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Sony And Evolution 'Embarrassed' Over Driveclub Launch

IGN - PlayStation UK boss Fergal Gara has admitted both the company and Evolution Studios is "embarrassed" over Driveclub's launch issues, and used it as an example for why games should be delayed if they're not ready.

Speaking to IGN in London earlier today, Gara offered an apologies to Sony fans, particularly in light of the decision to launch the PS4 under the "4ThePlayers" slogan, and promised the PS Plus version of the racer wouldn't be released until Sony is sure it won't suffer a repeat performance.

"It’s a disappointment," he said about the server troubles. "When you lay your soul out as being '4ThePlayers', then what you certainly don’t want is games that are not fully ready. It certainly wasn’t any ill-intention on behalf of the team. It’s ambitious as a game; they’re as embarrassed as we are and all you can do in those situations is say sorry.

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Septic1020d ago

"It certainly wasn’t any ill-intention on behalf of the team."

Yeah of course. No one is claiming that (minus some fools who thought Evo was doing this on purpose so that you had to buy the actual game).

It is embarrassing but they can at least rest a little easier knowing that even the likes of 343 with Halo and DICE with BF4 have suffered with similar problems.

JoGam1020d ago

Honestly they should be embarrassed. I have Drive Club and its a awesome game but it wasn't ready to released. So much work needed to be done.

Septic1020d ago

Yeah the year long delay makes things worse too. How they thought they could be ready for launch is beyond me.

uth111020d ago

I really don't think they realized it wasn't ready. Or else they would have done something like "Challenges will be coming with the weather patch later this year". That would have saved them a lot of embarrassment.

theshonen88991020d ago

To be honest, I really don't care about the multiplayer problems. The real sin in my eyes is the complete lack of Logitech wheel support. I really hope the PS4 adds support before GT7 comes out.

OpenGL1020d ago

Little Big Planet 3 on PS4 is another one that wasn't ready to release. The load times are considerably worse than what was experienced on LBP1 and 2 on PS3, and the game had frequent crashes before the 1.03 patch came out 3 weeks after launch.

Performance also leaves a lot to be desired with online levels that were created using the previous games. It frequently locks up and there is often near-constant image tearing.

There seems to be a trend this generation with developers rushing to get their games out in an unfinished form. Assassin's Creed Unity, Drive Club, LBP3, Master Chief Collection, and I'm sure even more. Even GTA V, a game that came out more than a year ago on previous gen consoles still has online issues.

Ghoul1020d ago

@Septic

Actually i could bet my ass that the game was very different prior the year delay.
this smells like a publisher decision changing core mechanics, such changes can easily take you out of scedule not beeing able to proceed fighting bugs until the "new" route has been worked through.
And then you hit a spot were youre forced to push the product out fingers crossed

WeAreLegion1020d ago

Load times? Load times on LBP3 are significantly faster than LBP and LBP2. Something might be wrong with yours.

NuggetsOfGod1020d ago (Edited 1020d ago )

Think the game sold well anyway lol

Imo forza deserved the better sales.

StrawberryDiesel4201020d ago

Just like Halo MCC, games rushed out for the Holiday(Black Friday) is what it comes down to.

guitarded771020d ago

@ StrawberryDiesel420

But DriveClub wasn't "rushed" for the holiday season. It was given an extra year of development, during which, there was no beta to stress test servers, or even see if the code was right.

There was no more delaying this game. Had they delayed it again, that would have been an even bigger embarrassment. Sony and Evo screwed the pooch with DC. They should be embarrassed, and I hope they learned from this.

We're still waiting for the PS+ version too.

morganfell1020d ago

This article is more than a little late. Sony dropped the ball on Drive Club. That is true. But lets not examine the fact that had they delayed it again they would have been lambasted to no end while continually delayed titles like The Witcher 3 get a pass. Sorry IGN jerks but you cannot have it both ways. What can we expect though from an organization that is a disservice to gamers and employs exactly zero standards and uniformity in the manner in which various companies are treated.

