Evolve, a game that was left for dead by all accounts, has had new life breathed into it. Servers are no longer ghost towns, as players are playing again. Like, a respectable number of people.
It’s amazing what making your game completely free can do.
The reason for this resurgence is because Turtle Rock and 2K Games re-branded and relaunched Evolve as Evolve Stage 2. The moniker firmly states that the game that launched in February of 2015 is a thing of the past. This is the future for Evolve.
And it has worked so far (even if the sample size is only one day). At time of writing, 24,569 people are playing Evolve Stage 2 on Steam. That’s good for the 17th most-played game right now. It can’t hold a candle to the likes of Dota 2 or CS:GO but it also beats the hell out of the 157 player-peak that Evolve had two days ago.
Of course, this renewed interest in Evolve hasn’t netted the publisher or developer anything beneficial in the way of profits. Remember that Evolve Stage 2 isn’t free-to-play with microtransactions or whatever; it’s just straight-up free. Some form of monetization is likely planned, but the game’s technically in a beta state right now. Expect some sort of money-making hook once Turtle Rock and 2K are more comfortable with the new model. It can’t be any worse than how Evolve originally launched.
For now, everyone should just be happy that Evolve is somewhat relevant again. It really isn’t a bad game; it’s just a game that never really felt at-home with a traditional retail release. Maybe this should’ve been how Evolve initially launched. Maybe, just maybe, Evolve really is staging up. But, that’s not a story that one day’s worth of numbers will tell.