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Onrush struggles lead to Evolution layoffs

Driveclub director Paul Pustchynsky among those who have been made redundant as Codemasters "decapitates" studio

UK developer Evolution has suffered an unknown number of layoffs in wake of its first game launch since PlayStation closed the studio two years ago.

The company released Onrush earlier this year under the guidance of current parent Codemasters, but the game's lacklustre performance seems to have led the publisher to step in and reduce its headcount.

Our sister site Eurogamer reports that Paul Rustchynsky, director of both Onrush and Evolution's previous game Driveclub, is among the staff affected. Sources tell the site that this and the loss of other senior members of the team have "decapitated" the studio. Some junior staff have also been made redundant.

Codemasters has reportedly confirmed plans for Onrush's post-launch content remain unchanged, although Eurogamer's sources believe the studio will also be refocused on less risky projects and supporting other Codies titles.

Evolution was technically closed in 2016 by Sony following the troubles of Driveclub, before Codemasters rescued almost the entire team and set them up to work on a new IP. This turned out to be Onrush, a racing title with less of a focus on racing and ambitions to dramatically broaden the genre.

Onrush was released at the start of June and one source claims it only sold 1,000 copies in the UK in its opening week. This placed it at No.34 in the UK retail charts, and the game disappeared from the Top 40 the following week, suggesting even lower sales.

We spoke to Rustchynsky and his colleagues earlier this year about how the studio hoped to create a racing game that appealed to the widest possible audience, as well as its long-term plans for Onrush.