Evolve launches free version on PC today

Turtle Rock Studios announces Evolve will be made free-to-play on PC.

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Chris Ashton & Phil Robb, cofounders of Turtle Rock Studios, have announced on their official community blog that Evolve will be made free to play as a Beta on PC.

"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."

"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!"

The development team has taken the poor sales and reviews to heart and are already working on some improvements.

"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."

You heard them right, folks. Evolve will be free-to-play.

"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."

They also explained their plans for customers who have already purchased the game and DLC.

"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."

Many Shackers will wonder if this is too little too late for the franchise, but I appreciate the steps that Turtle Rock is taking to salvage their project. The studio also stated that they will be increasingly involved with their community to help build them the game that we all want. The free Evolve Beta will go live on Steam on July 7.

Asif Khan is the CEO and majority shareholder of Shacknews. He began his career in video game journalism as a freelancer in 2001 for Tendobox.com. Asif is a CPA and was formerly an investment adviser representative. After much success in his own personal investments, he retired from his day job in financial services and is currently focused on new private investments. His favorite PC game of all time is Duke Nukem 3D, and he is an unapologetic fan of most things Nintendo. Asif first frequented the Shack when it was sCary's Shugashack to find all things Quake. When he is not immersed in investments or gaming he is a purveyor of fine electronic music. Asif also has an irrational love of Cleveland sports.

From The Chatty

  • reply
    July 6, 2016 9:00 PM

    Asif Khan posted a new article, Evolve Free on PC

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      July 6, 2016 9:15 PM

      That game that looked way more fun in concept than in practice? Cool. Maybe I'll give it a shot for free. Probably not really even worth the bandwidth though?

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        July 6, 2016 9:16 PM

        Eh, it is worth a shot. I liked it when I played it at E3 a few years ago, but the final product was not too good.

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          July 6, 2016 9:20 PM

          It just ended up being pretty boring as a final product right? Then coupled with no one playing it got even worse?

          Maybe free will help build a community around it but it seems highly unlikely that people would rally around a failed product just because it's free.

          Even worse, how are they going to monetize it now?

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            July 6, 2016 9:22 PM

            Well they are calling it a Beta.... So maybe if they actually fix it they will try to sell something? More likely they take what they learn from the Beta and make a sequel? I dunno. It seems like a Dev team that has their heart almost too wrapped up in the project. There was probably a lot of pressure from the executives at Take Two. Not sure if this will work out, but hey free game!

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              July 6, 2016 9:25 PM

              Yeah. The beta tag makes it seem even weirder. Like they're going to throw shit against the wall to see if it sticks and then suddenly say "oh, cool, no beta any more, time to pay!"

              Which I suppose might work if they stumble upon a formula that's good, but it'd probably really piss a bunch of people off too.

              Whole thing feels weird. Anyway, yeah. Free game!

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      July 6, 2016 9:17 PM

      While I think it's cool that they're doing this, and I hope they can turn it around for the sake of the people who poured their time and energy into making the game... there is a zero percent chance I'll be giving this a look. Too many other games have since come and gone and joined my backlog for me to spend time on a "eh, maybe" when I have 10+ "sure things" in my backlog to get to first. I doubt I'm the only one in that position. It's a bold move, but it's probably a futile one. But hey, if I'm proven wrong, I'll buy the next game in the series at full price.

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      July 6, 2016 9:21 PM

      That's cool, I will give it a shot. Concept seemed very cool.

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      July 6, 2016 9:25 PM

      Too little too late imo

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      July 6, 2016 9:41 PM

      I guess I'll give it a shot now.

      I loved L4D, and this looked like a cool concept, but it seemed like they handled everything post-release in such a poor way. Weren't there major balance issues as well?

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      July 6, 2016 9:43 PM

      I bought this game at launch and enjoyed my time with it. I certainly would be interested in some shackbattles if somebody wanted to try this out again!

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      July 6, 2016 9:58 PM

      Turtle Rock is good people, I never did try Evolve though. Now is as good of a time as any!