Sony dropped the ball. Now the day after a jawdropping patch is released (Neogaf is stunned by it) this launch type article surfaces. Someone really doesn't want Drive Club to do well no matter what occurs.

andrewer1020d ago

If I read somewhere "From the same testers of AC Unity" everything would be clear xD

But really, who the hell are those testers who give an okay to these games?

Spotie1020d ago

@Guitarded: no beta? So what is this article talking about?

http://n4g.com/news/1574209...

Look, I get it. Evolution screwed up. But let's not go short changing them. Besides, if it were something a stress test could have discovered, I don't think it would have taken so long to fix.

Dee_911020d ago (Edited 1020d ago )

"PlayStation UK boss Fergal Gara has admitted both the company and Evolution Studios is "embarrassed" over Driveclub's launch issues, and used it as an example for why games should be delayed if they're not ready."

Umm no, considering the (main) issue is server capacity, delaying it wouldn't have helped.What would have helped would have been multiplayer demos or betas.You can't simulate how much stress your server can handle ... apparently.You have to put it under actual stress, by thousands of gamers.
This is just my assumption of course.Because it seem like most of the games that suffer these issues don't have demos and betas and can only spot the issues after the servers are under load

@Spotie
If I remember correctly that was a closed beta.So not many people had access.. They specifically said its the server capacity.
http://n4g.com/news/1636326...
So yes a substantial stress test would have fixed the issues for the most part.
Like I said in that article, managing servers I assume is something relatively new to a lot of developers.So I can't really fault them for much.. aside from not releasing a multiplayer demo or beta and such.

fr0sty1020d ago

343, Dice, even Bethesda had issues that made Skyrim unplayable due to game breaking bugs when it launched, and it isn't even an online game. It's too common these days for games to launch broken. They have become so complex to make that it's difficult to put together a well-tested game in the time budget that is allowed to these studios when they embark on a multimillion dollar project. Publishers want the game out ASAP to start earning money and so they don't have to keep dishing out checks to programmers and artists out of that game's budget. They don't always give the devs the time they need to properly test their game, so we can't put all the blame on the devs. However, in the case of Driveclub, you should never launch an online dependent game without a proper beta.

Kingthrash3601020d ago

At guitarded
True drive club had and extra year.
But MCC are remakes and ports of old games from old systems...so that nullified that argument......also ms has that 100000000 servers too
Tbh both disappointed as far as online playing was concerned ...I'm just happy they weren't acu's level of incomplete.
That's who this article should be aimed at imo

+ Show (12) more repliesLast reply 1020d ago
Christopher1020d ago

I think it was mismanaged. We kept seeing improvements to the graphics on an almost monthly basis. They should have set milestones and tested those at whatever level of graphics they had achieved. Once they had met those with public tests, then they could release and patch in updates to graphics like they are doing with weather.

To be honest, I hope some of the management gets replaced because of this game. It is apparent that the ball was dropped way too often and they need people in there that can manage milestones much better than the current set of managers.

NeoGamer2321020d ago

Agreed. You don't get three weeks before launch in 2013 and then say the game isn't ready. They knew there were problems long before that and they were not addressed properly because almost a year later it really wasn't ready for launch.

To me, DriveClub, Halo MCC, BF4, and Assassin's Creed Unity go down as the biggest screw ups in gaming. It has really given games a bad reputation this past year.

G20WLY1020d ago (Edited 1020d ago )

I wouldn't be surprised if some heads rolled - and rightly so. The only saving grace is that the game turned out great eventually!

Now they have to hope it doesn't impact early sales of their next game (Motorstorm?!) due to cautious buyers.

Side note: Is that picture really necessary? "Fail Club" - really? The title is clear enough and "Fail Club" is immaturely trolling what is finally a great product. Can we change it, to avoid misleading people into thinking there are further problems?

fr0sty1020d ago

I wouldn't say bumping up the visuals caused any of the server troubles, they just didn't test the online aspects of this game enough. They didn't even have a beta. That is a fatal mistake this day and age with a game that relies on connectivity.

