Evolve Player Count Increases 15,000 Percent After Going F2P

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Evolve Player Count Increases 15,000 Percent After Going F2P

evolve wraith screenshot

It looks like going free-to-play has done wonders for Evolve's player base.

Earlier in the week, Evolve, the asymmetrical monster-hunting shooter from Turtle Rock studios that everyone had written off as a failure, returned as a free-to-play title, in an attempt to re-invigorate interest. It certainly looks like it has paid off, as a look at its official Steam stats shows its player count has increased over 15,000 percent.

On Wednesday Evolve's peak concurrent player count for the day was a measly 157 (via PC Gamer). Today, it peaked at 25,167. As of time of writing its sitting at around 20k.

To put things into perspective for you, Evolve initial launch peaked at 27,403, meaning that this "stage 2" free-to-play relaunch has almost brought things back up to the initial launch number.

Of course, now all they have to do is keep those players playing, and of course, purchasing DLC and microtransactions.

"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 s***storm hit full force and washed away people's enthusiasm, dragging us further and further from that first magical pick-up-and-play experience," said Turtle Rock co-founders Chris Ashton and Phil Robb

"We want that magic back and we aim to make it happen."

Source: Eurogamer

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looks like it has helped. maybe i should get it after all and see how i feel about it. at least i cant say i have wasted my money.

I liked Evolve. Its best with friends though, which is why I'm not bothering with it on Steam, since we all played it on Xbox. While all its varying day 1 DLC was a big mess and should be looked down on, I think the game on its own got an unfair reputation.

Listen... that just happened. It's not about who is playing right now, it's about who is playing 30 days from now. Unless they fixed the problems that caused the people who actually bought the game to leave, most of those people will just leave again in short order.

Baresark:
Listen... that just happened. It's not about who is playing right now, it's about who is playing 30 days from now. Unless they fixed the problems that caused the people who actually bought the game to leave, most of those people will just leave again in short order.

Fuck thirty days from now, who's going to still be playing a week from now? From what I've seen, the progression system is really terrible with who is open for new players in terms of how effective they are compared to half the DLC characters.

So they have 150 players now? Sweet!

It certainly looks like it has paid off, as a look at its official Steam stats shows its player count has increased over 15,000 percent.

Well, no. As you point out a little later....

Of course, now all they have to do is keep those players playing, and of course, purchasing DLC and microtransactions.

They might have actually killed the game with this. I'm not saying they did, but we can't possibly know based on short-term figures whether this has paid off. Getting thousands of players to eat your bandwidth because it's a free game is only valuable if there's not only retention, but paid retention, and additionally, a retained playerbase sufficient for htose people to stick around and keep paying. Or, you know, for new people, as well.

Baresark:
Listen... that just happened. It's not about who is playing right now, it's about who is playing 30 days from now. Unless they fixed the problems that caused the people who actually bought the game to leave, most of those people will just leave again in short order.

My understanding is one of the big reasons people left was the combination of a full retail game and a freemium DLC model, so that at least has been addressed. Were there other issues? I tuned out when I found out this thing was going to have a pretty hefty DLC setup.

Eh, still have zero interest until I see how the monetization has been played out, since I am still ridiculously cagey when it comes to Turtle Rock and exploitative DLC/microtransactions, not to mention I'm sure plenty of people were playing evolve, just like tons of people played titanfall...IN THE FIRST 2 WEEKS, what will matter is how many of those players actually decide to stick around

1. They wiped ALL of the progress that players had made up to that point, so all of their unlocks and levels are gone.

2. The compensation they gave to the paying players was 3000 currency, which amounts to one hour of gameplay's reward worth.

Like....wow. RIP consumers that trusted them. (not that they should have in the first place...)

I doubt I'll download it. So much of the gameplay I saw of this was just running around a huge map playing hide and go seek. I'm sure some people would find a tense fun in that, but I think I'd just be bored.

weirdee:
1. They wiped ALL of the progress that players had made up to that point, so all of their unlocks and levels are gone.

2. The compensation they gave to the paying players was 3000 currency, which amounts to one hour of gameplay's reward worth.

Like....wow. RIP consumers that trusted them. (not that they should have in the first place...)

Did they say what their incredibly retarded reasoning was? I'd be enraged as fuck.

SCREW STEAM FOR PEDDLING THIS CASH-GRABBING GARBAGE! Seriously, they have this on the front flipping page since it went F2P, to push against everyone. Yet where was the feature for Wildstar's release on Steam? Huh? Not even there at all. That's the problem with them. They're featuring some titles like this, but not other titles like that. They can go suck a giant turd until they release HL3 and get their crap together!

