Codemasters announces plans to take on Evolution Studios, the company known for racing games like DriveClub and Motorstorm that was shuttered by Sony earlier this year.
Last month, many fans of the racing genre were disappointed to hear that Sony was closing down Evolution Studios, a team well known its high-profile PlayStation exclusives. The high stakes nature of the video game industry makes news like this all too common — but fortunately this story seems to have a happy ending.
This morning, Codemasters released an announcement confirming that it will be expanding to take on the staff let go from the dissolution of Evolution Studios. It seems that the group will be preserved as its own team working under the larger Codemasters brand, perhaps even retaining the name Evolution.
Codemasters CEO Frank Sagnier attributed the company’s ability to take on the extra staff to the success of F1 2015 and the recently released DiRT Rally. Given that the English publisher is one of the few still prioritizing the racing genre, it’s easy to see the logic behind this acquisition.
Despite the heavy criticism levelled at DriveClub in the wake of its widely publicized release, most would agree that Evolution Studios did a stellar job post-launch in its efforts to improve the experience. The goodwill earned from players will certainly carry over to the team’s new role at Codemasters.
Moreover, the fact that the studio is now third party means that its next project has a better opportunity to become a hit. Diminished interest in the racing genre means that console exclusives can struggle to find their audience — releasing across PS4, Xbox One, and the crucial PC platform offers much better odds for success.
Evolution Studios co-founder Mick Hocking is set to take on the role of VP of Product Development at Codemasters. The position will see him work with all studios operating under the company’s banner, so he’ll likely remain closely linked with the team that worked under him previously.
While there’s been no official word on what the staff from Evolution will be working on first, Hocking gave a few hints at IPs that the studio would be interested in tackling. Flagship franchises DiRT, GRID and F1 were all namechecked, as was the hugely popular Micro Machines series, which has been dormant for the last decade.
Given what we know about the timescale of events between Sony, Evolution Studios and Codemasters, we might have to wait a while for information on the first title to come from the latter two companies. That being said, it seems likely that we’ll hear some details of what’s in the works before the year is out.