Christopher1019d ago (Edited 1019d ago )

***I wouldn't say bumping up the visuals caused any of the server troubles, ***

This isn't just about server issues. This is about the full on year delay in addition to the notably disastrous release. One can only imagine what the game would have looked like or played if it was released last year when it was intended.

***they just didn't test the online aspects of this game enough.***

There were a lot more failures in the management of this game than just not testing. You don't delay a game twice for so long without other issues.

***They didn't even have a beta.***

Part of properly managing a game. Also a sign that the game just wasn't ready, IMHO.

+ Show (1) more replyLast reply 1019d ago
360ICE1020d ago

@Regarding the delay, that's pretty typical for IT projects and game development. Suddenly you hit a bug that requires changes throughout the entire system, and before you know it, you have several months of extra work ahead of you.

Christopher1020d ago

No. A whole year delay is not typical in IT projects unless they are horribly mismanaged or major changes are made in the process.

Even Sony cited, though I'm sure it was heavily played down, that Driveclub was delayed due to social gameplay issues. Those exact same issues that caused them to have such a huge issue at launch. I think it was way more than that based on how much was improved outside of social features during that time.

The point of managing a project is understanding its scope, your workforce, and utilizing the resources you have to set milestones. Driveclub was a horrible representation of how to develop a game. First the whole year push back (which is a major thing to do now and is a sign of issues), then the ongoing issues at release after the huge dealy, and the game was incomplete (still were working on weather).

360ICE1020d ago (Edited 1020d ago )

@cgoodno

Oh. Guess my lecturers were either wrong or lying then.

Seriously, though, and to be a little more specific. It's not typical IN IT, but typical FOR IT Projects. Meaning that specifically IT projects have more delays than other projects.

A whole year might not be the standard, but there's something called Chaos Theory in IT, which reflects how incredibly many projects are delayed or end up exceeding their budget.

The same reasons for these delays transfer to game development. It's an unpredictable business.

You don't have to know the theory behind it to recognise this, though. Just take a look at how many other games either are or have been delayed for almost as long, or for even longer than Driveclub. Many huge projects don't even see the light of day.

Driveclub is also quite ambitious, so defining the scope for tasks that have never been done before, is even more difficult.

Gemmol1020d ago

@360ICE

so how do Nintendo handle these bugs

Gh05t1019d ago

If any of my IT projects were pushed back a year and turned out with this many problems, I would be out of a job.

This isn't a little scope creep. This was bad project management from start to finish.

"Oh. Guess my lecturers were either wrong or lying then"

You will find that many lecturers are wrong. There is a reason for the saying "...those who can't teach."

Not to mention if you are being taught that it is standard for projects to be delayd and come in over time and budget than you need a different teacher. the point should be to teach you how to maintain both by good planning.

360ICE1019d ago (Edited 1019d ago )

@gho5t
It's what you feel is the case in your job versus decades of empiricial research. It's not the same for all businesses or industries, but for the industry as a whole, delays are frequent and budgets are blown often.

Regarding my lecturers, I'd rather take their word -- and the research they're citing -- than someone on the Internet, any day of the week. No offense.

And to reiterate, I never said it was the standard. I said it's more frequent in IT than in other businesses.

Christopher1019d ago (Edited 1019d ago )

***Oh. Guess my lecturers were either wrong or lying then.
***

They definitely were if that's what they told you.

As a person who is a programmer, if any of my projects are delayed by a year, I would be fired. Heck, I'd be fired for six months of delay.

*** It's not typical IN IT, but typical FOR IT Projects. Meaning that specifically IT projects have more delays than other projects. ***

I agree that IT projects typically have more delays. But not on the order of being a whole year late. That's exactly what I said to you above.

Now, do more IT projects have a chance of being delayed by a year than other things? Sure. but that's a horrible failure and is not how long things typically are delayed. Not by a long shot. And projects that are delayed that long? Somebody is getting fired.

