Driveclub may not have had the best of launches and it certainly didn't win over everyone with its initial limited content and perpetually delayed PS Plus rendition, but eventually they evened things out at Evolution Studios. That's a good thing, too, because they won't be supporting the game anymore due to their closure.
Game Informer is reporting that Sony has closed down Evolution Studios. The company released a statement explaining why, following multiple former employees of the U.K., based outlet taking to Twitter to post their departure statements online. According to Sony Computer Entertainment's statement issued to Game Informer, they explained...
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. [...]
They also mention that they wanted to focus more of their budget and resources on projects currently in the development for the PlayStation platforms and not games already released.
It seems a little backhanded to say in the full letter that they were just making a decision based on “compulsory redundancies” but that it shouldn't take away from anything Evolution has produced. Well, what have they produced at Evolution?
The British-based video game developer raced onto the scene back in 1999, they produced World Rally Championship in 2001 for the PS2, and followed it up with a series of other games in the series up until 2005 (not to be confused with the WRC FIA games that came thereafter), and they then began switching over to support Sony's PS3. I was never personally into the WRC games because I felt Gran Turismo offered better rally racing despite not being a rally game.
Nevertheless, following their run on the PS2 with the WRC games, they managed to put out Motorstorm for the PS3 to instant critical and commercial success. The game was a bit like Mad Max: Fury Road before Mad Max: Fury Road was a thing. They managed to bridge great graphics with over-the-top fun racing.
Evolution maintained the Motorstorm series throughout the seventh generation of gaming, with slightly declining results with each outing. Even still, they managed to rebound their image in the promotional spotlight with the announcement of Driveclub. The game was originally supposed to be a launch title for the PS4, but was eventually delayed up until 2014. A series of issues plagued the release of the game, from the paltry amount of gameplay content to servers that weren't up to the task.
Sadly the general impression of Driveclub now is that it's beautiful but mediocre. Sony's internal team plans on maintaining the game now that Evolution Studios is no more. They don't mention if that means they're just going to do the bare minimum with patches and leave DLC by the wayside, or if they'll actually produce new content for the title.
Regardless, we've seen the closure of Lionhead Studios recently and a great exodus of staff from 5th Cell, and now we have Evolution Studios closing up shop. All legendary studios, all having produced great content... now they're mostly shells of their former selves and names attached to little more than fading memories of a bygone era.