In a statement provided to GameIndustry.biz today, Sony Interactive Entertainment has confirmed that it is closing Evolution Studios, the development house behind the World Rally Championship, MotorStorm, and Driveclub games. Today's closure follows a decision last March to layoff 55 members of the studio.
Sony's statement shines some light onto the reasons behind this decision:
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.
The company goes on to explain that it has decided to focus "on other Studios that already have exciting new projects in development," which definitely suggests that things at Evolution may not have been going great after Driveclub's rocky release.
It's fair to say that Evolution's most recent game, Driveclub, was a bit of a mess, but throughout the studio's 17 year history, they delivered some solid racing experiences. The original MotorStorm was something of a breakout hit for the team, and though it was a little thin, it built a ton of fan loyalty with it's speed and spectacle. I'd always hoped that they'd find some followup success with a new series for this generation of consoles.
Over on Twitter, some former Evolution devs have been posting farewell messages, and their fans have shown a pretty strong outpouring of support. Hopefully the folks affected by this closure will land on their feet and finds employment soon.