“They tried to do the best, newest, greatest thing ever to happen in the driving genre”
Sony Computer Entertainment America CEO Shawn Layden has been putting some positive spin on the ill fated release of PS4’s exclusive racer DriveClub - praising Evolution Studio’s for their ambitions, while acknowledging the misfortunes that have resulted.
DriveClub had been billed as a title to launch alongside PS4 last year, but instead arrived a year later with bundles of teething problems. Since it’s release, the game’s server struggled to accommodate the influx of players trying to get into DriveClub’s social and multiplayer features.
Evolution has since stated that the majority of DriveClub players should now be able to enjoy the game as intended yet it’s acknowledged more work is needed, not least with regards the release of the free PlayStation Plus version of DriveClub, which has been postponed.
Talking to IGN, Layden complimented Evolution on previous titles the likes of Motorstorm and noted that the studio has made "innovations in the racing genre that even my good friend Kazunori [Yamauchi, Polyphony Digital president] 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."
The sheer scale of launching a project with such highly focused online ambitions seems to also have been it’s downfall, given that in quality assurance and beta testing phases it’s impossible to replicate the server load, "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, " said Layden.
According to the PlayStation chief, Evolution is making progress with DriveClub however. "I get reports from them every day on the progress that they're making, and it is going forward. It is going slowly, but, you know, they tried to do the best, newest, greatest thing ever to happen in the driving genre and they hit a hiccup. I prefer people to have the ambition to try that, though. It's no fun being safe all the time."