Turtle Rock has announced that their class-based monster hunting shooter Evolve, which has been on life support ever since it released about a year ago, will be switching over to a free to play model. The switch over starts today, allowing people to access the game’s beta phase. That’s interesting. The game is in beta now even though it released completed last year. I guess that was just a closed pre-alpha. Very exclusive.
In addition, there will be several major tweaks to the game itself. To quote Turtle Rock:
- 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.
These are all changes that probably should have been made not too long after release. Then again, going F2P is also something that should have happened much sooner. The pacing for this is very turtle like, you could say they were so steadfast with their original model that they were not unlike a rock.
New players will not have the option to purchase content with real life money, at least not from the start, as Turtle Rock is still determining fair price points. They can, however, earn Silver Keys, a new in-game currency that will allow them to unlock monsters and classes. So what of those who actually bought the game like rubes when it released? Well, they’ll be given founder status, which entitles them to some special gifts and customization options. They will also retain all purchased content, but that’s kind of a no brainer.
In our review of Evolve we cited that some gameplay mechanics and a lack of content out of the box may deter players from sticking with Evolve, but in the interim Turtle Rock has pumped out some maps and modes for free, so there may be more for new players to bite off. Turtle Rock, on the other hand, mostly leans towards that whole “DLC shitstorm” (their phrasing) as being the reason Evolve never gave traction. Honestly, there’s probably quite a bit of truth to that too. Just how much they get out of changing their model waits to be seen.