Col Rogers left Evolution Studios in February when the game he’s been directing, DriveClub, hasn’t even been released. So why did he leave? That’s the big question, one Pete Dodd, a well-connected insider revealed as ‘being pushed by Sony because Rogers couldn’t deliver on DriveClub, even when he was given extra time to finish the game. Truth be told, according to Rogers, that’s a big lie, and it’s “libelous”. He then went on to shed full light on what happened on NeoGAF, a move that saw Pete Dodd being dealt a ban on the popular games forum.
Here’s Rogers’ post on NeoGAF in full:
This is my first post on NeoGAF, and whilst I’m not generally one to deal in internet speculation, I have to put the record straight with regard to Pete Dodd’s comments above.
Everything he has said with regard to myself and Driveclub is incorrect. It’s also libellous.
As Putty (who is a personal friend of mine, and has been for about 25 years) suggests, I left Evo in February for personal reasons. The personal reasons being that my son, who is 4 years old, has been diagnosed with Nephrotic Syndrome, which is a potentially life threatening condition. I live 220 miles (4 hours drive) away from Evolution Studios, and was away from home 5.5 days a week. Given the circumstances, I could not continue to work there.
Driveclub is a great game, and the direction hasn’t changed since my departure. This has been confirmed by SONY in various press releases over recent days.
I have no problem in dealing with very large projects, as I’ve been working in the games industry for the last 19 years, and have worked on some very prestigious titles, so there is genuinely no truth to anything posted by Mr Dodds at all. My departure (and indeed the setup of my ‘indie’ operation, BigRedSwitch) is 100% driven by family necessity, not some professional failing on my part.
I left SONY on very good terms. There is no animosity there, and I was absolutely nothing to do with the recent redundancies – in fact, the news of those redundancies was probably linked on here before I knew about them.
The games industry is a tough place at the moment. My circumstances with my son mean that I’ve had to leave secure work in order to try to make my own way in the world. This may entail getting another job. With people who obviously know nothing about the situation blackening my reputation for the sake of internet ‘fame’, this could be made much more difficult. It’s nothing less than trolling.
I’ve contacted Mr. Dodd on his email address on his site. Due to the factual inaccuracy of his statements, I’ve informed him that he needs to remove the statements and apologise for the damage they have caused, as posting incorrect information and claiming it’s true is quite simply libel.
I’m sure you can all appreciate just how difficult things are for myself and my family at the moment. I’d genuinely appreciate it if you can take my statements as word from the origin, and realise that there has been no big cover-up when it comes to my departure from SONY/Evo.
Sony recently revealed that DriveClub was making great progress, adding that the game will be released sometime this year, with new assets, including a brand new trailer, to be unleashed soon.
“We would like to make it very clear that the development of Driveclub on PS4 is going from strength to strength,” a Sony spokesperson said. “The announced studio changes across WWS yesterday have not affected the development of Driveclub or the Driveclub team, which has always had great direction and continues to do so. We have full confidence that the game will deliver on its PS4 promise to be the first truly socially connected racing title and we are very pleased and excited by the calibre of work from Evolution Studios.
“The progress being made on the game is spectacular, so we’re looking forward to sharing an update on development, release date and videos of the game in action in the weeks to come. We thank you for your patience and assure you, it will be worth the wait.”