The 4v1 co-op shooter Evolve is getting a new lease on life in the Free-to-Play format, Turtle Rock Studios has announced. In a letter to their fans on the official forums, the studio said:
[...]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!
In an upcoming update, the team announced they would be reworking the classes, along with some behind-the-scenes improvements to load times, matchmaking, optimization, and the UI.
When announcing their decision to make the game free-to-play, the team said:
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. [...] 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.
The beta, called Evolve Stage 2, begins today.