In news that didn’t shock the world today, Turtle Rock has announced that its four-versus-one monster hunter is… evolving into a free-to-play game on PC, with an Evolve Stage 2 beta starting now. The developer is also promising a “vigorous overhaul” of the game, including new class balancing, map and UI improvements, loads of fixes, and more customisation options.
“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,” studio bosses Chris Ashton and Phil Robb said in an open letter to fans. “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!
Before it launched in February last year, Evolve generated dizzying levels of hype and about a million expo awards. It was going to be the most amazing game, like, ever.
It kind of was, and it kind of wasn’t.
Despite mostly positive reviews, players criticised the game’s questionable (and expensive) DLC, which added an additional eight characters and two monsters over the next months.
“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,” explained Ashton and Robb. “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!”
Those people who have already purchased Evolve on PC will get a special “Founder” status, plus “gifts, rewards, and special access”.
For the moment, Evolve will be free-to-play only on PC, but Turtle Rock hasn’t dumped Xbox One and PS4 players entirely.
“There are a lot of reasons why we are starting this Evolve Stage 2 beta on PC. One of the main reasons is that, with the way updates work through Steam, we can iterate quickly without going through a submissions process,” game designer Brandon Yanez told Game Informer. “This means that we can more quickly identify and resolve problems and get Stage 2 to a place where we feel it is really solid and an excellent player experience. After implementing and testing these new changes on PC, if we find that players respond well to the changes, we would want to bring Stage 2 changes to consoles in the future. But for now PC is our exclusive beta platform.”