Driveclub: “You can’t effectively test” for live performance, says SCEA president

By Brenna Hillier, Tuesday, 18 November 2014 00:06 GMT

Driveclub’s launch woes are the unfortunate byproduct of the connected age of gaming, according to Sony Computer Entertainment America boss Shawn Layden.


Driveclub had a terrible launch, with online services unavailable for weeks. Developer Evolution Studios confirmed it had run beta tests including virtual tests of mass users, but had to burn the midnight oil fixing its server code in order to bring the game to a functioning state.

Speaking to IGN, Layden said Sony and Evolution did everything they could to prepare for launch, but that sometimes shit just happens, essentially.

“In the development cycle, we try to do all things. In the development cycle, we try to test against every possibility. We have a [Quality Assurance] team, we have a QA plan. You do a beta test, you scope against that,” he said.

“But now, in a connected world, you can’t effectively test in your house or in your beta group what it means to have 50,000, 100,000, 200,000 users hit your service. And the guys [at the studio] are struggling with that. It’s throwing up things they had not anticipated.”

Layden said that Evolution has made huge steps forward for the racing genre – things the Gran Turismo team hasn’t done – and melding that with an “uber-connected experience” didn’t work out.

“They tried to do the best, newest, greatest thing ever to happen in the driving genre and they hit a hiccup,” he said, rather understating what I would describe as not just a burp but a full on chunder.

“I prefer people to have the ambition to try that, though. It’s no fun being safe all the time.”

Driveclub mostly works now, and everyone who bought the game is being given free DLC as a thank you for their patience. The free-to-play version of Driveclub is still inbound, but has no ETA.

Let’s all pause for a moment and reflect on the many multiplayer games that have had terrible launches, from Diablo 3 to World of Warcraft: Warlords of Draenor to Halo: The Master Chief Collection to – look, we could be here all week.

Sometimes we include links to online retail stores. If you click on one and make a purchase we may receive a small commission. For more information, go here.