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Eurogamer: Layoffs at OnRush dev Evo, Driveclub director Rushy let go

Oct 27, 2017
2,265
Thanks for this, the whole tuning and upgrade side of it had somehow slipped my mind. Forza Horizon is an open world driving sim. It's not quite as heavy on the sim side of things as Forza Motorsport, but it's actually pretty close. The fact it's jam packed with non-track racing activities doesn't really change that.

Ultimately, it kind of feels like the arcade racer is almost dead at this point, at least until you go to the complete extremes with Mario Kart. As much as OnRush was obviously doomed for a dozen reasons, no-one seems to know how to succeed in this sub-genre any more. The worst thing is that while I think back on various arcade racing games I've really liked over the past decade or so (Burnout Paradise, GRID, Blur, Motorstorm) I'm not sure a new version of those would actually find success. It feels like it should be kinda easy, especially given the lack of competition, but game after game is falling flat right now.
No worries, and apologies if I sound condescending at all! I have a fairly specific, staunch view on what defines an arcade racer and I generally get fired up about it even when it's not warranted.

If I can put it another way, an arcade game gives people the same limited choices so then when someone wins/beats a time or whatever then it's purely down to skill. PGR and DC had that because you could always pick a car and a track and the rest is skill. But with something like FH, there are so many variables, even when the racing is on a fairly defined circuit. I believe there were modes where you couldn't use tuned cars or you're given fixed parameters (like they donate the car to you or something) and that's closer to it, but that's only ever a small part of the game.

In that sense, I guess that's why arcade racers are failing: Big drawcards are customising the hell out of cars, collecting as many as possible and be given freedom and variety. When you don't have those things and focus more on refining skills, to outsiders that just looks like there's fuck-all content and a waste of money (look at the complaints for DC and PGR not having a big enough car selection compared to Forza/GT).

And to bring it back, I think that perception of lack of content (despite there being a dopamine-overloaded sense of replayability when actually playing it) is what worked against Onrush and specifically how much it cost. Why would I pay ~$90AUD for some arcade game that I've never heard of when I can spend the same amount to get an officially licensed Formula 1 game with all the teams and drivers I'm familiar with, along with all the tracks? It should've launched in the same range as Rocket League or Wipeout Omega. And considering it was developed in two years I think Codemasters were fucking crazy charging full retail.


/rant
 
Dec 8, 2017
1,172
It's Bizarre all over again..

Hopefully they can now join Lucid games and together develop Project Gotham Street Driving Club and kick every other racer's ass.

Sorry for them, they deserve better.
But honestly, Onrush always looked like a very bad idea.
There's was never an audience for something like it and arcade racers aren't perceived as 60$ material.
 
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I'd like to single this post out because it hits on something that I've thought for a while about such gamers who are often clamouring for innovation in games. Most of these people, either on Era or on other such dedicated circles, simply don't walk the walk on this front. They loudly proclaim their love and hunger for new experiences, implying how unconditionally they are ready to sink their teeth into them, but at the first sign of trouble or unwelcome to their expectation, start raising obstacles, setting conditions for their purchase and a host of reasons NOT to buy something ex. 'too expensive' 'no racing equals no buy' 'metacritic too low' 'not a new motorstorm?.'
Agree with this 100%. I don't ever want to hear anyone complain again that "car games are all so samey". Also the vitriol I've seen from some ex-Stormers and "I wanted it to be racing" people has just been pretty lame. It's like at some point people's definition of "car game" gets hardened and any shift from that spec. must be declared a failure right away. Worse still is the view that just because it doesn't satisfy these requirements, it is inherently a bad game. And I don't even want to go into the territory of "hey, maybe the team doesn't want to do another Motorstorm game just yet", because obviously this does not satisfy the man-babies.
 
I keep saying this! I dont think Apocalypse is what the majority of Motorstorm fans wanted to see next after the Greatest Brutal Off road racer game "Pacific Rift" and the launch timing of Apocalypse couldnt have been worse. A new Motorstorm game could do very well right now. There is absolutely nothing like it on the ps4. I want that adrenaline feeling back!!!
I honestly think a Motorstorm on PS5 is a better fit if the rumored leap in CPU processing turns out to be true. Motorstorm will be rediculous on a decently powerful CPU setup.
Edit: but then again a PS5 developed title will cost quite a bit and there is no room to fuck it up so we can't trust Evo to get it right. It's getting expensive to make games and I think Evo is better off doing smaller titles. I believe one of the big publishers like EA said they want to move to smaller games as to not take a risk on AAA titles that could turn into expensive failures.
 

Ste

Member
Jun 8, 2018
254
England
Nobody asked for that game from them, pretty much everyone either asked for drive club or motorstorm. The development team need to be given stuff to do to already started code masters games as they're unbelievable at lighting and weather effects.
 
