Evolution Studios group game director Matt Southern has revealed how he feared for the studio's life after MotorStorm Apocalypse, and how things are now turning around thanks to strong support from Sony.

"It's been quite a tough year for us, especially early on in the year," Southern told Eurogamer. "We made a game we're really proud of and for some really heartbreaking reasons things didn't go so well. In perspective we've got nothing to complain about.

"I was worried it might be the end of Evolution. Racing has had a very tough time, even without extraordinary circumstances like the ones we went through."

The March 18 release of MotorStorm Apocalypse was delayed due to sensitivity over the earthquake that hit Japan that month. The game eventually saw a release on March 31, but struggled to make an impact on the UK chart. - its release in Japan was cancelled entirely.

Adding to the studio's worries was the closure of two of the UK's premier racing studios, Bizarre Creations (PGR, BLUR) and Black Rock (Split Second, Pure).

Things are now back on track for Evolution, with Sony allowing them to experiment while working on existing titles.

"We split the company up into three teams, one making RC, one supporting MotorStorm Apocalypse post-launch with DLC and multiplayer, and another bunch of guys just brainstorming new ideas," added Southern. "In a climate like the one we've had this year, that is rare."

MotorStorm RC is set to launch alongside the PS Vita in Europe on February 22, with a version also being released for the PlayStation 3. Check out our positive first impressions by heading over to our MotorStorm RC preview.