Earlier this morning Ben Nicholas, a former employee of 343 Studios and current environment designer for Halo Wars at Creative Assembly, tweeted a rumor that Evolution Studios, the developers of the racing game Driveclub along with multiple other racing games including the Motorstorm series, was shut down.
This was confirmed by Sony several hours later, putting an end to the British development studio, which has existed since 1999.
Evolution Studios made their money mainly by developing racing games, including multiple rally car games, the Motorstorm series, and most recently Driveclub, which they released in 2014.
Driveclub had experienced multiple delays and online problems during its development, which had resulted in 55 layoffs from the studio. Now Sony is taking the next step by shutting down the studio completely, though they are making efforts to relocate as much of the Evolution Studios staff as possible. This and more can be read in the official statement by Sony, below.
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.