Sony is officially delisting the Driveclub franchise from its servers, and will officially be shutting down the game on March 31st, 2020.
In an announcement on their website, Sony noted that Driveclub, Driveclub VR, and Driveclub Bikes will all face the shutdown, with all online features, including online multiplayer modes, being affected.
Sony details what features will be removed from the game, including competition through leaderboards and sharing stats and player progress, creating your own events, playing online multiplayer, competing in challenges, and using the games season pass online. In addition, online Clubs and multiplayer tours will also cease operations.
Sony is quick to note that the game will still be playable through its single player in offline mode, and be able to use all the games and their single player DLC in offline mode.
In addition to the announcement of the games shutting down, Sony will also stop selling all versions of Driveclub, and their DLC and season pass on the PSN store starting on August 31st, 2019.
Driveclub was developed by Evolution Studios and released in 2014 by Sony, quickly selling 2 million copies by July 2015 despite mixed reviews. Driveclub Bikes, a standalone expansion, was released in 2015, followed by the VR version in 2016. However, Sony would shut down Evolution Studios in March of 2016 due to corporate restructuring of Sony’s European studios. Since the closure of Evolution Studios, content for the game has since been dormant, with the last major update coming with the release of Driveclub VR in 2016.
Additionally, StarBlood Arena will also be losing its servers on July 25th, and since it is an online-only title it will completely cease functioning and be unavailable.
It is always terrible when a game basically just disappears, especially one that always had a lot of improvement and potential attached to it like Driveclub. Personally, Sony has a bit of a track record for prematurely shutting down games like this, and I feel like this is another example of the downsides of what gaming as a service can be.
Hopefully, this doesn’t dissuade other games or franchises like this as well, but the lingering fear is always there that games will lose a lot of their appeal due to their connection to online functionality.
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