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Sony's Evolution confirms layoffs

Update: Sources say 55 people cut at DriveClub studio

Update

Following the confirmation from Sony that jobs are being cut at Evolution Studios, sources have reported to Eurogamer that 55 people have lost their jobs, which equates to around half the studio.

One source also suggested some of those 55 may stay on as contractors.

Original story

Sony has confirmed that a number of staff at its Cheshire studio Evolution are facing redundancies as the company restructures.

"Evolution Studios will now focus on DriveClub as a service going forward, in particular, the important launch of the PS Plus Edition. We will be restructuring Evolution Studios to ensure that SCE WWS and in particular, Evolution Studios are in the best position to achieve these goals," Sony told Eurogamer in a statement.

"Our first party development studios are key to our creative strategy and we are very excited about the future projects being worked on and the role Evolution Studios will play. We will be looking to relocate team members throughout the studios, but unfortunately some redundancies will be necessary and in those cases we will assist staff in any way we can."

The studio's most recent project is DriveClub for PlayStation 4, but the title saw a significant delay to its release and faced issues on launch, with users reporting online problems.

Last November Sony Computer Entertainment America's president and CEO Shawn Layden defended the online performance, citing huge user numbers.

"In the development cycle, we try to do all things. In the development cycle, we try to test against every possibility," he said.

"We have a [Quality Assurance] team, we have a QA plan. You do a beta test, you scope against that. But now, in a connected world, you can't effectively test in your house or in your beta group what it means to have 50,000, 100,000, 200,000 users hit your service. And the guys [at the studio] are struggling with that. It's throwing up things they had not anticipated."

Evolution also created the World Rally Championship and MotorStorm franchises.

If you have jobs news to share or a new hire you want to shout about, please contact us on newhires@gamesindustry.biz

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Latest comments (5)

Nick Burcombe CEO & Co Founder, Playrise Digital Ltd.A year ago
Sad news. Good luck to those who are affected.
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Greg Wilcox Creator, Destroy All Fanboys! A year ago
Ugh. No chance of a proper Rally Cross revival, I guess. Boo. Evo's five WRC games on the PS2 were some of the most crazy fun I've ever had with any racing game. WHile other developers have taken over the license, no one has made their WRC games as much fun to play. I liked the MotorStorm games, but WRC was always my go-to when I needed a lift (and man, did those cars FLY of jumps!).

Hope anyone hit by this gets back into the mix soon.
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Peter Bond Studying Art & Design, University of BedfordshireA year ago
Such a shame, but i guess it had to happen after the issues it had - as it is now, is a completely dare i even say 'evolved' game, great dynamic weather effects with great track layouts and great replay value, is basically the next pgr unregconized for what it should really have been from the off-set, good luck to those affected.
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Jamie Read 3D Artist, Neon Play LtdA year ago
This seemed unfortunately inevitable, seeing the problems DriveClub went through. A great shame DC hit problems (understatement), as the game looked to be attempting something very exciting and ambitious in the racing genre.

Good luck to all of those affected.
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Antoine Baker Aspiring Games Artist/Designer/QA Tester A year ago
Hopefully some of those people find jobs or maybe start their own studio. I agree on the driveclub problems. It probably was the final nail on the coffin. I can't help but feel if it had been successful they would be already working on a DC2 or new project. Oh well...

Best of luck to all those employees.
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