Driveclub’s Evolution Studios Team Joining Codemasters

Though they’ve been around for seventeen years, you might not know Evolution Studios as all of their games – racing games, each and every one – has been released released on PlayStations. Sony bought the studio in 2007 but closed them this year. But! Happy ending: those autophiles at Codemasters today announced that they’re bringing the Evolution team under their racing wing. They haven’t announced any specific games yet but will be pootling onto non-Sony platforms now too, which will surely include our dear PC given how many games Codies sling our way.

It sounds like Codies haven’t bought the studio, but have basically hired them. Evolution have been behind a series of World Rally Championship games in the noughties on PlayStation 2, then MotorStorm, and most recently Driveclub. Codies are excited about this, because they both really like cars. They say in their little statement:

“This expansion will not only see us gain a wealth of racing expertise and skill, but it’ll take Codemasters to the next level as the world’s largest racing-focused games company. With phenomenal racing DNA on both sides, we hope that gamers out there are excited to see what we do next – as are all of us here at Codies.”

So, some new things from the Evolution gang coming our way. That’s the plan. It’s due to come into effect on April 25th, and I suppose we could all be crushed by a planet before then. If you want to know more about the vroom vroom, GamesIndustry.biz had a chat with them about it – no mention of Nibiru.

From this site

16 Comments

  1. Banks says:

    I’m happy the whole studio is having a second chance. Driveclub is simply gorgeous and I’m a big Motorstorm fan.

  2. Nice Save says:

    Wasn’t Driveclub the game that was all about online racing, but the servers were down for weeks after launch so no-one could get online?

    • iainl says:

      It was; they made a right mess of the server infrastructure at launch. But once everything worked well, it’s was a frankly amazing game. Easily my favourite non-“sim” racing game in a long, long time. True successor to the Project Gotham series.

      • trjp says:

        It wasn’t just a mess at launch, it was a mess for MONTHS after launch – it’s hard to fuck things up THAT much but they did.

        Codemasters don’t exactly have an amazing rep for reliable online and – indeed – robust game code, so I guess they’ll get along well…

    • Avus says:

      No, DriveClub was never a good game. It was just an eyecandy tech demo for PS4 at best. Gameplay and online play were suck. Ubisoft’s The Crew (specially after the engine update) is a much better game than DriveClub. (unless you rated graphics above everything)

      But it is a GREAT news that Evolution Studio got pick up by Codemaster – specially as a racing game developer. It is much better than EA (see how they fxxkup NFS, Burnout, NASCAR… series), Microsoft (only pump big $ in Turn10), Sony (only pump big $ in Polyphony) and Ubisoft (not really famous for racing titles)

      • iainl says:

        I have to disagree. The Crew’s net code may have also improved from the poor launch, but it never handled nicely. The core act of driving is spot on in DriveClub; everything else was fixable.

      • mistery says:

        The Crew? The game where you could not connect with friends? That TDU1 in disguise that was sold to gamers a THIRD time as an MMO with only 8 people ever in the same phase/instance? With a great environment, but almost no use for it? With the ever going treasure hunt which will tick another map marker off your checklist? That is a good game? Come oooon man. It was boring. Multiplayer was never fleshed out properly. Many reasons why but most importantly, if you don’t have a top specced car, there is no reason to even enter a lobby. You are doing a MP game with car upgrades and you’re notgoing to do any tiered lobbies? And people call this a good game? HAH! This is the most infuriating game I played in a long time because of great car roster, good graphics, incredible ideas, on an awesome and vast playground and HORRIBLE EXECUTION.

        • mistery says:

          Oh, and talking about car upgrades… sweet mother of V8. I would shoot the person that came up with their upgrade system, how you get access to parts, how they are applied, and how cosmetic upgrades are handled. It’s still difficult to accept just how badly they handled that giant mountain of potential gold.

  3. Premium User Badge

    Grizzly says:

    This is lovely news! I’ve been enjoying Dirt Rally quite a lot, but there always has been this huge gap in racing games inbetween games like Dirt Rally and Project Cars and games like Need for Speed and Trackmania. Driveclub always looked as if it set out to fill that gap, so *watches with interest*.