Steven Bogos:

On Wednesday Evolve's peak concurrent player count for the day was a measly 157 (via PC Gamer). Today, it peaked at 25,167. As of time of writing its sitting at around 20k.

157 is actually (much) higher than I thought it would be. I am far more interested in the long term numbers of course. Personally, I doubt it will maintain the momentum.

There's a certain audacity (one might even go as far as "chutzpah") for TR to imply that its game deserves a second chance in this fashion. "Your pricey, DLC-top-loaded asymmetrical multiplayer game was flailing for lack of players populating the servers? You don't say!?" The idea deserves an exaggerated, old-school-Jim-Carrey style double-take. Paging Captain Obvious.

So now that they have some players (that oh-so-surprising ingredient necessary to have a functional multiplayer shooter), how are they going to keep them? Almost anyone who can free the hard disk space and meet the system requirements will try something once, assuming they have the time and it doesn't have a reputation for bricking systems. But from what other people have been saying, it sounds like the original players- the people who might normally form guilds and guide noobs and build fan-sites- have some reason to be fairly pissed off at they way their early adoption and hard-paid loyalty have been treated.

And there's no lack of "Free To Play" games out in the wild, scavenging for their eyeballs.

So, what's going to keep them in the corral, when all is said and done?

weirdee:
1. They wiped ALL of the progress that players had made up to that point, so all of their unlocks and levels are gone.

2. The compensation they gave to the paying players was 3000 currency, which amounts to one hour of gameplay's reward worth.

Like....wow. RIP consumers that trusted them. (not that they should have in the first place...)


I can get the currency thing because that is what greedy companies usually do, but the wiping of the progress? How dumb and pointless is that?

This game should have been free to play from the start. I feel bad for those who bought it. This isn't like TF2, TF2 didn't come out with just heavies and askin you for money if you wanted to play as anyone else.

"concurrent player count for the day was a measly 157"

I was gonna joke '15000% up? All those newbies are gonna get *slaughtered* by the five people who still played!'... but now it's just sad. I am amazed they didn't pull the plug ages ago with such numbers! :O

"The DLC s***storm hit full force and washed away people's enthusiasm"

At least the developer has the sense to understand the root of the issue Evolve faced. Any and all enthusiasm was completely lost by the microtransaction peddling platform they created. You weren't buying a game, you were buying a store-front. While they at least had the decency to be upfront and above board about their bullshit, it was still a crooked and deplorable business model crammed into a Steam product. Being F2P is more palatable. There's a justification now for selling bonus content when the game is free. But selling a game with all it's content removed to be sold separately from day 1 is vile, dishonest and crooked as hell. I'd like this game to fail to discourage publishers from trying shit like it again.

weirdee:
1. They wiped ALL of the progress that players had made up to that point, so all of their unlocks and levels are gone.

2. The compensation they gave to the paying players was 3000 currency, which amounts to one hour of gameplay's reward worth.

Like....wow. RIP consumers that trusted them. (not that they should have in the first place...)

LegendaryGamer0:

weirdee:
1. They wiped ALL of the progress that players had made up to that point, so all of their unlocks and levels are gone.

2. The compensation they gave to the paying players was 3000 currency, which amounts to one hour of gameplay's reward worth.

Like....wow. RIP consumers that trusted them. (not that they should have in the first place...)

Did they say what their incredibly retarded reasoning was? I'd be enraged as fuck.

josemlopes:

weirdee:
1. They wiped ALL of the progress that players had made up to that point, so all of their unlocks and levels are gone.

2. The compensation they gave to the paying players was 3000 currency, which amounts to one hour of gameplay's reward worth.

Like....wow. RIP consumers that trusted them. (not that they should have in the first place...)


I can get the currency thing because that is what greedy companies usually do, but the wiping of the progress? How dumb and pointless is that?

This is not entirely true. Account levels were reset but the rewards were not. Any characters, skins, and perks you got are kept. And the level reset is actually good for vets since they keep up their perks but since they are back to level one they can get more of the bonus coins you get from leveling up. Anyone that bought the game is still coming out ahead. It's more than fair

weirdee:
1. They wiped ALL of the progress that players had made up to that point, so all of their unlocks and levels are gone.

2. The compensation they gave to the paying players was 3000 currency, which amounts to one hour of gameplay's reward worth.