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      July 6, 2016 11:09 PM

      They made a shitty game they thought was so amazing that they could fuck around with price model to maximize profit and crash and burned. Same thing happened with that shitty little Mech FPS company HAWKEN. They had some bizarre microtransaction model and never had a 1.0 launch and just fizzled into nothing. Hopefully this kills the studio.

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        July 6, 2016 11:17 PM

        I think the main issue was that the first DLC Monster they sold was viciously OP and made people figure it was P2W and said fuck it.

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          July 7, 2016 12:18 AM

          yea, those 6 people still playing that game when that DLC launched were PISSED!

          srsly that game sank like a sack of rocks.

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            July 7, 2016 12:59 AM

            It was released a month later in Japan when I bought it. Buying a game that has already tanked :(

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          July 7, 2016 12:45 AM

          Huh? If anything the behemoth was too weak. He had a giant hit box and would just get shredded by hunters from across the map. They had to buff him multiple times so people would start using him.

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            July 7, 2016 4:57 AM

            The Wraith is the one I remember people screaming bloody murder about.

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              July 7, 2016 5:08 AM

              Yeah, wraith was insanely overpowered for the first few months and them taking forever to address that led to a lot of people leaving in frustration. She wasn't dlc though just the final monster you unlock.

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        July 7, 2016 1:34 AM

        It was astounding at the launch price models. It was one of the messiest things I had seen in a while.

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          July 7, 2016 10:16 AM

          I played the beta and really enjoyed it, but the disastrously confusing payment model made me nope out of it. Plus, the performance was crap.

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        July 7, 2016 7:34 AM

        I mean, typically the studio doesn't set prices right? Shouldn't we be blaming the publisher?

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      July 7, 2016 1:16 AM

      Worth it now?

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        July 7, 2016 2:18 AM

        not available until tomorrow for entire southern hemisphere

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      July 7, 2016 1:24 AM

      What's Evolve?

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      July 7, 2016 2:50 AM

      i dont see it on steam yet. what service is it through?

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        July 7, 2016 3:26 AM

        Do you happen to be in Australia or at least outside of the US?

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          July 7, 2016 6:29 AM

          Mexico here, no download link in the store page but the announcement makes sound like it'll be later today, maybe 11 am PT?

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      July 7, 2016 3:32 AM

      I really enjoyed this game, I realise I'm in the minority. 4 vs 1 power-shifting cat and mouse with monsters and guns! I'll jump back in, I hope they look after those who bought it.

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      July 7, 2016 5:13 AM

      Hmm...HMMMMM maybe

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      July 7, 2016 5:45 AM

      Sweet, I'll give this a try.

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      July 7, 2016 6:04 AM

      Still too much.

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      July 7, 2016 6:11 AM

      How long did this take? I ask because I am wondering when Battleborn will go F2P so there might be some more people to play with.

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        July 7, 2016 6:32 AM

        About a year and a half.

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          July 7, 2016 6:33 AM

          Ouch. Hopefully our little community can survive that long.

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            July 7, 2016 9:33 AM

            I hope so, too, but it doesn't seem likely if it'll take that long. Evolve had a huge amount of marketing and hype, which is probably why it took so long for this to happen a year and a half later. Battleborn had very little marketing and even less hype. It's in Gearbox's interest to go F2P ASAP, as in within 6 months, if they want any kind of community to develop around the game.

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      July 7, 2016 6:37 AM

      I'll definitely try it out. I still play on PS4 every now and then. I like that they're going to balance the classes to not be so dependent on trapper and medic. Bad medics/trappers could make the difference between winning and losing in that game, even against an NPC monster.

      I don't like that so much content was locked behind pay walls on a game I purchased, but in a free game that doesn't sting as bad.

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      July 7, 2016 9:00 AM

      I wonder what the "plan" will be. I mean are they just eliminating the initial price of the game but still keeping all the dlc as separate microtransactions? Wasn't the sheer amount and cost of all the dlc what caused an uproar initially?

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      July 7, 2016 9:35 AM

      I wonder if the balance is tweaked to make it palatable.

    • Zek
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      July 7, 2016 9:41 AM

      I hope they succeed, I really wanted to like this game.