  4. GWOP says:

    We have already lost too many racing devs to the abyss. Black Rock Studio. Bizarre Creations. Psygnosis. Criterion. So it’s good to hear they have avoided fracturing their studio.

    • liquidsoap89 says:

      Is Criterion still working on that game that EA announced at E3 one year, where they had that ridiculous segment where they announced games that weren’t ready to be shown to us, so they just wandered through the studios talking about the games that weren’t games yet?

      If they are then I could still be interested. Could be a return to their Burnout days, ooooor a continuation of their crappy NFS cars-that-drive-in-straight-lines-unless-drifting phase.

  5. Hobbes says:

    Codemasters, now you have this wonderful team, here’s an idea for you.

    Go back to Grid 1. All the way back to grid 1. Play that. Play that extensively. Now take notes of all the things players liked about grid 1. Now expand on those things, get Evolution to marry that to Driveclubs looks and Dirt Rally’s handling model (quite possibly the most authentic car handling model currently available). Put this on your latest EGO engine.

    Create an open ended game where you start by building up your reputation as a single driver before forming your own team, hiring in mechanics, setting up deals with sponsors, etc. Everything from Dirt 1, but now add proper rival teams like Ravenwest, but more of them. Use the Grid 1 model of multiple licenses divided up by continent (this time go from three to five), with seperate championships going up from tier C to tier A and finally a world tour in tier S that spans all five continents.

    Now get rid of the silly stuff like drift and gymkhana and demolition derby which were token stuff really, but add more technical racing like touge and point to point and time trial.

    Call this Grid Unleashed.

    Congrats, you will make -bank-.

    • mistery says:

      Sound suggestions but I would reconsider the best handling model of DR. Best loose surface probably, but for tarmac? HA, no.
      Also, while I am not a big fan of drifting you have to understand that this is now an officially recognized motorsport by FIA and national sport association around the world. I would not call that token, but vital content. How to get around this? Put in as much as you can buuut DO NOT make any of the disciplines a necessity! You hate drifting? Go ahead and skip, nobody cares, as in the real world. Hate hillclimb? Ignore it, others can drive up mountain roads all they like. If you make an openended game, make sure it IS open without silly constraints. I too believe this proposition of yours, with some fine tuning of ideas will make big heaps of cash for them and FINALLY offer carnuts the game the recent Test Drives, The Crew, PCARS, NFS 2015 etc failed to deliver.

      • Hobbes says:

        Perhaps, though demolition derby could quite easily be dropped, and yes, Dirt Rally’s handling model works perfectly well on tarmac roads (see Germany), it may need some adjusting for street racing, but nothing that wouldn’t be out of the reach of Codies and Evolution methinks.

        Either way, the core setup would be entirely feasible and Grid 1 definitely should be the blueprint from which everything begins, and then from there build *outwards*, with a fully open ended, and player driven approach where they can choose to run their own team, or drive for sponsor races (as in Grid 1) or even drive for another team if they get an offer for a season.

  6. Raoul Duke says:

    Finally, Codemasters have a team capable of delivering a pretty looking but horribly implemented racing game with awful arcade style controls and annoying menus!

    But seriously… are we all talkign about the same Driveclub? This game?

    link to metacritic.com

    Was there a version not on PS4 which is this good game you are all talking about? Because the PS4 version was a very pretty, very poor racing game with awful, floaty handling.

    As Giant Bomb says:

    It just isn’t much fun to play. The core act of driving a car feels off in a way that completely put me off of playing the game. Without that in place, the rest of it just falls apart.

    • mistery says:

      I played this briefly recently and seemed a decent arcade racer with decent controls and very good graphics. Really hoping they will aim above F1 physics and not take their playerbase as utter idiots with handling models suited for 5 year olds. DR engine seems the best in Codies current lineup so would be cool to run something in that engine… though not quite what I get when playing AC.