Nobody asked for that game from them, pretty much everyone either asked for drive club or motorstorm. The development team need to be given stuff to do to already started code masters games as they're unbelievable at lighting and weather effects.
Looks to me like Onrush is Motorstorm in everything but the name. My opinion of course.
 
Oct 27, 2017
2,265
The conclusion to be drawn from these posts is that the state of the racing audience is such that those who are demanding a fresh, less realistic approach have, in reality, an only passing and marginal interest in such experiences and are likely only there for a bonafide success, not one that is slightly short of the mark no matter how much short that might be, below 80 metacritic or another criteria they judge by.
I 110% agree with your entire post BR, and the above is what stings the most. I'll post something here I'm sure I've posted before regarding arcade racers and in general, mechanic-focused (over content-focused) games in general:
Housemarque: Arcade is Dead

Our games have received great critical reception over the years, perhaps the best example being Nex Machina, which we published in June to great critical acclaim, garnering a metacritic score of 88. Nex Machina was a dream project, as we got to work with our hero and arcade gaming legend Eugene Jarvis, who is responsible for some of the most revered arcade games of all time such as Defender, Robotron 2084 and Smash TV. He has had a tremendous impact on our games, including Resogun and Dead Nation. However despite critical success and numerous awards, our games just haven’t sold in significant numbers.
People want what they want, but not enough to seek it out and pay for it. At least, not in the numbers that justify a game's development in the first place.

A side thought: I wonder if games like these also fail because they're just not that exciting to watch via streaming. I can't imagine it's that exciting to watch someone get better lap times in Driveclub or just watch people run/smash into each other in Onrush, whereas driving around a vast space in Forza Horizon could be far more appealing.

Edit:
It's Bizarre all over again..

Hopefully they can now join Lucid games and together develop Project Gotham Street Driving Club and kick every other racer's ass.
Hah, I suggested earlier in the thread that Rushy should join up with Lucid, and then someone posted that Sumo tweeted looking to fill a number of positions.

Also, Rushy legit retweeted in the last 12 hours or so that Lucid is looking to hire staff. Very odd.

Sorry for them, they deserve better.
But honestly, Onrush always looked like a very bad idea.
There's was never an audience for something like it and arcade racers aren't perceived as 60$ material.
Agreed completely. It's a great game but it's a bad idea if the marketing and leadup to launch wasn't perfect. And the cost wasn't right. And it was screwed on literally all those points.
 
Oct 29, 2017
323
New York
I honestly think a Motorstorm on PS5 is a better fit if the rumored leap in CPU processing turns out to be true. Motorstorm will be rediculous on a decently powerful CPU setup.
Edit: but then again a PS5 developed title will cost quite a bit and there is no room to fuck it up so we can't trust Evo to get it right. It's getting expensive to make games and I think Evo is better off doing smaller titles. I believe one of the big publishers like EA said they want to move to smaller games as to not take a risk on AAA titles that could turn into expensive failures.
I would really love to see Arctic Edge on ps5 or a very similar, same concept but better in almost every single aspect or a Pacific Rift 2. Did you play Arctic Edge?
 
Nov 2, 2017
6,848
Looks to me like Onrush is Motorstorm in everything but the name. My opinion of course.
Onrush is nothing like Motorstorm, what are you on about?

Ideally they should have released a Motorstorm Pacific Rift remaster early in the PS4 life cycle and it that was deemed successful gone into a full blown sequel.
 
Oct 25, 2017
828
Damn! I'm still playing DRIVECLUB & DCVR. They did such a great job on those.

Onrush just didn't hook me despite being interested in the concept. I'm sad that it didn't succeed for them. I'd have preferred a straight up Motorstorm clone though.
 
Oct 25, 2017
2,509
wish only the best for these guys, clearly talented devs. that said, onrush looked like a HUGE misstep since it was first shown. IMO anyways
 
Oct 30, 2017
9
I’d be very surprised if many of the people in this thread ACTUALLY PLAYED ONRUSH.

I was sceptical prior to and after launch. I wanted another motorstorm like many have stated.

Upon Getting it in my hands, I soon realized how fucking amazing it is. It's something I never knew I wanted. I'm glad they took the risk and made this game, cause it was a pleasant surprise.
 
Nov 12, 2017
2,043
I'm sorry for the people that lost their job. I know I didn't do my part to support them. Onrush had my attention when it was first being shown off, but then the one thing that turned me off from considering the game is no split-screen support. Simulation racers with no split-screen? Fine, I'm not happy about it but most of my friends and family have no interest in such games. Arcade racers with no split-screen support? That's a much tougher pill to swallow. I don't care about online play. The death of the split-screen in games bums me out. If we were getting PS3 level Motorstorm style graphics and 2-4 players split-screen, that's much more appealing to me than trying to push the graphical fidelity and me just playing the AI.
 
