• Hey, guest user. Hope you're enjoying NeoGAF! Have you considered registering for an account? Come join us and add your take to the daily discourse.
  • The Politics forum has been nuked. Please do not bring political discussion to the rest of the site, or you will be removed. Thanks.

In light of Forza's Massive Success, Let's revisit Sony's decision to shut down Evolution Studios

CamHostage

Member
Sep 30, 2004
7,268
2,455
1,660
Questionable reviews, poor sales, many delays and we don't know just how troubled that development was or has been for other titles. I always saw that closer more along the lines of the straw that broke the camels back type thing. Sony has kept many teams alive for years of "meh" or "ok" sales lol So it tells me they didn't just react to Driveclub, but this had likely been a long time coming based on a list of things that just continued over time. Sony is one of the few publishers that takes lots of risk every gen and is willing to invest in something new even if it doesn't work out, like ....for a while.

Said this earlier, but even the studio making DriveClub wasn't surprised to see the end of their company.

 
Last edited:

V4skunk

Member
Nov 20, 2018
3,832
4,278
515
As a racing game enthusiast, in my opinion DriveClub is a terrible racing game on console.
GT and Forza are in another league and GTS has a bigger single player than DC after the years worth of updates.
 

Three

Member
Oct 26, 2014
7,064
5,030
725
MS made a lot of boneheaded calls in terms of scrapping first party. For some reason Playground Games survived the Mattrick purge. Sony cut a few studios as well, but did it a lot less than MS at the time.
Playground games was an acquisition. It couldn't have been part of the purge. PG made FH not being owned by MS at the time but was bought in 2018.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Punished Miku

NikuNashi

Member
Apr 12, 2013
700
2,399
895
Tokyo
They were an average group of developers making average games, either up your game or get closed. It's business.
 

FukuDaruma

Member
Oct 2, 2019
371
766
315
They buying a lot lately, maybe they can rebuy studio again from codemasters for 4x price they sold :d edit: my mistake they didnt sell it just close it and later team joined codemasters
Just part of the team, and many of those guys are not there anymore. They left or were fired after the Onrush flop.
 
  • Like
Reactions: sncvsrtoip

FukuDaruma

Member
Oct 2, 2019
371
766
315
The weird thing is that the PS4 was extremely successful at the time. They were outselling the Xbox 3:1 and the Wii U 10:1. They were finally making free money from PS+ from millions of subscribers. Their first party games were finally selling millions after an entire gen of disappointing sales (KZ2 and KZ3 would sell just 250k in NPD, Infmaous sold 176k, LBP and Socom were just 200k) and now even Knack was selling millions. So then Driveclub selling 2 million in 8 months despite all the bad press is bad?

And the DLC was received very favorably. People were coming around to liking the game. Evo was pumping out new tracks every other month. They were far more productive than PD and other Sony studios at the time. Like who sees that and thinks, yes this studio is going downhill?
Certainly, 7 years after Driveclub, they could have a great openworld arcade/simcade racer for PS5 right now. Instead they have nothing at all while M$ is racking up 5 million players in the first week...
 

01011001

Member
Dec 4, 2018
8,784
13,784
750
DriveClub was a dogshit game through and through, it killed the studio sadly... because Motorstorm, especially Pacific Rift, was amazing and I would love a new one of those by the same people
 
Last edited:

Men_in_Boxes

Banned
May 31, 2020
6,789
13,374
665
Will be interesting to see how long Forza Horizon 5 stays near the top of XBL Most Played Games list. Currently sitting at #3.
 

JLB

Member
Dec 6, 2018
3,479
5,024
570
But like i said, they didn't showed weakness when they showed their gameplay long videos.

Everyone was impressed by tlou2 or unchy4 or horizon, every time they were showed.

And long times of development meaning hell is kinda bullshit, rdr2 is the game that it is because it was in the oven for 9 years.

Horizon lacks many micro-details, city interactions, random events in the open worlds etc. because the time\money\manpower wasn't enough.

Uncharted 4 first reveal demo actually crashed in the presentation and required a live reset.
Anyways, I kind of agree that the negativity around Halo Infinite at reveal was there. Though to be fair they opted to show an ingame demo, not a cgi or cgi packed demo.
 
  • Thoughtful
Reactions: GymWolf

Sosokrates

Founder of western console warring.
Feb 22, 2017
5,182
5,282
710
sony wants to be the disney of games. this means making safe choices that sell billions, versus more interesting choices that sell thousands. in that light, they made the right move. even if i think it’s fucking stupid.

I dont think thats the case, while I agree that they want there huge tentpole AAAs, making only those games is to risky.

