For months now fans of EVOLVE have been concerned about is status across all platforms in PC, Playstation 4 and Xbox One as their playerbases dropped sharply. A huge title update known as TU9 has been worked for some time with the promise of pretty much rebuilding the game from the ground up leading to a big reboot of EVOLVE. On the Turtle Rock Studios main website a countdown time appears which will end today at 17:00pm BST (09.00am PDT) with a community stream that will explain all finally.
Overnight however TRS have revealed that EVOLVE will be returning to STEAM as a Free to Play game, with all DLC and the main game available for FREE as a beta starting today. This comes after main media sites reported that EVOLVE had been removed from the STEAM store yesterday. As of today, it is still listed on both Xbox Store and PSN store for consoles with no current update as if or when the F2P model will come to PS4 and Xbox One.
In a statement to the community, TRS posted this today:
We’re proud of those awards — they hang in the lobby for a reason. Evolve received over 65 nominations and awards at various trade shows after we announced. It was the first title in history to win Game of Show at both E3 and Gamescom. It felt great to receive all those awards and we don’t ever want to forget that feeling. Game development is an art and what artist doesn’t love having their work appreciated?
When people first started playing Evolve at those and other conferences, it was magical. Sure, there was the AAA videogame hype surrounding our title. Yeah, we also had the flashy displays, the giant Goliath statue, and all the other things AAA games do to get people excited. And that stuff was cool. Really cool. But, what we lived for — what was cooler by far — was just seeing people play Evolve for the first time. We worked on it for years and then, suddenly, people got to experience our game, controller in-hand. There was genuine excitement — real joy — when people played. It was like nothing they’d ever played before and watching it happen was like no high we ever felt.
Then, when Evolve launched, the reception wasn’t what we expected. Sure, there were some good reviews. There were also bad reviews. Yes, there was excitement. There was also disappointment – for players and for us. The DLC shitstorm hit full force and washed away people’s enthusiasm, dragging us further and further from that first magical pick-up-and-play experience.
We want that magic back and we aim to make it happen. We’ve made a lot of changes, improvements and additions to Evolve over the past year and we’ve got a lot more coming. In short, we’re giving this game a vigorous overhaul!
Just to give you some examples:
- We’re reworking the hunter classes to make the team less reliant on having experienced trappers and medics.
- We’re making improvements to the maps and UI.
- We’re improving load times, overall performance, and getting you into the game faster.
- We’re focusing on improving stability and fixing bugs.
- We’re completely reworking our progression system and tutorials.
- We’re adding more customization options.
Most importantly, we just want to put the game in your hands. Try Evolve out. See what you think. We hope you like it and we’re not going to charge you to give it a try.
“Wait! What?! What does that mean?”
It means we’ve been listening and now we’re taking Evolve in the direction that a lot of you have suggested since the beginning. We’re making Evolve free on PC. No buy-in or box required.
Making Evolve free on PC is going to be a process that takes time and a lot of hard work, but we believe in Evolve and we believe in you, our players and want to do what’s best for both!
Here’s how it’s going to work: We’re going to make Evolve free on PC as a Beta starting on July 7. This is going to allow us to hit our new server infrastructure really hard and we need your help testing. Stuff could break, and that’s our hope, because that will give us time to improve things as we go. We’ll parse out major Beta revisions, updates and features over a period of weeks and months — a plan we’re going to continually communicate here. This allows us to test new features and major changes to make our game more accessible and ever closer to the joy we saw when we first showed our baby to the world. Just as importantly, this Beta plan gives us the flexibility and time we need to keep fixing bugs and making Evolve more stable.
“What about those who paid for Evolve? What about Season Passers?”
Anyone who owns classic Evolve will be given “Founder” status in the new free version, and all the content you already own comes with you to the new version. As long as we work on Evolve, we will show our appreciation for our committed fans and early adopters with gifts, rewards, and special access. Why? Because you believed like we did, and we will never forget that.
As part of our promise to recapture the magic and improve the Evolve experience across-the-board, we’re going to ratchet up our communication with the community. We will be continually updating our social channels, our forums and our website to let you know how it’s going.
