News Article

DriveClub Developer Evolution Studios Struck by Layoffs

Posted by Sammy Barker

Two other UK teams affected

We’re approaching the end of the fiscal year, which means that Sony’s still going through the process of downsizing some of its teams. Following redundancies at God of War developer Sony Santa Monica earlier in the month, the platform holder has now confirmed that there have been casualties at three of its British teams: London Studio, Guerrilla Cambridge, and Evolution Studios.

While the exact figure isn’t clear, Videogamer.com reports that “numerous” people at each outfit have been let go. “Regular reviews take place throughout SCE Worldwide Studios, ensuring that the resources that we have in such a competitive business can create and produce high quality, innovative, and commercially viable projects," a statement from the firm explained.

“As part of this process, we have reviewed and assessed all current projects and have decided to make some changes to some of our European Studios. As a result of this, there will be a focused restructure within London Studio, Guerrilla Cambridge, and Evolution Studios to ensure that SCE Worldwide Studios is in the best position to achieve their goals going forward.”

It’s likely, then, that some prototypes have been scrapped as a consequence – but we’re not privy to exactly what just yet. Evolution Studios is, of course, working on DriveClub, while Guerrilla Cambridge just released Killzone: Mercenary for the PlayStation Vita. London Studio has its finger in a lot of pies, but recently collaborated on The Playroom and created The Deep demo for Project Morpheus. Naturally, our thoughts go out to all of those affected by this news.

[via videogamer.com]

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User Comments (27)

Reverend_Skeeve

#2

Reverend_Skeeve said:

Slowly, this gets troubling. I understand that this is usual during the end of a fiscal year, but still, with the Driveclub delay and the other lay offs, it starts to cast a negative picture...or at least some might perceive it that way.

get2sammybAdmin

#3

get2sammyb said:

@Reverend_Skeeve I think the perception is the bigger problem. Well, aside from those who lost their jobs — which is obviously the biggest bummer here. Realistically, though, if a project sucked, it doesn't make sense to invest more money into it. I can see that from a business point of view.

BornOfEvil

#5

BornOfEvil said:

European studios tend to get shafted this time of year, I think that's why Studio Liverpool got shut down.

rjejr

#7

rjejr said:

@get2sammyb - "I can see that from a business point of view."

I think it's getting easier to see the bigger economic picture:

Casual games maker King Digital (Candy Crush) is going public:
http://www.cnbc.com/id/101519854

Casual japanese games company Gung Ho (Puzzle and Dragons) is making $:
http://tech.fortune.cnn.com/2014/01/27/gungho-gaming/

Meanwhile companies like THQ are going under.

PS3 and PS4 owners can hold up their noses at casual games, but they are taking their toll on the games industry. The ROI of multimillion dollar games is becoming too much of a risk. Look at the smaller games Squenix puts out, and Level 5, my current favorite game company w/ the likes of Dark Cloud, White Knight Chronicles, Rogue Galaxy and Ni No Kuni under it's belt is focusing on upcoming touchscreen friendly RPG Wonderflick:
http://www.polygon.com/2013/11/21/5127278/level-5-boss-akihiro-hino-on-how-wonder-flick-links-up-consoles-with

There are some games like COD and Madden that can still sell for $60, but not too may others. Too much competition. Better to spend $100,000 each making 10 attempts at the next Bejeweled or Angry Birds than $10 mil making Tomb Raider.

Gamer83

#8

Gamer83 said:

It's not blowing things out of proportion to state the simple facts and the fact is, Sony is in massive troule and this just the beginning of the PS4 paying the price. We can pretend this is 'normal' for this time of year but week after week it's only Sony that is losing people, some for absolutely ridiculous reasons. Meanwhile MS is locking up game after game and is ready to blow the doors off of everybody at E3. At this point the best thing that could happen for the PS brand is if a company with its s**t together makes Sony an offer it can't refuse for the rights to the entire division. I'm really getting sick of going onto PS websites and the news is only about layoffs, which always sucks to read, or some indie game to not give a damn about is coming to the machine. Go on to Xbox websites and it's just news about games of all varieties and MS getting exclusives from big studios because it has the money to spend.