We can see there strategy is to have a mix of bigger, medium and smaller games, eg games like returnal, sackboy adventures and destruction all stars are AA/AA.5.
Even demon Souls remake has a much smaller budget then TLOU2 or GOW.
 

squarealex

Member
May 11, 2014
732
1,409
625
France
The fact is... you see the problem at the external view and not at the Sony / Evolution view.

The problem is maybe budget management or resource allocation. A project with many car licence, bike licence, VR developpement, online developpement, R&D for graphics after failed saled of Motorstorm 2 and 3...

Maybe the problem is Sony era 2013-2014 let Evolution carte blanche to let the ruin of the studio.

Don't forget The Last of Us 1 is considering the end of the studio in Naughty Dog... guys don't really sure of the succes...

Bless Jim. Now is we test and we buy... see Housemarque and Bluepoint...
And Sony after 2015-2016 era have a very solid marketing teams... see how many sales do Ghost of Tsushima, Horizon & God of War... Sony era 2013-2014 is not so good (Killzone, inFamous, The Order, DriveClub)
 
Last edited:
  • Empathy
Reactions: CamHostage

Ev1L AuRoN

Member
Oct 30, 2020
489
768
370
I think I'm with the minority of PS fans that crave for a new Resistance, Motorstorm and Killzone. Unlikely, I know, Driveclub was special, I'm very sorry to see such a talented studio shut down. I can't excuse the disastrous launching, but I think they bounce back very well, It's a shame they didn't get another shot.
 

Honey Bunny

Member
Dec 1, 2011
3,338
1,246
980
Evolution Studios was a failure.

Over promised, under delivered.

They should have Polyphony Digital do a arcade racer, if anything.
This is a great way to get an arcade racer 5 years after you wanted one!


This thread has me dreaming about playing emulated Motorstorm all iced out on a monster GPU.
 
Jun 10, 2013
1,320
203
610
sunny canada
I dont think thats the case, while I agree that they want there huge tentpole AAAs, making only those games is to risky.

We can see there strategy is to have a mix of bigger, medium and smaller games, eg games like returnal, sackboy adventures and destruction all stars are AA/AA.5.
Even demon Souls remake has a much smaller budget then TLOU2 or GOW.

look, i want to believe. i made the switch to playstation last gen because of their commitment to the indie scene, and funding of quirky titles like Tearaway.

but, like with the Xbox 360 era, a creative start, lead to a very by-the-numbers second half. suddenly all those driveclubs and helldivers (and double fine remakes) turned into Ubisoft-esq big world IPs. and that’s all i see now on their horizon (pun intended).

and i’ll concede, there are exceptions. but at what cost? shutting down studios like Studio Japan, turning off the lights on titles like Gravity Rush 2 in the blink of an eye, and even stripping previously groundbreaking titles like Little Big Planet of its creativity and leaving just a generic platformerer. And to whoever mentioned VR here, right - such a commitment. what was the last big Sony VR title again?

so when i take a step back and look at Sony in 2021, i see Uncharted movies, Last of Us TV shows, and an incoming lineup that’s just the hits: all rebooted or sequelized in some way or another. i’m happy to be proven wrong in a few years, but i don’t see it. Jim Ryan wants to be the biggest thing ever. exactly what Bob Iger wanted with Disney two decades ago.
 
Last edited:

Sosokrates

Founder of western console warring.
Feb 22, 2017
5,182
5,282
710
look, i want to believe. i made the switch to playstation last gen because of their commitment to the indie scene, and funding of quirky titles like Tearaway.

but, like with the Xbox 360 era, a creative start, lead to a very by-the-numbers second half. suddenly all those driveclubs and helldivers (and double fine remakes) turned into Ubisoft-esq big world IPs. and that’s all i see now on their horizon (pun intended).

and i’ll concede, there are exceptions. but at what cost? shutting down studios like Studio Japan, turning off the lights on titles like Gravity Rush 2 in the blink of an eye, and even stripping previously groundbreaking titles like Little Big Planet of its creativity and leaving just a generic platformerer. And to whoever mentioned VR here, right - such a commitment. what was the last big Sony VR title again?

so when i take a step back and look at Sony in 2021, i see Uncharted movies, Last of Us TV shows, and an incoming lineup that’s just the hits: all rebooted or sequelized in some way or another. i’m happy to be proven wrong in a few years, but i don’t see it. Jim Ryan wants to be the biggest thing ever. exactly what Bob Iger wanted with Disney two decades ago.

Its not just "exceptions" sony are doing smaller and creative games.

Returnal(like a AA.5 game)
Sackboy adventures
Kena
Stray
Sifu

And theres probably more im missing.

