Turtle Rock Studios has just announced that the asymmetrical shooter Evolve is free-to-play on PC via Steam starting today, July 7, 2016, as a beta. Evolve Stage 2 is the designation of the redesigned 4v1 shooter from the makers of the popular hit Left 4 Dead. If you actually purchased Evolve before, your account will be upgraded and you’ll get Founder Status, keep all the content you already own and earning gifts, rewards, and special access that haven’t been revealed in detail yet.
Evolve was drastically reworked for this re-release, with things such as game modes, map design, hunter classes, user interface, visual effects and more getting an overhaul.
So why is Evolve going free-to-play? A sincere letter from Turtle Rock co-founders Chris Ashton & Phil Robb tells us a bit about it, but we already knew that the reason was a underwhelming reception and focus on a DLC practice that ultimately almost killed the game, resulting in a lack of a playerbase that could sustain Evolve.
“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.”
You can watch the Evolve Stage 2 announcement and launch videos below.