I spent the whole time editing this podcast on a yoga ball. So Gabe, I get you.
Yesterday we got wind that Scribblenauts developer 5th Cell was (not) closing down. Now, in the wake of announcements regarding Playstation VR, Sony has officially stated that they are for-real pulling the trigger on Evolution Studios, the creators of driving games like DriveClub, World Rally Championship, and MotorStorm.
The announcement comes somewhat unexpectedly, considering DriveClub VR was recently detailed as a confirmed title for Playstation VR. Then again, about 55 employees were cut from Evolution about a year ago, which was apparently a move by Sony to focus on DriveClub “as a service,” whatever that meant. The release by Sony states that they’ll try to “relocate people onto other projects,” so hopefully the remaining staff at Evolution will land on their feet.
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.
In any case, DriveClub’s original release was fraught with difficulties, which it seems have never really been resolved. That being said, it seems odd for Sony to nix the whole studio, especially with the title apparently still heading for VR. I can only hope Evolution personnel will still find work, and who knows- maybe some other studio will take up the “Sony driving games” mantle.