According to sources that spoke with Eurogamer, Driveclub developer Evolution Studios is about to be hit with layoffs totaling around half of their staff. The exact figure seems to be 55 people who have been or will be let go very soon, with staff already being informed of the layoffs last Friday, March 20th. Sources who attended that meeting are supposedly the ones sharing the information with Eurogamer at this time. Looking at the overall size of the studio, losing 55 people will reduce them by about half.
The restructuring is said to be shifting the focus of Driveclub development, looking more at it as a service than as a product. The long-awaited PS Plus Edition is also said to be a part of the restructuring, with that version of the game being delayed multiple times due to Driveclub’s poor launch state. Sony issued a statement on the restructuring, which reads:
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.
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.
The cause for the layoffs and restructuring is certainly up for debate. Many will assume that this is due to the state in which Driveclub launched last year, punishing the studio for not delivering a completed product. Others have speculated that Evolution Studios is on its way to total closure, with this acting as an initial step. Hopefully that is not the case, and all those that were made redundant this time around are able to find positions elsewhere within Sony.