***A whole year might not be the standard,***

What you just said, versus what you said before: "the delay, that's pretty typical for IT projects". Note you said "The delay" and not "a delay". The delay in question is one for more than a year. So, when you said "the delay" you are specifically talking about

That's what I was responding to.

How am I wrong in what I've said when you just said the same thing?

I think your issue is in how you get your point across and then arguing against someone who is specifically saying what you just did for whatever reason there is.

We're all just people on the Internet, but go ask a programmer at EA how they would feel if he had to delay a project, twice, taking more than an extra year of work to finish. Certain 99% of them will tell you exactly what Gh05t and I have said.

360ICE1019d ago (Edited 1019d ago )

@cgoodno
In case I was unclear the first time, I specified the second time around. It wasn't my intention to say that most IT projects are delayed or that it's common for them to be delayed by a whole year, but it happens in IT more so than in most other businesses.

Note that my comment was made in the context of being a reply to Septic. It adresses his comments, and more specifically it was meant to adress "how they thought they could be ready for launch is beyond me"

If you re-read my first comment, I think you'll find that it's really more about explaining why these delays arise in IT and video game development than about saying that most games are delayed by a year. I know that it wasn't very specific, and can be read as a general statement more than a reply, but then again, this is the Internet and I specified what I meant in my second comment.

However, it still doesn't seem to me like we're in agreement, unless you're drawing a clear distinction between video game development and IT (I've been using the two terms a bit carelessly). A year's worth of delay in video game development as per today, simply doesn't require horrible mismanagement or even for major changes to be made. Delays in AAA development for the new hardware has indeed bordered on being the norm and some articles written on Kickstarter found delays to be the rule, rather than the exception. Furthermore, half of 2014 has been pushed back to 2015.

Regarding EA, I guess we can ask the Battlefield: Hardline developers, seeing how they're in a very similar situation. As they have been with several other Battlefield games, as well as Mirror's Edge.

Christopher1019d ago

*** A year's worth of delay in video game development as per today, simply doesn't require horrible mismanagement or even for major changes to be made.***

It does if:

1. The delay doesn't involve decisions to change major gameplay elements. This is not the case with Driveclub.

2. The delay comes along with a horrible release, whether game-breaking bugs or online features that are relied upon and do not work for more than a day or two.

I see no reason to not blame poor management for this game. Twice delayed means they failed to even understand their own milestones. Finally released and with disastrous results means they didn't properly SQA the game, which means failure by management.

360ICE1019d ago

@cgoodno
I'm more inclined to agree with you now that you've included those two points, which exclude a lot of delayed games.

Then again, the second point means that the game has had a failed release, and it's possible to argue that all failed releases are due to mismanagement, whether the failure can be attributed to the publisher or the developer. If your stance is (I'm being hypothetical here) that failed releases are unacceptable, then won't every failed release by extension be mismanaged?

However, I still think an ambitious project (ambitious is almost implied in AAA for new hardware) can hit some major bumps, causing it to be delayed, without being mismanaged. Defining the scope of tasks that have never been done before can, generally speaking, be incredibly hard.

That being said, I'm not sure exactly what constitutes Driveclub's launch. It might very well be bad management. Driveclub's director left Evolution, but that was, if I recall correctly, due to his son being sick. I probably shouldn't speculate, though, and for wwhat it's worth I think DC turned out great eeventually.

Christopher1019d ago (Edited 1019d ago )

***If your stance is (I'm being hypothetical here) that failed releases are unacceptable, then won't every failed release by extension be mismanaged? ***

From a business perspective, yes. The problem in those instances tends to be having to meet specific release schedules and not planning properly to meet those deadlines. While I understand there are issues out of control of many manager's hands, upper management pushing these requirements are included in this, though rarely ever take any blame for a release.

This is one reason why you develop a rule of telling management that it will take you 20% longer to do something than you think it will and why those managers tend to fudge it up 20% more to upper management. But, there are instances where upper management has a set time frame, a set goal for the game, and if it's not met then blame it on the people that they force to do too much work in too short of time.

