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Evolution Studios, the developer behind MotorStorm and DriveClub, has become part of Codemasters just a few weeks after Sony announced plans to shut the racing game development house.
United Kingdom-based Codemasters, the maker of the Dirt and F1 racing games, aims to create a racing game powerhouse with the acquisition. The racing genre is a big part of the console and PC gaming business, and few studios can consistently turn out top racing titles.
“The success of F1 2015 and Dirt Rally over the last 12 months has re-positioned the company for growth,” said Codemasters chief executive Frank Sagnier, in a statement. “The addition of the Evolution team to our studio group will allow us to scale our business and strengthen our leadership as the world’s premier racing game developer. I’m thrilled to have Mick Hocking join Codemasters as VP of product development. His experience in building triple-A IP and leading great teams made him a natural choice to head the development of all of our products. I am equally thrilled to welcome his talented team to the Codemasters family and I look forward to the great games and brand new IP we will develop together.”
Hocking was previously studio director at Evolution Studios.
“I’m delighted to be joining Codemasters at such an exciting time in the company’s growth,” Hocking said in a statement. “We have a shared passion for racing, a desire to innovate and a determination to create the best racing games and build the biggest racing community in the market. I’m very much looking forward to working with so many of the world’s greatest racing developers, on new IP as well as exciting franchises including Dirt, Grid, Micro Machines, and the Formula One games.”
Evolution Studios will work on both new intellectual property and existing game franchises. Evolution was founded in 1999, and Sony acquired it in 2008. The studio most recently worked on updates to DriveClub, which it published on the PlayStation 4 in 2014. DriveClub had delays and technical issues at launch, but it still sold 2 million copies. Evolution’s previous IP remains in the hands of Sony.
Sagnier became CEO after Rod Cousens left in April 2015. The acquisition is smart in part because Codemasters hasn’t laid out any money to acquire Evolution, beyond paying the employees to continue working.
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