SONY has announced it is taking the servers for Driveclub offline next year.
Players will still be able to enjoy offline races, but the game’s many social features and other online functionality won’t work.
The online features were the key selling point when the game launched, with Sony saying Driveclub was “most importantly it’s about sharing in the sheer thrill of every race.”
It’s going to carry on selling the game until August, and then all sharing of thrills will cease on March 31 next year.
The game came out in October 2014, and received a host of updates and improvements after launch.
The final downloadable pack was released on 22 March 2016, on the same day Sony announced it was shutting Evolution, the studio behind it, down.
According to Paul Rustchynsky, who previously headed up Evolution, the decision to pull the game from sale is due to “licensing reasons”.
This stems from the “standard practice” to only license models and brands for vehicles for a five-year period rather than indefinitely, Rustchynsky said.
The decision to shut down the servers and remove online play from the game isn’t directly related to this decision, however – that “will just be a business decision” according to Rustchynsky, who now works as a game director at Slightly Mad Studios.
The game was re-released by Sony last summer as part of the firm’s PlayStation Hits line after selling several million copies despite a rocky 2014 launch.
Free and premium DLC expanded the range of tracks and cars available as well as adding some huge features such as dynamic weather.
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Those additions and the improvements to the online servers elevated what was a below-average racer at launch to one of the PS4’s best options for fans of arcade racing, but it seems that wasn’t enough to save it.
The change also affects Driveclub VR and Driveclub Bikes.
Those looking for a new game to scratch that arcade-racing itch on PlayStation are probably best off checking out Project Cars 2 which came out in 2017 — and was produced by Slightly Mad Studios, where many of Evolution’s developers ended up.
If that doesn’t work, then you might just find yourself waiting to see what Sony has up their sleeve for the PS5 — or you could jump ship to Xbox One and play the brilliant Forza Horizon 4.
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