Like....wow. RIP consumers that trusted them. (not that they should have in the first place...)

I have every monster and character unlocked and i didn't buy them, played evolve once months back and thats it. The "Founders" pack (which u get if u had the game prior to this) gives u everything for free and a ton of skins. along with the currency.

I have only had to buy the Behemoth. Other than that, i now have everything/everyone unlocked pretty much. Apart from a few skins.

Did they actually fix the design problems of their game modes?

Because if I remember correctly the monsters only had to eat, get to max level and then kill the humans. Humans only ran and ran... and ran towards the monster to kill him before he leveled up.

Basically there were no other objectives besides those two, that's why people left because the modes were shit.

weirdee:
1. They wiped ALL of the progress that players had made up to that point, so all of their unlocks and levels are gone.

2. The compensation they gave to the paying players was 3000 currency, which amounts to one hour of gameplay's reward worth.

Like....wow. RIP consumers that trusted them. (not that they should have in the first place...)

I can't say I'm really surprised, all those people who paid for the game (including all the different special editions) aren't important anymore...Turtle Rock already has their money, what are the going to do..unbuy the game? It's time to mine the next bunch ofsuckers...

Why don't they just focus all their funds and effort into making an actual game instead of trying to blow recycled air into a dead horse in the hope that it might attract a few more disinterested flies. Oh right, that involves work. Sorry, my bad.

My understanding is that one of the biggest nails in the coffin in terms of retaining players was the crappy gameplay loop, with every game playing out in one of two ways:

1: The hunters catch the monster in the first 3 minutes and kill the crap out of it.
2: The hunters spend 10 minutes following a trail of footprints until the lvl 3 monster shows up and wipes them out.

Don't know how accurate that is as I've never played the game myself, but that's what I've heard. And if true: then there is still going to be the issue of retaining a player base as I can certainly see how that would get old rather quickly.

Deathfish15:
SCREW STEAM FOR PEDDLING THIS CASH-GRABBING GARBAGE! Seriously, they have this on the front flipping page since it went F2P, to push against everyone. Yet where was the feature for Wildstar's release on Steam? Huh? Not even there at all. That's the problem with them. They're featuring some titles like this, but not other titles like that. They can go suck a giant turd until they release HL3 and get their crap together!

Uh... I'm not sure "cash-grabbing" means what you think it means.

Also, the only place I see Evolve being "pushed" on the front page is in the rotating new on Steam splash, which... Wildstar was featured in, back when it first actually launched. It's not there anymore because... it's been a month since it launched on Steam and a bunch of other things have happened since then? I see a bunch of visual novels and Megadimension Neptunia, and plus if you're actually signed in you can kinda customize what shows up there, so I'm not really sure what you're looking to gain by throwing so much blame around here. Plus, featuring Evolve is hardly "the problem with" Steam; at least Evolve is actually a mostly-competently made game. Have you even seen the amount of utter trash that floods the store daily thanks to awful publishers and Greenlight?

Something Amyss:
So they have 150 players now? Sweet!

I was gonna say, 15000% of 0 is still 0... XD

There is an insane amount of assumptions in this thread, and most can be refuted by clicking on the DLC link on their store page, which is.. Empty!
Everything you had unlocked, is still unlocked. Everything else is unlocked by getting points by playing the game.

Something Amyss:

Baresark:
Listen... that just happened. It's not about who is playing right now, it's about who is playing 30 days from now. Unless they fixed the problems that caused the people who actually bought the game to leave, most of those people will just leave again in short order.

My understanding is one of the big reasons people left was the combination of a full retail game and a freemium DLC model, so that at least has been addressed. Were there other issues? I tuned out when I found out this thing was going to have a pretty hefty DLC setup.

One of the issues is balancing and the inability to bounce back, from what I heard. So, when the monster is winning, there is no chance for the hunters to come back, and when the hunters are winning, the monster can't come back. I think you are right though. I didn't think the DLC was bad except for the one's where new monsters were locked behind a paywall. To me that is the equivalent of paying for maps. I may just have to check it out myself now. I really wanted to play it but like yous said, full price plus DLC plus game content DLC locked behind a paywall really affected my choice to buy the game.

RJ 17:
My understanding is that one of the biggest nails in the coffin in terms of retaining players was the crappy gameplay loop, with every game playing out in one of two ways:

1: The hunters catch the monster in the first 3 minutes and kill the crap out of it.
2: The hunters spend 10 minutes following a trail of footprints until the lvl 3 monster shows up and wipes them out.

