Developers of Left 4 Dead says the successor wasn’t a flop and that it was just ahead of its time.
Developers of Left 4 Dead Says Successor Wasn’t a Flop
Just recently, seven-year-old multiplayer shooter Evolve got hold of a second wind. Still, however, developer Turtle Rock Studios reckons that its disappointing follow-up to Left 4 Dead might have gotten leverage of survival if it had been released today.
The asymmetric competitive shooter which four players face off against a mutating, monster that is player-controlled was all but shuttered only a few years after it was released back in 2015. And after initially gaining critical traction, Evolve was relaunched with a free-to-play model just a year after its launch just before its dedicated multiplayer servers were taken offline in 2018.
But in recent weeks, it’s seen a resurgence. And after Evolve’s peer-to-peer servers were resurrected by publisher 2K, the game’s player numbers spiked above anything it had seen over the past couple of years.
Gaming director Phil Robb Speaking to TechRadar
Gaming director Phil Robb Speaking to TechRadar reckons that the resurgence is owed to loyal fans, but also majorly influenced by the gaming industry at large. With gaming’s shift towards team-based shooters such as Overwatch 2 and the popularity of free-to-play shooters like Fortnite, he however thinks that Evolve might have been spared its demise in today’s climate.
“Evolve might have been a bit ahead of its time and might have a better shot today than it did in 2015 if it properly launched with a different business model,” Robb states.
“Unfortunately, being ahead of one’s time isn’t always a good thing, since that won’t keep the lights on. I think if Evolve was launched today as a free-to-play game, it would have a much better shot.
“Also, given the number of team-based games that have launched since Evolve, I think audiences now probably will have an easier time understanding how it works than they may have back at launch.”
When Evolve made its way to shelves back in 2015, its microtransactions were derided by both fans and critics quickly. And as reported by Polygon at the time, over $60 worth of DLC was bypassed from its season pass which set players back already at $24.99.
And although it is not out of place among today’s live service games monetization models, the structure of its pricing sourced the enjoyment of fans who would have normally praised its teams based on gameplay.
Players In Evolve Have to Coordinate Class-Specific Abilities
Players in Evolve have to coordinate class-specific abilities across vertical and fast-paced gunfights while also surviving sporadic attacks from the stealthy enemy monster. Meanwhile, that beastie will evolve gradually into a more powerful version of itself thus unlocking new abilities across a single match.
“It’s tough to point to any one particular thing that kept Evolve from sustaining an audience long-term,” Robb says. “Certainly, the way Evolve was priced and pre-sold did not help, nor did the DLC fiasco, but there were also design aspects that back in 2015 may have been tough for larger audiences to understand. “
“Evolve’s hunters, in particular, really did have to play correctly as a team for a match to be enjoyable. If everyone is not playing their part well, the game just breaks down.”
The Player Count Of Evolve Is Tailing Off Yet Again
And while the player count of Evolve is tailing off yet again, its brief hike in popularity still stands out as anomalous. It is kind of unusual for a stagnant seven-year-old title to get a spike of interest in an industry that is majorly dominated by live service games that have continuously reattracted players via seasonal updates.
“In 2015 and 2016, it was hard seeing Evolve fail to sustain a healthy community after pretty solid initial sales, so watching Evolve now get a bit of a redemption story is pretty great,” Robb cites. “We’re also glad players who always loved the game get a chance to play again.”