Evolution Studios

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Evolution Studios
Subsidiary of Codemasters
Industry Computer and video games
Interactive entertainment
Fate Closed
Predecessor Bigbig Studios
Founded 1999
Founder Martin Kenwright
Ian Hetherington
Mick Hocking
Headquarters Runcorn, Cheshire, United Kingdom
Key people
Mick Hocking (Group Studio Director)
Products World Rally Championship series
MotorStorm series
Owner Sony Corporation
Number of employees
40-60
Parent SIE Worldwide Studios (1999-2016)
Website Official website

Evolution Studios Ltd. was a British video game developer headquartered in Runcorn, Cheshire. The company was founded in 1999 by Martin Kenwright and Ian Hetherington, following the purchase of DID's publisher Ocean Software by Infogrames. Kenwright left DID with six members of staff to form Evolution Studios.

Then based in Frodsham, Cheshire, it developed a racing demo on PC, depicting multiple rally cars racing on a circuit with cockpit views, which was subsequently picked up by Sony as it was interested in a PlayStation 2 game based on the World Rally Championship licence.

Both Evolution and their satellite studio, Bigbig Studios, in Warwickshire were acquired by Sony Computer Entertainment in September 2007.[1] At this point, Kenwright and Hetherington left the company, with its co-founder Mick Hocking taking over, running Evolution, Bigbig and SCE Studio Liverpool as Group Studio Director. Hocking was subsequently promoted to Vice President of the Studio Group in April 2011.

The developer's last game was Driveclub. It was scheduled as a PS4 launch title, although it was ultimately delayed, until October 2014. They claim they had trademarked the name of the game almost 10 years ago, but were waiting for the technology to create their vision of the game.[citation needed]

On 23 March 2015, 55 staff members were cut from Evolution Studio, which sources say is approximately half the studio. The redundancies have been described by Sony as a way to focus the studio on developing Driveclub as a service.[2] On 22 March 2016, Sony announced that Evolution Studios was closed.[3] On 11 April 2016, the development team joined Codemasters.[4] Codemasters’ CEO Frank Sagnier said that acquisition of the fifteen year-long development practice of Evolution Studios allows the two racing game developers to pool their ‘shared DNA, passion and talents.’ Codemasters is keen on allowing the previous employees of Evolution Studios to retain their own unique style, rather than assimilating them into the Codemasters fold.[5] Evolution Studios, transferred from Sony Interactive Entertainment in April 2016.

Games developed[edit]

Year Game Platform(s) GameRankings Metacritic Notes
2001 World Rally Championship PlayStation 2 81.33%[6] 80/100[7]
2002 WRC II Extreme 82.33%[8] N/A
2003 WRC 3 79.38%[9] N/A
2004 WRC 4 81.86%[10] N/A
2005 WRC: Rally Evolved 79.81%[11] N/A
2006 MotorStorm PlayStation 3 82.43%[12] 84/100[13]
2008 MotorStorm: Pacific Rift 82.49%[14] 82/100[15]
2011 MotorStorm: Apocalypse 78.34%[16] 77/100[17]
2012 MotorStorm: RC PlayStation 3, PlayStation Vita 78.35%[18] 78/100[19]
2014 Driveclub PlayStation 4 70.72%[20] 71/100[21]

References[edit]

  1. ^ TGS: Sony buys MotorStorm dev News // PS3 /// Eurogamer
  2. ^ "DriveClub developer Evolution set to lose 55 staff, sources say". Eurogamer. Retrieved 24 March 2015. 
  3. ^ Brightman, James (22 March 2016). "Sony confirms closure of Evolution Studios". GamesIndustry.biz. Retrieved 22 March 2016. 
  4. ^ Skrebels, Joe (11 April 2016). "Closed Driveclub Developer Becomes A New Codemasters Studio". IGN. Retrieved 11 April 2016. 
  5. ^ Morgan, Dave (April 12, 2016). "Codemasters Saves ex-Evolution Studios Developers". WholesGame. Retrieved 14 April 2016. 
  6. ^ "World Rally Championship Reviews". GameRankings. Retrieved 4 July 2014. 
  7. ^ "World Rally Championship Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved 4 July 2014. 
  8. ^ "WRC II Extreme Reviews". GameRankings. Retrieved 4 July 2014. 
  9. ^ "WRC 3 Reviews". GameRankings. Retrieved 4 July 2014. 
  10. ^ "WRC 4 Reviews". GameRankings. Retrieved 4 July 2014. 
  11. ^ "WRC: Rally Evolved Reviews". GameRankings. Retrieved 4 July 2014. 
  12. ^ "MotorStorm Reviews". GameRankings. Retrieved 4 July 2014. 
  13. ^ "MotorStorm Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved 4 July 2014. 
  14. ^ "MotorStorm: Pacific Rift Reviews". GameRankings. Retrieved 4 July 2014. 
  15. ^ "MotorStorm: Pacific Rift Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved 4 July 2014. 
  16. ^ "MotorStorm: Apocalypse Reviews". GameRankings. Retrieved 4 July 2014. 
  17. ^ "MotorStorm: Apocalypse Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved 4 July 2014. 
  18. ^ "MotorStorm: RC Reviews". GameRankings. Retrieved 4 July 2014. 
  19. ^ "MotorStorm: RC Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved 4 July 2014. 
  20. ^ "Driveclub Reviews". GameRankings. Retrieved 4 July 2014. 
  21. ^ "Driveclub Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved 4 July 2014. 

External links[edit]