It’s a sad day for racing fans. Evolution Studios, best known for developing MotorStorm and Driveclub, has been shut down. Sony confirmed the closure with GameIndustry.biz.
Why shut down Evolution Studios? Sony told GameIndustry it regularly reviews developers to ensure “that the resources that we in such a competitive landscape can create and produce high quality, innovative and commercially viable projects.”
Sony’s statement continued:
“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.”
Evolution thanked their fans for everything and said Driveclub “will live on under the care of the awesome team at PlayStation.”
— Jamie Brayshaw (@PhenomEvolution) March 22, 2016
Driveclub VR was just shown at last week’s GDC, so it appears work will continue with the game.
— Paul Rustchynsky (@Rushy33) March 18, 2016
A look back at Evolution Studios
Can you believe it’s been almost 10 years since MotorStorm released? Who can forget the E3 2005 trailer?
The final product ended up looking nothing like the E3 trailer, but it was still a fantastic game.
Sadly, we’ll never get to see how good MotorStorm would have looked on PS4. At least, not one developed by Evolution Studios. And it’s a damn shame.
Evolution Studios would go on to make several more MotorStorm games before turning their attention to Driveclub for the PS4.
Driveclub’s reception was mostly positive. Many lambasted the title for being barebones at launch, but Evolution released several content updates addressing those concerns. Last October, Evolution released a standalone version of Driveclub featuring motorbikes.
Overall, Driveclub saw decent success. As of last summer, the racing game sold more than 2 million copies. Not bad, but evidently not good enough for Sony.
What’s next for the developers?
Sony mentions they will try to reallocate some of those affected onto other projects. But there are other options. Crowdfunding has shown gamers care deeply about genres they love. We’ve seen everything from old-school RPGs like Pillars of Eternity to space games like Star Citizen get funded. Developers big and small have found receptive audiences on Kickstarter and other crowdfunding platforms. Project CARS proved there is a want for racing games.
Let’s hope the future is bright for the former developers of Evolution Studios. What’s your favorite Evo game? What would you like to see the former developers do in the future?