Oct 26, 2017
3,355
User Banned (2 Days): Inflammatory System Wars
Too bad they snubbed Nintendo Switch for the game, or i will have purchase a copy of it to help them. Too bad for them
 
Oct 25, 2017
2,618
Yep, didn't understand why Sony fired them. I prefered driveclub than GT Sport personally
Well, they are very different. GTS is simulation, Driveclub is something like a hybrid, more arcadey. If Sony aren’t going to continue Driveclub, then I want a very stylish arcade racer from Polyphony Digital, with Driveclub sense of speed, lots of drifting, tons of customization like NFS, and a far more arcadey experience in general.
 
Oct 25, 2017
6,838
This sucks since the game is quite good. Yet again they marketed it rather poorly. I didn't even know when the game was going to come out until I saw the Digital Foundry video the day before it came out.
 
Oct 27, 2017
2,029
Mars
Onrush is nothing like Motorstorm, what are you on about?
Different classes of vehicle, with different play-styles sharing the same courses, with alternate paths, shortcuts, bottlenecks and jumps for those different classes of vehicle. Its about choosing your path based upon how you play/role/cricumstances.

As opposed to Motorstorm you're almost always right in the center of the storm of cars - or near its eye - beyond that and the game places you right back into the middle of the pack. Moment to moment is a mix of boosting, jumping, and taking down other cars. The levels are huge, varied, and tuned for maximum chaos.

So its definitely got similarities, even if its not a classic racer. There's also no heat management to the boosts. But in terms of being in the middle of a continuous storm of high speed car chaos, OnRush is a natural play on some of Motorstorm's core ideas.
 
Oct 27, 2017
2,704
as much as I enjoyed Driveclub I always felt Sony threw this team under the bus and wanted to support them but OnRush never sold me but still sad to hear it went this bad
 
Nov 5, 2017
1,224
This is terrible news.

People’s livelihoods are majorly impacted, and these types of sales figures indicate that the arcade sports/racing genre may officially be dead.
 
Oct 29, 2017
1,101
Sad news. You could see the thinking behind it in trying to provide a new take to the struggling arcade racing genre. Making it score based was a really interesting solution to the issue in racing games of that frantic "stampede" often being the most fun part of racing games while if you're playing well the goal is to escape it and have as much space between you and other vehicles as possible. Making it team based was trying to adapt to the zeitgeist that has made games like Overwatch such successes. Unfortunately, it looks like they turned off traditional racing fans and weren't able to reach out and explain the concept well enough for others.

I've always loved arcade racers but it's pretty clear that most consumers these days don't appreciate them as 60 dollar experiences - I suspect a good amount of the people who made the genre so ubiquitous in previous eras are perfectly satisfied with simplified mobile options or just driving around in GTAV or something. Sims have a bedrock of hardcore car fanatics they can count on to carve out their niche even if the racing genre has faltered in general, but there wasn't a significant "hardcore" arcade racing contingent behind the hits of yesteryear. I can only hope things change, either from tastes changing more generally or something coming up with a left-field take on the genre that actually hits for audiences.
 
Oct 26, 2017
2,118
Sad news. You could see the thinking behind it in trying to provide a new take to the struggling arcade racing genre. Making it score based was a really interesting solution to the issue in racing games of that frantic "stampede" often being the most fun part of racing games while if you're playing well the goal is to escape it and have as much space between you and other vehicles as possible. Making it team based was trying to adapt to the zeitgeist that has made games like Overwatch such successes. Unfortunately, it looks like they turned off traditional racing fans and weren't able to reach out and explain the concept well enough for others.

I've always loved arcade racers but it's pretty clear that most consumers these days don't appreciate them as 60 dollar experiences - I suspect a good amount of the people who made the genre so ubiquitous in previous eras are perfectly satisfied with simplified mobile options or just driving around in GTAV or something. Sims have a bedrock of hardcore car fanatics they can count on to carve out their niche even if the racing genre has faltered in general, but there wasn't a significant "hardcore" arcade racing contingent behind the hits of yesteryear. I can only hope things change, either from tastes changing more generally or something coming up with a left-field take on the genre that actually hits for audiences.
I said this earlier in the thread, but its actually pretty obvious what people want - and that is an open world racing game. It's so clear that even a studio like Ubisoft who had no real racing game experience prior to this, went out and made The Crew and even gave it a sequel. Evo had two shots at it since Forza Horizon released and they made Driveclub and OnRush. They clearly needed to make OnRush open world, but they must have gone back to what they were good at which was track based gaming. Don't get me wrong I absolutely loved Driveclub, but its clear that this type of game doesn't sell as well as it used to. After all, where is the next Daytona, Ridge Racer, Outrun game? They all died out. Even Japanese developers don't want to touch this genre and usually they are able to develop niche games.
 
