development studios are key to our creative strategy and we are very excited about the future projects being worked on and the role Evolution Studios will play.
The last few years have been especially tough on British racing developers, with several studios shuttered. Hopefully the worst of this is now over.