Sony's revealed a sucker punch today: Evolution Studios, the storied Runcorn-based developer behind DriveClub among numerous other PlayStation exclusives, has been shut down. The studio was downsized last year, but the ongoing success of DriveClub – along with the release of DriveClub Bikes and continued development of DriveClub VR – seemed to suggest that the British firm had weathered the storm. That's not the case.
The company released the following statement, which we've included in its entirety 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.
Our thoughts go out to all of the great people who find themselves out of work today. What an absolute bummer of the highest order.