Sony Computer Entertainment has confirmed the closure of Driveclub developer Evolution Studios. The news follows the layoffs of 55 employees at the UK-based studio last year.
"It has been decided that Evolution Studio will close," said Sony in a statement given to GI.biz. "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 Studios has been around since 1999, working on the World Rally Championship franchise for PlayStation 2 and the MotorStorm franchise for PlayStation 3. Sadly, Driveclub will be the nail in the studio's coffin, a project plagued by ongoing issues. The game was announced as a PlayStation 4 launch title, but it was delayed in 2014, ultimately coming out a year later than intended.
Driveclub launched to severe online issues stemming from poor server capacity and those issues cause further delays in the free PlayStation Plus version of the game. The PS Plus Edition didn't release until June 2015 and Sony pulled the title from the PlayStation Store a few months later. Evolution was supposedly working on a PlayStation VR version of Driveclub, but it looks like that title is probably cancelled.
Driveclub was just a hard road for Evolution Studios, ending a developer than did amazing work previously. It's a shame the studio wasn't able to recover from the game's early issues to deliver another great game. Hopefully the folk involved find new work soon.