But if u want more I suggest getting another platform to supplement.
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: Hobbygaming

Hobbygaming

has been asked to post in 'Grounded' mode.
Sep 30, 2019
6,150
13,193
650
Driveclub just didn't appeal enough to casuals. It was too unforgiving for most

Make an open world GT and make it a tad bit easier and it'll sell like apple pie
 

Sosokrates

Founder of western console warring.
Feb 22, 2017
5,182
5,282
710
Now im not into racing games, they are like GTA with more realistic driving but you cant get out the car and do other stuff.
 

Hobbygaming

has been asked to post in 'Grounded' mode.
Sep 30, 2019
6,150
13,193
650
look, i want to believe. i made the switch to playstation last gen because of their commitment to the indie scene, and funding of quirky titles like Tearaway.

but, like with the Xbox 360 era, a creative start, lead to a very by-the-numbers second half. suddenly all those driveclubs and helldivers (and double fine remakes) turned into Ubisoft-esq big world IPs. and that’s all i see now on their horizon (pun intended).

and i’ll concede, there are exceptions. but at what cost? shutting down studios like Studio Japan, turning off the lights on titles like Gravity Rush 2 in the blink of an eye, and even stripping previously groundbreaking titles like Little Big Planet of its creativity and leaving just a generic platformerer. And to whoever mentioned VR here, right - such a commitment. what was the last big Sony VR title again?

so when i take a step back and look at Sony in 2021, i see Uncharted movies, Last of Us TV shows, and an incoming lineup that’s just the hits: all rebooted or sequelized in some way or another. i’m happy to be proven wrong in a few years, but i don’t see it. Jim Ryan wants to be the biggest thing ever. exactly what Bob Iger wanted with Disney two decades ago.
If you ignore

Returnal
Sackboy
FIST
Astro's Playroom
Tchia
Guilty Gear
Little Devil Inside
Concrete Genie
King of the Fighters
Dreams
Sifu
Destruction Allstars
Stray
 

MacReady13

Member
Jun 22, 2018
1,394
1,678
455
I am loving Horizon 5 BUT, nothing has REALLY changed from the previous 4 games. I'm not too sure exactly what they could do to freshen things up (a change of scenery won't cut it for me) but something, anything, needs to change as this type game will get stale, FAST.
Like I said, I do love it as I am a massive fan of the previous 4 but, if you have played any of the other games you will have NO problems playing this game and getting through it easily.

Funny how people complain about the Far Cry games being the same (almost) every iteration but here they love it not changing from 1 game to the next!
 
  • Like
Reactions: SlimySnake

bender

Candy Corn Aficionado
Apr 12, 2010
13,077
23,485
1,480
The more interesting version of this topic is to look back on how Microsoft ditched Bizarre (yes, I know some of the staff found their way to Playground). The MSR/PGR series always delivered. Even the Activision published Blur is an underrated gem and is the best non-Mario kart game out there.

I am loving Horizon 5 BUT, nothing has REALLY changed from the previous 4 games. I'm not too sure exactly what they could do to freshen things up (a change of scenery won't cut it for me) but something, anything, needs to change as this type game will get stale, FAST.
Like I said, I do love it as I am a massive fan of the previous 4 but, if you have played any of the other games you will have NO problems playing this game and getting through it easily.

Funny how people complain about the Far Cry games being the same (almost) every iteration but here they love it not changing from 1 game to the next!

They do this a little bit but they should go all in forcing you into a car for each event. You could unlock a free-for-all option after completing each event with the designated vehicle. That or some other progression system would help immensely. They also need to ditch the showcase events which have long lost their novelty although I do think it would be a neat crossover to have a Forza showcase event in Flight Sim.
 
  • Like
Reactions: MacReady13

Turk1993

Member
Jan 13, 2018
1,188
3,344
490
Those guys even had a VR edition which was great and looked really good for a VR game on base PS4. Just imagin how DC 2 could look on PS5 with a VR headset with all the weather types enabled. That would sell the headset better than any other game tbh. Such a shame and wasted potential.
 
  • Like
Reactions: FukuDaruma

sainraja

Member
Aug 15, 2007
2,333
1,820
1,480
I am loving Horizon 5 BUT, nothing has REALLY changed from the previous 4 games. I'm not too sure exactly what they could do to freshen things up (a change of scenery won't cut it for me) but something, anything, needs to change as this type game will get stale, FAST.
Like I said, I do love it as I am a massive fan of the previous 4 but, if you have played any of the other games you will have NO problems playing this game and getting through it easily.

Funny how people complain about the Far Cry games being the same (almost) every iteration but here they love it not changing from 1 game to the next!
I feel the same way but there are plenty of things they can do to freshen things up. They can add in crashes and takedowns (e.g. Burnout) and other gameplay modes such as cops & robbers and maybe even a Destruction Derby type mode. They need to work it out with the manufacturers (perhaps free roam can be restricted like it is now in terms of damage but any specific mode should be more leaning more heavily towards the arcade style.)

