Driveclub PS Plus temporarily held back to ease server load

Evolution Studios announced it's delaying the PlayStation Plus edition of Driveclub following the server troubles and connectivity issues the retail version's endured since launch. In a Facebook post, Game Director Paul Rustchynsky apologized for holding back the content-lite version free for Plus subscribers, which was due to launch alongside the full game this week, noting that "we want to ensure that when you come on board, you get the best experience possible." Rustchynsky didn't provide a new due date for the Plus edition, but said once Evolution's happy with server performance the studio will announce when it'll be available.

The delay also applies to the racer's companion iOS and Android app, which did launch on Google Play yesterday but was since pulled. As for users who've pre-ordered the full game upgrade from the Plus edition, Rustchynsky said "you will still get the full version of Driveclub digitally." - we've reached out to Sony to clarify if that means they can obtain the full version now or when the Plus version launches [Update: A Sony UK spokesperson told Joystiq, "If someone has purchased the PS Plus version, they will be able to get the full game - as the game isn't out yet here, this would be on Friday in the UK."]

The news follows an update yesterday in which the developer acknowledged "many players" were having trouble connecting to the PS4 racer's online servers. This morning, Rustchynsky admitted the current online activity is "pushing the servers to their absolute limits," prompting the studio to temporarily hold back the Plus edition to ease the load.

"We are sorry if you are having a hard time getting online as we know many of you are," Rustchynsky said. "Please be aware that the game will automatically keep trying to connect you. Once you're online, you should have no further problems during your session."

"We fully appreciate how frustrating this is for everyone," he added. "We want you to get online with your club because racing, challenging and having fun together is what the game is all about. We know that racing with your friends online is what you've been waiting for and we are doing everything we can to deliver that experience to you as soon as possible."

To recap, the Plus edition of Evolution's racer features 5 tracks with 11 routes alongside 10 cars, compared to the 50 cars and 25 tracks with 55 routes. There's also the option of a $50 upgrade to the full game for users who downloaded the Plus version.

As for the full game itself, Joystiq's main man behind the wheel Ludwig Kietzmann scored Driveclub three stars out of five in our review.

According to Ludwig, "Driveclub is a well-made, sometimes irritating juxtaposition of the old and new. The career mode is old-fashioned and its AI is hopelessly ignorant, but the graphics and competitive jabs online feel perfectly fit for 2014. Embracing your fellow human is key to overcoming Driveclub's faults, which ultimately make it a better staging ground for car-loving friends than an expression of automotive admiration itself."

[Image: SCEE]