Evolve was released back in February to a mixed reception, surprising after winning numerous awards at the E3 event the year before. So what went wrong with the monster blockbuster?
First off, gameplay of Evolve was debuted back in E3 2014, and the game fared particularly well, captivating wide swaths of the general public and receiving many awards at the show, particularly ‘game of the show’ and ‘most anticipated game’ from various news outlets.
Anticipation for the game was then rampant for months after, perhaps even up until a week or two before release, when the first impressions of the game were released for the public to read. However upon release, Evolve quickly fizzled out, becoming a game that considerably few people brought, and those who invested their money were quickly one and done with it.
So what went wrong? Firstly, Evolve was shown to the public, and available to play through beta’s way too much in the run up to release. One could easily step into a beta for the game for a few hours and easily feel as though they experienced everything the game had to offer, which was evident in the public reception to Evolve once it was released.
Evolve definitely didn’t have a lot of actual content to offer at launch, having only four modes (hunt, rescue, defend and nest) and three monsters, and although 2K was keen to emphasise that additional maps and modes would be available for free after launch, this obviously wasn’t enough to make people invest in the game, or stay with it.
There’s also the emphasis on DLC from 2K. DLC is a minefield to navigate in the gaming industry, with companies like EA forcing micro-transactions into their games wherever they can, and others like Warner Bros. announcing a £33 season pass for Arkham Knight without detailing any actual content for the game.
2K went somewhere in the middle of this with Evolve, putting a significant emphasis on pre-order bonuses such as a new monster for free, while also detailing a season pass with very little actual content. And sure, I know that no one was forced to buy the season pass to be able to access the game, but it would’ve been nice for 2K to have a little less emphasis on the DLC for Evolve.
In short, Evolve utterly fell short of its promised experience for players due to a lack of content and quite a heavy hand in marketing its DLC to players, gating off new characters like the Behemoth for players and forcing them to pay as much as £15 for that single monster character.