Regardless of who is at fault, middle management or upper management, it was mismanaged.

Driveclub doesn't fall anywhere in this line of thought. 99% of games developed for PC/consoles now don't fall anywhere in this line of thought.

+ Show (7) more repliesLast reply 1019d ago
joab7771020d ago

It was pushed and pushed hard. It's too bad it happened how it did b/c when all is said and done, I think it will be quite an amazing game.

They are pushing boundaries and hopefully learning things that other Sony studios can put to use.

Gamer19821020d ago

"PlayStation UK boss Fergal Gara has admitted both the company and Evolution Studios is "embarrassed" over Driveclub's launch issues, and used it as an example for why games should be delayed if they're not ready. "
Erm it was delayed... TWICE!! For a whole damn year! I have a lot of love for the guys at evolution but they clearly had issues with this game as it was something new for them. It might be racing but it was a different type and not only that it was on a new console. If it was a motorstorm I feel they wouldn't have had as many hiccups as they did.

DigitalHope1020d ago

It does suck that it happened, but at least some good is coming out of all of it. Just not from Driveclub, but all the games, across multiple platforms releasing broken. It's not like a one time thing and it gets forgotten. There has been enough garbage and controversy for it to stick this year.

Already seeing a lot of high profile games being pushed back and they should be better for it.

gangsta_red1020d ago

I'm really starting to think that the delay of the game was only a strategic move by Sony to fill the gap of having no games to launch for this year.

I mean a year delay and most of the features and online weren't even present, not to mention the PS+ version which is all but canceled.

What exactly where they doing for that year? Improving graphics...for a whole year!?

No, I think the game was ready and was put on hold to not only compete with Horizon 2 but to release something in the long gap.

Christopher1020d ago

What? No games to launch this year?

- Second Son
- MLB The show
- The Last of Us
- Natural Doctrine
- Samurai Warriors 4
- Singstar
- LBP3
- Akiba's Trip
- FFXIV
- MXGP
- Dynasty Warriors 8
- Bound By Flame
- Le Tour de France
- MotoGP 14
- Air Conflicts Vietnam

There were plenty of games out that weren't on the competition (XBO) at retail alone. Sure, they aren't the best of games overall, but it's more than the competition and it's spread out pretty evenly.

I don't think your theory has any weight considering Sony didn't know at 2013 E3 that they needed Driveclub this Holiday Season. To be honest, they didn't. It's only a view that you must have a lot at this time that drives that, and that's silly considering how much exclusives tend to lose out to multiplatform titles during this time of the year.

gangsta_red1020d ago

C'mon Cgoodno, a lot of those titles are really scraping the bottom, as you yourself even eluded and mentioned. That was a very weak attempt at proving a point and just proved how lackluster Sony's own 1st party line up truly was.

And I also meant no games in the middle of this year, don't know why I put launch. My apologies...But still my point stands..

"I don't think your theory has any weight..."

Hmmmm, really?

No PS+ version, the game is only 30fps and is not open world..Forza 5 is 1080p/60fps, half of the promised features are missing and most are appearing just now and a broken online that the devs admitted had to be re-written. All this PLUS a year delay...so you really think there's no weight to my theory eh?

That whole year delayed was just spent tweaking graphics...no testing, no features and nothing else right?

If Driveclub didn't release when it did what else could Sony fill in it's place?

Christopher1020d ago (Edited 1020d ago )

***C'mon Cgoodno, a lot of those titles are really scraping the bottom, as you yourself even eluded and mentioned. ***

No more so than many of the ones on the competitor's side.

***That was a very weak attempt at proving a point and just proved how lackluster Sony's own 1st party line up truly was. ***

Weaker than your attempt to play the "Sony has no games" card?

***And I also meant no games in the middle of this year***

But there were games in the middle of the year...

***No PS+ version, the game is only 30fps and is not open world..Forza 5 is 1080p/60fps, half of the promised features are missing and most are appearing just now and a broken online that the devs admitted had to be re-written. All this PLUS a year delay...so you really think there's no weight to my theory eh? ***

Your theory that the game was delayed to have a game out right now, and yet you provide proof that it should have been delayed longer...

