While we may never know what truly happened in the year since Driveclub's proposed launch and its eventual launch, developer Evolution Studios is seemingly trying to calm gamer outrage with what have been, by and large, excuses. They know that the socially connected racing game's debut was far from perfect and although strides have been made towards stability, Driveclub is still not where Evolution hoped it would be.
So far, though, Sony had yet to chime in on the Driveclub kerfuffle, outside of a few calculated press release quotes. It had mostly been Evolution who was taking the brunt of the heat for the game's failures – as well they should be – but now Sony CEO Shawn Layden is sharing his thoughts on the launch.
Much like Evolution did back when Driveclub first launched/failed, Layden emphasizes the game's ambition in the social space. It was that social experience that apparently forced Driveclub off its PS4 launch window track, but it also was, in Sony and Evolution's minds, a major selling point for the game.
"[Evolution] has done innovations in the racing genre that even my good friend Kazunori [Yamauchi, Founder and President of Sony-owned Polyphony Digital] hasn't replicated yet in [Gran Turismo], about deformation of the environment, of the cars, of that type of thing. Their ambition with Driveclub was to create this uber-connected experience, melded with the driving experience..."
And although Evolution tried to prepare for the oncoming wave of interconnected players their testing simply fell short. Why exactly it did is apparently still a mystery to Evolution and Sony, but the developer did try to account for upwards of 200,000 players worth of server load.
"In the development cycle, we try to do all things. In the development cycle, we try to test against every possibility. We have a [Quality Assurance] team, we have a QA plan. You do a beta test, you scope against that. But now, in a connected world, you can't effectively test in your house or in your beta group what it means to have 50,000, 100,000, 200,000 users hit your service. And the guys [at the studio] are struggling with that. It's throwing up things they had not anticipated."
Layden also reveals that Evolution is slowly working towards improving Driveclub, but he admits it's slow going. Last we had heard, the game is fairly stable and Evolution was preparing a goodwill package including a diamond-encrusted sports car.
Many were hoping to try before they buy, but now that the game has gone through so much tribulation it's hard to imagine too many gamers are still holding out hope. Obviously, Evolution's first priority is making sure their paying customers are happy, but at the same time they are likely losing potential paying customers with every passing day.
Where do you think Evolution Studios went wrong with Driveclub? Have you been able to play Driveclub regularly without problems?