Sony’s Failed “Forza Killer” – The Tragedy of Driveclub

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Hardware manufacturers typically position racing games as the premier showpiece of a new console’s graphical and performance capabilities. The original PlayStation had Ridge Racer; the first Xbox hit the scene several years later with Project Gotham Racing in tow. While Microsoft managed to ship Xbox One with a first-party racer—Forza Motorsport 5—the PlayStation 4 had to rely on third-party fare such as Need for Speed: Rivals. Notably, Driveclub from Evolution Studios initially constituted the must-have racing experience on PS4, but issues with the game’s core conceit postponed it well beyond the console launch window.

Having long developed top-tier racing titles for PlayStation consoles, the team at Evolution dreamt of ushering the genre into a new era, wherein community-building and team-based racing occupied center stage. The studio arguably accomplished as much with Driveclub but not without more than a fair few growing pains. Throughout its stunted life cycle, the arcade racer accelerated from a disastrous launch to a redemption arc that hit its stride too late.

Many a PS4 owner still remembers the thrill of speeding through real-world-inspired locales, though, racing or tackling challenges to boost the dominance of their community-made club. Evolution’s injection of motorcycle races a year after launch further amplified the high-octane experience, and seemingly left the door open for the game’s continued expansion into new avenues. Unfortunately, the untimely closure of the development house resulted in Driveclub riding off into the sunset with only a middling VR port following in its wake.

This is the tragedy of Driveclub.

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