Or sometime should just work on Burnout Paradise 2. :D
 
Last edited:

Phase

Member
Sep 25, 2019
2,181
3,964
665
the part he left out was that DriveClub was HEAVILY bundled in Europe. Yoked to hard to find PS4 consoles that contributed to a large part of the 2 million unit sales he cites.
If You Say So Reaction GIF by Identity
 
Last edited:

skit_data

Member
Nov 3, 2020
3,191
7,658
490
Sweden
Have you played Wipeout in VR? Its best way to play the game now.
Unfortunately I haven’t, but a friend of mine that had PSVR said its the best way to experience Wipeout.

I plan on getting the next gen VR for my PS5 and then I’ll try it out, possibly with even better image!
 

sankt-Antonio

Member
Jun 22, 2008
4,900
243
1,175
Munich
Driveclub as an Idea and first effort was great. The fucked up launch hurt the game the same way Cyperpunk got hurt by technical difficulties. I think the whole club vibe, mini races with 'social integration' against whoever is near you is exactly what the tik tok generation wants and would be successful right now if further refined and made bigger.
 

Sony

Nintendo
Jun 15, 2016
1,939
1,318
760
The more interesting version of this topic is to look back on how Microsoft ditched Bizarre (yes, I know some of the staff found their way to Playground). The MSR/PGR series always delivered. Even the Activision published Blur is an underrated gem and is the best non-Mario kart game out there.
Microsoft didn't ditch Bizarre. Bizarre wanted out, just like Bungie. In that sense, Bizarre was also quite unlucky.
When they joined actision, they were pinned against Split/Second.
When they joined Evolution, they were pinned against Forza and against Horizon.
It's rarely the quality of the games. PGR4 to this day is a joy to play and I long for a 4k/60fps version of that.
Back to Driveclub, it's visually stunning to this day. But unlike Blur or PGR, the car handling and the actual racing feels 'off'. Weird invisible walls, floaty physics.. Most of the praise it gets is in the visuals department.
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: MidGenRefresh

Ozriel

Member
Aug 25, 2021
792
1,702
305


There were THREE Driveclub bundles by launch in October 2014














The bundle was then significantly discounted for Black Friday the following month (100 pound discount!)





The game eventually became very very good post updates, but I guess it did not meet Sony's commercial targets.
 
Last edited:
  • Thoughtful
Reactions: Phase

Phase

Member
Sep 25, 2019
2,181
3,964
665
There were THREE Driveclub bundles by launch in October 2014














The bundle was then significantly discounted for Black Friday the following month (100 pound discount!)





The game eventually became very very good post updates, but I guess it did not meet Sony's commercial targets.
All I'm seeing is Driveclub hate here.

/s
 
  • Like
Reactions: FukuDaruma

PixelatedBeast

Neo Member
Oct 15, 2021
39
80
120
Unfortunately I haven’t, but a friend of mine that had PSVR said its the best way to experience Wipeout.

I plan on getting the next gen VR for my PS5 and then I’ll try it out, possibly with even better image!
Oh it fun. It's like riding a roller coaster, I had butterflies in my stomach when I first tried it. Completely different experience than playing on a flat screen. The ps5 improves the image quality for most VR games now, but if the psvr2 rumored specs are true, it'll be as powerful as the quest 2, but higher FOV and resolution.
 
  • Like
Reactions: skit_data

Ozriel

Member
Aug 25, 2021
792
1,702
305
Oh it fun. It's like riding a roller coaster, I had butterflies in my stomach when I first tried it. Completely different experience than playing on a flat screen. The ps5 improves the image quality for most VR games now, but if the psvr2 rumored specs are true, it'll be as powerful as the quest 2, but higher FOV and resolution.

Really excited for PSVR2. I’m sure they’ll make GT7 compatible with it.
 

bender

Candy Corn Aficionado
Apr 12, 2010
13,077
23,485
1,480
Microsoft didn't ditch Bizarre. Bizarre wanted out, just like Bungie. In that sense, Bizarre was also quite unlucky.
When they joined actision, they were pinned against Split/Second.
When they joined Evolution, they were pinned against Forza and against Horizon.
It's rarely the quality of the games. PGR4 to this day is a joy to play and I long for a 4k/60fps version of that.
Back to Driveclub, it's visually stunning to this day. But unlike Blur or PGR, the car handling and the actual racing feels 'off'. Weird invisible walls, floaty physics.. Most of the praise it gets is in the visuals department.

Also around the same time Bungie wanted out. Microsoft really bungled the relationships that made their brand successful in the first place back then.