It seems like Codemasters have fallen on hard times after disappointing sales of their racing title Onrush, laying off many members of what was previously known as Evolution Studios, including its head honcho Paul Rushy Rustchynsky.
If you're a fan of racing games, then you probably know Rustchynsky already. The man has had his hands in Driveclub, Motorstorm and the WRC franchise but once Evolution Studios was disbanded by Sony, much of the team went to Codemasters, him included.
Unfortunately, Rustchynsky and reportedly some of the senior staff and lead creatives have been either laid off or forced to interview for positions. It is widely expected that the rest will be assimilated into Codemasters or reassigned to less risky projects.
Rumours have it that the real issue was communication between the remnants of Evolution and Codemasters, although we doubt anyone needs to go that far to see where the real culprit lies. Onrush has flopped, there's no going around it - and someone has to pay the price.
Personally, I thought Onrush was a breath of fresh air in racing games, I really did. However, that's not what everyone looks for in games, which is perhaps even more evident in racing games. Most people who play them want good ol' traditional racing. If you can add fun modes, sure, go wild with it. But racing - you've got to have bog standard racing.
Onrush had none. And we're talking about a $60/£55 game, which is a pretty penny, so you can imagine how it got to this. Beta didn't show enough. Fans of Motorsport didn't get racing. Not all people liked being forced into novel modes. Price is a bit on the steep side, even more so after reconsidering earlier two points.
The game ended up selling 1,000 copies in its launch week in UK, which is a shame considering the quality that Onrush most certainly has in abundance.
Don't get me wrong - the game is not dead, well at least not yet. In fact, most of Onrush's gameside woes seem to be fixable via simple updates. Which means it may be time for Codemasters to adjust that pricing and hope for the best.