Any concerns about the viability of Codemasters appear to have been abated with news of its deal to acquire the talent behind Evolution Studios.
It was reported this morning that the Evolution team, behind Sony's Driveclub, is being integrated into Codemasters, with founder Mike Hocking becoming VP of product development.
"We're looking to scale our business, we're absolutely focused on racing, we want to only do triple-A racing, which is exactly what these guys are about,” Codemasters CEO Frank Sagnier told Games Industry. We share DNA, passion, talent. So it was sort of lucky that Sony took that decision, and I'm very happy about it. We were Ferrari and Mercedes, now we're the same team.
"We are in a growth cycle again. We've got some 25-30 jobs open in addition to the Evo team. It was important to us to really refocus on racing.”
Sagnier also addressed the recent job losses that led to wider concerns about the company's health.
We had to let some people go, we had to drop some projects which weren't strategic,” he added. We also dropped some company functions - I've no interest in distribution any more, we've got partners to do that - we just want to focus on making great racing games.
So we've been able to focus on what we're very good at and now, with the company being healthy financially again, we can invest further and be even better. Evo is definitely a huge coup for us, but we are continuing to hire because we have a lot of projects in our pipeline which we're very excited about. We want to be the number one racing studio in the world.”
Also confirmed was that Sony was not in any way involved in the deal to bring in Evolution, although Hocking insists that the platform holder was perfectly happy with the news and for the team – and that it should mean more PS4 content from the team in the future.
"We've always had a great relationship with Sony and it's been a real privilege to be involved in the development of tech and new platforms with them,” Hocking added. We worked on some great IP together and it's been a very amicable parting of ways.
We've still got a great relationship and PS4 is definitely going to be a key part of our strategy going forward, so we'll be maintaining those relationships. So I think it's all been handled really well, by both companies. It's very positive. We're very happy to be able to go forward and work on multiple platforms and work on new IP here. Sony will still be getting the output from our studio, certainly for our next game, which we hope will be really successful on PS4.”