Don't know how accurate that is as I've never played the game myself, but that's what I've heard. And if true: then there is still going to be the issue of retaining a player base as I can certainly see how that would get old rather quickly.

You say this yet Hunt, the mode where this happened, was the only game mode played by the majority of players. Evacuation, a 5 mission campaign with different types of objectives that had radically different pacing, was difficult to populate because so few people wanted to try anything else.

Stage 2, where we are at now, removed Evacuation (and the different objectives) and it's just Hunt now, the game mode everybody played. They've radically re-balanced the game to make it so it doesn't require as much co-ordination from the hunters to be able to track down and "trap" the monster for a fight. The maps currently available are more refined for Hunt, rather then one size fits all maps we had before.

For the monster, they changed how the monster levels up slightly. Initially the monster would get 3 points to spend on powers per evolution stage (3 at the start, 3 for stage 2 and 3 for stage 3). Now the Monster gets 4 points to start, 3 at stage 2 and 2 at stage 3. This gives the monster greater punch and survivability at stage 1 without sacrificing the benefit of getting to stage 3.

It seems most monsters have been given slightly larger health pools. Currently the Behemoth, the tankiest monster, isn't available in the in game store while they balance it, but anyone who had it unlocked already can still use it it seems.

The thing that changes the pacing the most now is how domes work (the portable arenas hunters use to trap the monster). Initially only one hunter class, the trapper, had the dome and if they weren't good at it the monster would just run circles around the hunters evolve to stage 3 and then fuck everyone up. Now every hunter can drop the dome and the dome goes down almost instantly (while before there was a slight delay where the monster could slip out before it was dropped).

All this forces more frequent engagements with the monster. The dome stays up for 5 minutes I believe, but the monster can reduce that time by knocking down Hunters. If he kills a hunter it reduces the time considerably (hunters respawn in a dropship as long as at least one hunter is alive). This forces combat rather then hide and seek game play.

The re-balancing of the hunters I've seen so far is to give each class much clearer roles and universal abilities to work towards that. All Assault have combat shields, all Medics have an aoe heal, all support have squad shields and all trappers have a planetary scan (something else that speeds up the tracking of the monster).

Having played a few games myself I can see the impact these changes and how they affect the flow of a hunt. However the game still requires a degree of team synergy on the part of the hunters and a lot of skill on the part of the monster, the streamlining hasn't simplified the game for any one group. A bad monster will be destroyed while it's still at stage 1 and a bad team will see a monster get to stage 3 within minutes and clobber the shit out of them.

EDIT: I have gripes at the moment relating to balancing, but I've also only played with randos, not a team. I feel the Kraken (one of the monsters) seems stupidly easy to use. I've seen hunters wiped by a stage 1 kraken and have been able to do so myself as well. Perhaps has the skill gap increases and the best players get separated from the worst this won't be as bad, but right now it's painful to see a kraken on the load screen.

weirdee:
1. They wiped ALL of the progress that players had made up to that point, so all of their unlocks and levels are gone.

2. The compensation they gave to the paying players was 3000 currency, which amounts to one hour of gameplay's reward worth.

Like....wow. RIP consumers that trusted them. (not that they should have in the first place...)

What did you unlock with those levels and such? I started with all the monsters and hunters and some skins for them. My badges weren't unlocked but meh, whatever.

I think Turtle Rock took absolutely the wrong lessons from Left for Dead. It was also a little low on content, but the sheer variety introduced by the huge modding (well, campaign-making) scene mitigated the repetition. Without that...

I really don't know what they were going for with the changes. It's like they threw out the whole system and essentially balanced it for just having the monster and hunters duke it out right away.
I played ~10 hours of the game when it came out and even against brand new players it's really hard to escape the hunters. I understand why the global scan exists, but even when you crouch walk as the monster to hide your position the hunters just global scan. You're almost better off just jumping around like a maniac and eating when you can, stealth is no where near as effective as before. Even when I'm doing really well the best I can get is level 2 before the hunters inevitably are always behind me.

And the arena is huge, and pops up almost instantly. At least before the hunters had to make a tactical choice and popping up an arena in a bad spot could completely screw the team.

