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Sony closes Evolution Studios - DriveClub for PS4 News

Sony has closed DriveClub developer Evolution Studios. The closure follows redundancies made at the studio last year, shortly after Sony announced that it was transitioning the studio to "focus on DriveClub as a service".

"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," Sony said in a statement provided to GamesIndustry.biz.

"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 statement goes on to state that the company will assist staff "in any way we can" to find new jobs, including, "where possible", moving them on to other projects within Sony.

"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," Sony said. "This decision should not take anything away from the great work that Evolution has produced."

The news follows just weeks after Microsoft announced that Lionhead, another major UK games developer, is to close.

The latest, and possibly last, expansion pack for DriveClub went on sale earlier today.

UPDATE: Sony has shared the full statement with VideoGamer.com:

"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."

UPDATE 2: DriveClub game director Paul Rustchynsky, who has been at Evolution for almost 12 years, has thanked Sony, fans and the team at Evolution for their support over the years.

"Before I sign off to take a break and spend some time with my family I just wanted to say a few words," he said in an image shared on Twitter. "Firstly, a big, big thank you to all the fans that have supported us throughout Evo's storied history; we couldn't have achieved what we did without you!

"Thank you to Sony who helped Evo rise to the top tier of racing game teams in the world, working as a first party team has been a fantastic experience. Last but certainly not least: A massive thank you to the whole team at Evo, it truly has been an honour to work with such a talented, passionate and determined group of people.

"I hope you will all join me today in celebrating Evolution by picking up a pad, throwing on your favourite Evo game, and giving us a victory lap."

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