Evolution Studios Co-Founder on Sony: “We’ve Still Got a Great Relationship”

April 12, 2016 Written by Jason Dunning

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In an interview with Games Industry about their announcement that they’d be hiring developers from the now closed Evolution Studios, Codemasters CEO Frank Sagnier revealed their plans to keep the team together:

We want the team to remain to remain the team that they are. We want to benefit from everything that they’ve learned as a team together, we want them to create their own games. Of course there will be synergies, of course we will share stuff, but we would like to make sure they retain their identity and stay together as a team to do what they’re good at. What we don’t want to do is bring in a team of 50 people and start having some work on one game and some on another, on existing IP. The whole point is to keep their DNA and build a new game.

As Sagnier later explained, Codemasters made a job offer to all Evolution employees and most of them accepted. “We’re only hiring employees, we are not taking any of the IP or the technology,” he added. “It’s purely the people we are after.”

According to Sagnier, Evolution Studios Co-Founder Mick Hocking knew Sony wasn’t going forward with the studio “a couple of months ago.” Although Codemasters didn’t ask Sony for permission to hire Evolution staff after the closure, they did speak with Sony once they decided to move forward with the hiring, and Sagnier says, “They were happy for the team, for the fact that it was two British companies coming together.”

Hocking also addressed the closure of Evolution Studios, saying they still have a great relationship with Sony and they’ll continue to make PlayStation 4 games:

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. 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.

All in all, Hocking thinks Evolution staff joining Codemasters “is a great thing for the UK industry, that we’re able to build this racing powerhouse: a UK studio which is hopefully going to be the world number one in racing.”

[Source: Games Industry]