We have lived and breathed Evolve for over four years and we feel like we are just getting started. Since launch we realized Evolve has provided people some of their most exciting gaming moments and we want to make more of those for everyone… well, everyone who is OK with being periodically murdered (brutally) by terrifying alien monsters.
See you on Shear.
Chris Ashton & Phil Robb
Turtle Rock Studios, Inc.
There is refreshing honesty in that statement, and as someone who came to really love EVOLVE and its gameplay, its fall was hard to witness, so all the above is very positive going forward and with a free to play model will certainly encourage more to try it out and with a rebuild of the game itself, new experiences to be had. But I am concerned about the focus on PC over consoles right now with the F2P plans. Yes, adapting and reacting to issues is far easier on PC than consoles, we all know this. But the hype train will pull into the station this evening and without a clear message about what the above means for console players, momentum could be lost just when this reboot needs it most.
I am very excited to see what #StageUp has instore for all EVOLVE players and the game….its time to let Geoff out the cage one more time!
*Update – 14:40pm*
Well it has now been confirmed that TU9 (Title Update 9) that includes the Stage 2 upgrades and changes will not be coming to Playstation 4 and Xbox One today, which has left myself and a huge chunk of the EVOLVE console community scratching our heads and pretty well pissed off to be honest. The obvious reason to me, though yet to be confirmed by either 2K Games or Turtle Rock Studios, is that TU9 going to beta on PC is a test to see if A) Works and B) brings the playerbase back to the game and that 2K are hesitant to spend money on the certification process it has to for both Xbox One and Playstation 4 until both of those factors can be proven.
This is frustrating as hell as the game has been near unplayable for most of 2016, with any console issues raised with TRS as to problems with EVOLVE being met with the “we are working on TU9” and only now, on the day the update goes live do we learn that consoles are being left out. No doubt there are many logical and justifiable reasons for this but it will still be damaging for console players who have already left EVOLVE behind long ago and this update would have brought them back but now, all we can do is observe what EVOLVE Stage 2 is like on PC and hope that it succeeds enough to earn the right to be brought over to console.
It hurts as a fan and defender of EVOLVE since before it released, who enjoyed it when I reviewed it and carried on playing long after most journalists and early players had put it down. Not being a part of the Stage 2 launch quite honestly sucks and I am not happy, something console players of EVOLVE are used to as PC has always been the main focus for updates, fixes and publicity for the game.
The future of EVOLVE for console has yet to be addressed by either 2K or Turtle Rock Studios but as TRS will be hosting a community stream at 17:00 BST to showcase the new changes as the update goes live on STEAM , I can only hope it will be addressed during the stream: www.twitch.tv/turtlerockstudios / www.twitch.tv/EvolveGame
Whether or not EVOLVE Stage 2 relaunch is a success enough on PC to warrant it coming to console is yet to be seen, I really hope so, but as of right now, this relaunch for me after six plus months of waiting for it is now simply as though its Christmas morning and I learn I have no presents to open….
*Update following Community Stream*
So what we learned about the console status for Stage 2 is that everything is depending how successful the PC launch of EVOLVE Stage 2 is before it is determined by 2K to be viable to proceed with bringing it to consoles, or in other words, viable enough for 2K to pay for certification costs going forward on both Xbox One and Playstation 4. This comes as no surprise going by what was pieced together before the stream and is still disheartening to have confirmed.
To any fans of EVOLVE on console, all we can do right now is rally behind the PC launch, get the word out there on social media about Stage 2 and its Free to play status. Find and share any Twitch stream of the game you can and hopefully we can help build a sustainable PC playerbase in order to get stage 2 on our consoles. This certainly was not the news we had expected or were quite frankly led to believe would be the process for the big summer TU9 update but it is so evidently clear by looking at the official EVOLVE forums that the console community’s passion and heartache at this situation is more than understood by Turtle Rock Studios and each developer on a personal level.
Time to rally the people and raise awareness int he hope this can continue to be the relaunch of EVOLVE for all platforms sooner rather than later. Time to hoist the colours!!