Sony confirmed that it has shuttered British game developer Evolution Studios, the team responsible for the MotorStorm series and 2014’s PlayStation 4 racing sim Driveclub.
Sony will attempt to reallocate affected staff to other teams under the SCE Worldwide Studios umbrella, but admits that it will “risk losing high caliber staff” as a result of the closure.
Rising to prominence during the PlayStation 2 era, Evolution Studios produced multiple entries in its World Rally Championship series before being acquired by Sony in 2007. While under Sony’s banner, the company released a trilogy of high-profile offroad racing games for the PlayStation 3 – MotorStorm, MotorStorm: Pacific Rift, and MotorStorm: Apocalypse – in addition to the multiplatform series spinoff MotorStorm: RC.
The team suffered multiple setbacks during the development of its PlayStation 4 debut Driveclub, resulting in numerous delays and a fractured release schedule. Sony initially announced that a stripped-down version of Driveclub would be available for free to members of its PlayStation Plus subscription service upon the game’s launch. Driveclub‘s PlayStation Plus Edition ended up premiering several months after its retail debut, however, and all versions met with a lukewarm critical reception.
“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,” Sony said in a statement this week. “As a result, it has been decided that Evolution Studios will close.”
Sony’s statement continues: “It is regrettable that this decision will lead to compulsory redundancies. We accept that this decision will mean that we risk losing high caliber 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.”