Oct 26, 2017
2,118
This might have been missed but I would really like to see Midtown Madness 4, made by Sumo, with crazy drifting, open world, in a bustling city.

Midnight Club wouldn't work as well as that night time street racing vibe feels a little dated.

 
Oct 29, 2017
1,101
I said this earlier in the thread, but its actually pretty obvious what people want - and that is an open world racing game. It's so clear that even a studio like Ubisoft who had no real racing game experience prior to this, went out and made The Crew and even gave it a sequel. Evo had two shots at it since Forza Horizon released and they made Driveclub and OnRush. They clearly needed to make OnRush open world, but they must have gone back to what they were good at which was track based gaming. Don't get me wrong I absolutely loved Driveclub, but its clear that this type of game doesn't sell as well as it used to. After all, where is the next Daytona, Ridge Racer, Outrun game? They all died out. Even Japanese developers don't want to touch this genre and usually they are able to develop niche games.
Yeah, fair enough, I probably should have specified "track based arcade racing." Open world racers have proven a lot more viable, and are likely gonna be the way to go if you want to sell your non-sim driving title for sixty dollars.
 
Oct 26, 2017
2,118
Yeah, fair enough, I probably should have specified "track based arcade racing." Open world racers have proven a lot more viable, and are likely gonna be the way to go if you want to sell your non-sim driving title for sixty dollars.
Oh I thought I was agreeing to your statement about how people don't see them as purchases they want Day 1 (ie $60).

I think open world racers have a couple of things going for them, lack of invisible walls which make driving frustrating to begin with, and having fun regardless of position.

It is a little sad for track based fans, but ultimately there's a huge overlap between the two, and I don't see why track based fans can't embrace open world racers too. A large part of it is probably just people holding on to it for nostalgic reasons. Which is perfectly fine! But that market is shrinking.
 
Sony should’ve done the Forza treatment with DriveClub. GT Drive Club and GT mainline.

Kaz vetoed I heard.
I've always wanted this to happen. Share assets between the two studios. Same as what MS was doing with Forza.
I honestly feel this was a missed opportunity. Sony stable is crying out for a good arcade racer and with game development budgets increasing it makes sense for internal studios to share and collaborate with one another in an effort to reduce dev costs. Guerilla and Kojima studios is on the right path here co developing and improving on the decima engine.
Whatever happens I always wish that GT assets get utilized for an arcade racer for Sony stable of games. Maybe one day my wish will come true. Forza Horizon is a fantastic franchise. I love them.
 
Oct 27, 2017
2,265
It is a little sad for track based fans, but ultimately there's a huge overlap between the two, and I don't see why track based fans can't embrace open world racers too. A large part of it is probably just people holding on to it for nostalgic reasons. Which is perfectly fine! But that market is shrinking.
I mentioned it earlier... look at actual arcade racers, people compete in the same spec vehicle over the same track and try to improve lap times. You can't do that with an open world racer, especially not one that lets you upgrade your car.
 
Oct 27, 2017
4,665
Really sad to hear. Huge Driveclub and motorstorm fan but just wasn’t feeling this game so I passed on it. Honestly think the beta did more harm than good
 
Oct 26, 2017
2,118
I mentioned it earlier... look at actual arcade racers, people compete in the same spec vehicle over the same track and try to improve lap times. You can't do that with an open world racer, especially not one that lets you upgrade your car.
You cant race the same 'track' in FH or The Crew or Test Drive? They should definitely make that as a mode for people interested in that sort of thing.

Of course making tracks within a city is difficult but PGR did it with aplomb and even though its not open world per se, it looks like they created the city and then put barriers around to create 'tracks'. Now some might say city tracks arent the same as purposely built racing tracks but people should look to Macau and Sydney in PGR as examples of great variation in turns and elevation in an urban environment. Plus in a fictious setting like FH and The Crew anything should be possible.
 
Oct 26, 2017
5,282
I mentioned it earlier... look at actual arcade racers, people compete in the same spec vehicle over the same track and try to improve lap times. You can't do that with an open world racer, especially not one that lets you upgrade your car.
All it takes is special events on the map, ideally with a way to direct-select them. It's not hard; the Bucket List events are pretty central to a series like Horizon, and they're precisely that, right down to locking in all the track variables (like the music, time of day, and weather). Hell, a handful of them have been specific shout-outs to classic racers like Outrun.
 

Juste

Banned
Member
Oct 27, 2017
298
I legitimately don't understand what kind of game Onrush was supposed to be. For some reason my brain is compartmentalizing it with really terrible launch window Saturn/Playstation game called Off World Interceptor. I'm not sure if that's really what they were trying to do.