Deathfish15:
SCREW STEAM FOR PEDDLING THIS CASH-GRABBING GARBAGE! Seriously, they have this on the front flipping page since it went F2P, to push against everyone. Yet where was the feature for Wildstar's release on Steam? Huh? Not even there at all. That's the problem with them. They're featuring some titles like this, but not other titles like that. They can go suck a giant turd until they release HL3 and get their crap together!

er no. Wildstar had its moment in the sun on the steam front page when it /launched/ it's F2P mode. I distinctly remember that splash screen swaying me to try wildstar in the first place. That moment has passed. The moment for Evolve will pass soon enough too. It's not even being pushed very hard, it's just one tab in the rotating list, like many new releases. Sheesh.

shrekfan246:

I was gonna say, 15000% of 0 is still 0... XD

It's rare that I'm a charitable one...XD

Have you even seen the amount of utter trash that floods the store daily thanks to awful publishers and Greenlight?

Yeah, you have games that literally don't work, available on Steam. You have fraudulent games. This is nothing by comparison. Is it great?

...arguable. I guess their fan liked it.

But still, yeah, this is hardly what's wrong with Steam on any level.

gunloeg:
There is an insane amount of assumptions in this thread, and most can be refuted by clicking on the DLC link on their store page, which is.. Empty!
Everything you had unlocked, is still unlocked. Everything else is unlocked by getting points by playing the game.

You waited five years to post, and it's defending a game that doesn't rally need to be in need of defending.

Looking over the thread, the FAQ doesn't seem to address most of the complaints here.

Baresark:

My understanding is one of the big reasons people left was the combination of a full retail game and a freemium DLC model, so that at least has been addressed. Were there other issues? I tuned out when I found out this thing was going to have a pretty hefty DLC setup.

One of the issues is balancing and the inability to bounce back, from what I heard. So, when the monster is winning, there is no chance for the hunters to come back, and when the hunters are winning, the monster can't come back. I think you are right though. I didn't think the DLC was bad except for the one's where new monsters were locked behind a paywall. To me that is the equivalent of paying for maps. I may just have to check it out myself now. I really wanted to play it but like yous said, full price plus DLC plus game content DLC locked behind a paywall really affected my choice to buy the game.[/quote]

Oh yeah, if the game is so lopsided that whoever starts winning keeps winning, that would annoy the hell out of me.

I think the bit that put me off the DLC was the number of different pre-order packs and the like, not necessarily a specific DLC model. I can't remember for sure. I have no problem with a prolific DLC model, though specific ones can bother me. I spent SO MUCH MONEY on the Rock Band series, because I can get a lot of playtime out of DLC songs. And I used to buy the maps for Call of Duty because I'd play them with friends. And I'll season pass games I either really want to support or know I'll be playing a lot. Though usually, I buy the season pass once most or all of the content is out.

I don't remember what specifically put me off Evolve at launch, but something did.

weirdee:
1. They wiped ALL of the progress that players had made up to that point, so all of their unlocks and levels are gone.

Is there confirmation of this? The silver keys thing I can find on a Google search, but the only thing I see repeated on lost progress is for the Xbone version, which isn't part of the F2P model currently.

Something Amyss:

weirdee:
1. They wiped ALL of the progress that players had made up to that point, so all of their unlocks and levels are gone.

Is there confirmation of this? The silver keys thing I can find on a Google search, but the only thing I see repeated on lost progress is for the Xbone version, which isn't part of the F2P model currently.

I have posted about this a few times, including in this very thread, but no, there was no lost progress. Levels were reset and possibly emblems but that's it. Founders keep all their characters, all their weapon skins, and all the perks they unlocked. In fact, the level reset is a good thing since you get bonus coins when you level up. So you keep all your stuff while also getting the early level up bonuses, it's a decent leg up over free players. The change has been very kind to old players, unlike other games I have seen in the past. And from my friends who are trying it free, it seems to be very fair on free players as well, with a lot of currency coming in early. They had no issue unlocking some stuff they wanted.

Also, they have tweaked the balance of the game so the extremes of either hunters ending it quick or the monster never being found are gone. It's a lot more cat and mouse now, and I recommend people who didn't like it before to check it out as it has a lot more action.

Comic Sans:

This is not entirely true. Account levels were reset but the rewards were not. Any characters, skins, and perks you got are kept. And the level reset is actually good for vets since they keep up their perks but since they are back to level one they can get more of the bonus coins you get from leveling up. Anyone that bought the game is still coming out ahead. It's more than fair

Ah, k, cool then, makes sense

well, i gave it a try and i got bored pretty quickly. it really is a hide and seek running simulator. already after 10 min i was bored that i did not care at all anymore if i died or won. i kept trying in case i may like it but nope, after 90min i had it.
thank god i never payed for it in the first place and was for free. i had to play L4D just to wake up.

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