AeroZeppelin

#9

AeroZeppelin said:

@rjejr You bring out a good point AAA games have become too expensive and too risky to make which is the reason why i think they've been pushing indies so much http://wrd.cm/1fDVFY3 Not that i have a problem with them pushing indies i love indies games

Sanquine

#10

Sanquine said:

Jeez! Sony needs to spend money where they make money and fire the whole TV business... Sometimes i think the guys at Sony don't have any thought about ROI etc. TV business stinks, PC business stinks, Mobile market was oké but Sony has like a billion diffirent phones while only the Xperia Z is performing well.

get2sammybAdmin

#11

get2sammyb said:

@Gamer83 To be fair, Sony has more studios and bigger studios than Microsoft to cut employees from, so you are going to hear about it more.

adf86

#12

adf86 said:

@Gamer83 And yet the Xbox division maybe sold off in future cos it loses money for Microsoft. As for Sony, yes the layoffs suck but the upcoming future for PS4 is far more promising than Xbox cos it's looking like Titanfall wasn't the smash hit they hoped it was & frankly what other game has Microsoft got coming up that is a system seller other than Halo 5 which won't be out till next year at least. By which point there will be so far behind that it won't matter.

MadchesterManc

#13

MadchesterManc said:

Its funny people losing their **** over this. Noone batted an eylid when studios with the calibre of Zipper & Studio Liverpool were closed a few years back, Now people are spitting their dummies out over a few layoffs like the sky is falling. Honestly I think people just love the sound of their own voices on here these days

Bad-MuthaAdebis

#14

Bad-MuthaAdebis said:

I suppose the fact that they're dumping ps3 and not supporting the PS vita as much as they should its justified.

Wesker

#15

Wesker said:

We're not losing a lot IMO. It's not like any of the games these studios made were essential to Sony. For whatever reason the best games are being made by the likes of EA and Ubisoft. Sony needs to get better at hiring and managing their talent to make games like assassins creed and battlefield. Then they'd be making real profit.

rjejr

#17

rjejr said:

@DaftPlayStation - Thanks for the link, that's pretty much what I was getting it.

I don't think the big game AAA model is completely going away, but there will be less companies making them and less AAA games as a result. And the big companies that put out a big game every year or 2 or 3 will need to put out smaller indie like budget games as well. It's why EA bought Popcap.

Rovio and Ronimo will be swallowed up eventually, but other indie companies will take their place.

Only Majong will stand alone, their game is crack like no other.

Punished_Boss_84

#19

Punished_Boss_84 said:

@SimonAdebisi
Wait what? PS Vita shows their incompetence of supporting a platform and with PS3 they have done their part. Downsizing doesn't make any sense

@Gamer83
Cool story bro and when MS reveal their unannounced exclusives by their unannounced studio your praising them for right now... Wait? Locking game after game? Such as what? MS have told you they are doing this but haven't shown anything? Haven't stated any studios or name of the games.

Your praising them for vapourware at the moment, nothing more nothing less. Sony have done the exact same thing, Nintendo rarely does it. When Sony start shutting down major studios then you worry, losing people within them is standard and happens all the time. In trouble? Thats just an overreaction, other sectors within Sony are in trouble. If this sector is in trouble it will be because of the pitiful performance of their handhelds, PS3 slowly and i mean slowly fading away but the PS4? Complete non-sense.

Topic: This is becoming recurrent, a bit too much. If it wasn't standard practice it would be sign to worry. It isn't.

MadchesterManc

#21

MadchesterManc said:

@N711 I had a feeling that was the case. Ive Just been looking for a great oppurtunity to use that Doctor Who meme lately :P I fear the horsemen may cometh if Sony do anymore streamlining & restructuring of their studios.....

Bad-MuthaAdebis

#22

Bad-MuthaAdebis said:

@Big-Boss its mostly Japan studio deving for vita, not much else. They already said they're concentrating on ps4 and not ps3 , therefore restructures and subsequent lay offs are almost impossible to avoid.

Bad-MuthaAdebis

#24

Bad-MuthaAdebis said:

Yep, we're going to be swamped by Indies in the next few years, Sony needs to apply some quality control.

KAPADO

#25

KAPADO said:

Is this the price to pay for being too ambitious ?
They should have just given us that motor storm game from when the ps3 was first unveiled .

eLarkos

#26

eLarkos said:

The problem is the industry. Us, as consumers, Sony and microsoft are to blame. Nintendo are better off continuing with their current strategy, distancing themselves. Its funny how indies are taking a forefront on a machine with 8gb of ram. Not taking a stab just highlighting a matter.

Edit: Same goes for Vita

N711

#27

N711 said:

@Big-Boss I agree. Also found funny when Sony VR was announced M$ was like ' oh we ve been working on VR for a long time'. and the sites talking about M$ VR instead XD

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