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Sony buys MotorStorm developer

Sony has revealed about the Tokyo Game Show that they have recently acquired WRC Rally and MotorStorm development house Evolution Studios, and their subsidiary team Bigbig Studios, who developed the PSP title Pursuit Force.

Evolution’s founders Martin Kenwright and Ian Hetherington will be parting ways with the company, with managing director Mick Hocking taking charge of Evolution, Bigbig and Sony’s Liverpool Studio as group studio director.

Evolution was founded in 1999 and created five WRC titles, as well as recent PS3 hit MotorStorm, which has sold in excess of 1 million copies worldwide. Aside from continuing to support MotorStorm with DLC, they are working on an entirely new game in the franchise, which is expected in 2008.

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Bigbig was set up in 2001 and their first game was the 800,000-selling PSP title Pursuit Force. They are currently working on a sequel Pursuit Force: Extreme Justice, due for release on PSP and PS2 early next year.

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Michael Denny, vice president of SCE Worldwide Studios commented:

“Our strategy with our studios is to create the best games by working with the best talent.

“We’ve enjoyed a highly productive and commercially successful relationship with Evolution and Bigbig and now there’s a great opportunity in bringing them into part of the family to share further in terms of technology, production methodology and creative goals to make the experiences that these teams are creating even better.

“Worldwide Studio Europe management will be involved in the strategic planning and financial management of the studio but day-to-day operations will continue largely unchanged.

“We want to protect and enhance our investment in Evolution Studios and Bigbig, and have no plans to reduce the overall number of staff in either studio.”

This brings to total number of development studios under the SCE Worldwide Studios banner to fifteen, numbering in excess of 2500 employees.

The author of this fine article

is a Senior Staff Writer at Thunderbolt, having joined in April 2007.

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