***If Driveclub didn't release when it did what else could Sony fill in it's place?***

Natural Doctrine came out a week earlier. LittleBigPlanet 3 a month later.

But, even then, why weren't you using this logic the 6 months that XBO had practically nothing out on XBO? Why must there be a Sony exclusive "right at this time"?

sweendog1020d ago

What have MS first party studios released in the first year? Forza, halo and Forza. Yeah count third party games if you like but most of those studios picked MS because they thought xbox would dominate in the U.S like the 360 did. Hasnt turned out that way has it. I wonder who they will choose to release games for in the future

+ Show (1) more replyLast reply 1020d ago
BlissSeeker1020d ago Show
sourav931020d ago

I was going to wait for the PS+ edition, but with the new weather patch, I couldn't resist. I was going to get the full game eventually, so it's not too much of problem. The fact that I got for only £25 makes it even better.

Magicite1020d ago

Should have been delayed at least a couple more months and deliver at launch.

ps4gamer19831020d ago

Sony usually never releas3s a game that messed up. Sony should quit working with evolution studios IMO for the simple fact(s) that Evolution:

1. Delayed the game for a long time and still released a crap game

2. Game was incomplete (weather)

3. The actual gameplay is nothing special

Muzikguy1020d ago

I'm not saying it was intentional. They should be embarrassed that's for sure. All these games coming out with problems and a slogan like that, just doesn't make you look good. Companies need to start upping their game a little bit IMO. These kinds of problems shouldn't be acceptable anymore. There have been generations now where we've been in the "internet" age. This stuff isn't new anymore. I'm glad to see action being taken though. What this has told me? No more day 1 purchases of online only games!

XanderZane1019d ago

I'm wondering why they are still talking about this disaster of a game. They should just let it R.I.P. at this point. Still no PS+ version and the weather patch they released seem to be causing new problems with the gameplay. A full year in delay and they still couldn't get it right. Move along, nothing to see here.

+ Show (11) more repliesLast reply 1019d ago
lodossrage1020d ago

As they should be.

But the majority of the issues are fixed so I'm happy. A bigger problem would have been if it wasn't working and they just left it that way.

PizzaSteve1020d ago

Give me a new Motor Storm on PS4 and all is forgiven. Even though I think Driveclub is a good game.

viperman2401020d ago (Edited 1020d ago )

can't wait for Motorstorm 4, in case you forgot how its going to turn out :)

http://imgur.com/a/C5uAD

pivotplease1020d ago

Maan is that futuristic/post-apocalyptic Motorstorm? That's the best concept for a racing game I've seen in a long time.

meganick1020d ago

Motorstorm with PS4 visuals would be amazing. 3D support would be even better.

Rhezin1020d ago

Agreed! I'd love another motorstorm. Prob my favorite arcade racer next to Road Rash.

medman1020d ago (Edited 1020d ago )

The sad part is there was no need to be embarrassed, this situation was completely avoidable...I hope they learn from it and don't let something like this happen again. The same thing really applies across the board, what with broken Halo 5 multiplayer and the Assassin's Creed mess, there is a lot of fumbling of the ball going on this gen so far. I understood some of the issues with launch titles, but not for titles a year out from release. Unacceptable. I can only hope it gets corrected for 2015, because the slate of games on offer looks stellar thus far, but the promise of those games would be completely derailed if issues like this persist into 2015.

Septic1020d ago

"what with broken Halo 5 multiplayer"

Don't you mean The Master Chief Collection?

SmokingMonkey1020d ago

Was there a beta for DC?

Master Chief collection?

This sort of thing comes with having games being online all the time deal with it...I mean get used to it.

uth111020d ago

DC had betas but they were closed and not large enough.

Imalwaysright1020d ago (Edited 1020d ago )

Getting used to being shafted despite these companies getting our hard earned money?

http://www.redtoadmedia.com...