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Evolve Stage 2 Development Ends, Turtle Rock Studios To Transfer Operations To 2K
Evolve was an unfortunate mess. It started as a promising idea from the creators of Left 4 Dead. Then the publisher they signed with, THQ, went bankrupt. Luckily 2K came in to the rescue and bought the IP, which turned into a huge boon. Massive promos lead to hype levels off the roof for the asymmetrical multiplayer FPS, but a troubled business model and overly-hyped gameplay that has plenty of flaws caused it to lose all traction and a shrinking playerbase.
Early this year Evolve got a breath of fresh air by going free-to-play. Dubbed Evolve Stage 2, it was released on PC first as a beta test and was rigorously worked on, with multiple updates hitting every week changing up balancing and even reworking how certain game mode plays. Unfortunately, today 2K announced that development for Stage 2 is now “complete”, another way of saying the game has stopped development. For a free-to-play game, hearing that should be a red flag, as it should be continuously worked on.
Apparently developers Turtle Rock Studios has not been renewed further, leaving them to explore other opportunities (2K did, in fact, own the rights to the IP). This does not entirely mean Evolve is shutting down, just that all the service and maintenance will now be done in-house by 2K. In the official post, 2K is willing to experiment more with the business model, and Stage 2 can still be a thing on consoles.
The folks at Turtle Rock Studios seemed pretty emotional about this. They announced in their forums they will have one final livestream where fans can ask them questions about the development of Evolve.
This is always what happens when a developer do not own the rights to their games. And as for Turtle Rock Studios, they have experienced this before with Left 4 Dead, now under the care of Valve. We wish the team all the best with whatever the next project they can come up next.