Evolution Studios, developer of racing games like the MotorStorm series and DriveClub, has reportedly been shut down. The British studio was a subsidiary of Sony Computer Entertainment which is responsible for the closure, according to GameIndustry.biz.
Evolution's latest game was DriveClub on PlayStation 4. While that game was in development, the studio was hit with layoffs. The game's director also made his departure during its production. First planned as a launch title for the PS4, DriveClub arrived in 2014 to mixed reviews.
A version of DriveClub exclusively for PlayStation Plus subscribers launched last June. The studio released a stand-alone expansion, DriveClub Bikes, last year. Most recently, the company was working to bring DriveClub to PlayStation VR.
Evolution had released regular updates for DriveClub since its PS4 launch. The developer's most recent update, which tweaked Drift Mode scoring and boosted level caps, was released March 9. A free DriveClub update was scheduled for today, March 22.
We've reached out to a representative of Sony for confirmation of the closure — and about the future of DriveClub — and will update accordingly.
Update: Jamie Brayshaw, a senior community manager at Evolution Studios, confirmed the closure on Twitter. While Evolution Studios is no more, he said, DriveClub will continue on thanks to "the awesome team at PlayStation," according to the tweet below.
Update #2: Sony has responded to our request for comment. Read their statement in full explaining the shutdown 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.