Evolve Updates Stop As Turtle Rock Move On

Do find it.

Yesterday was the very last day Turtle Rock will work on Evolve [official site]. The servers will still run but no future updates are planned. Despite a relaunch as free-to-play in July, it looks like it simply wasn’t popular enough to justify the cost of them working more on the 4v1 monsterhunting FPS. It wasn’t their call to make – that’d be publishers 2K – and so it goes.

Turtle Rock co-founders Phil Robb and Chris Ashton said in yesterday’s announcement that “we were hungry for more but unfortunately today is the last day that Turtle Rock Studios can work on Evolve.” They continue:

“This is the life of AAA game developers who aren’t self-funded and don’t own their own IP. We don’t get to make the call. We all know that going in but we still sign the dotted line because we love what we do.”

As this post is Turtle Rock saying goodbye rather than 2K explaining their decision, let’s make an informed guess. Following the free-to-play launch, Turtle Rock said in September:

“Looking back on July and August we can proudly say things went well. Now, in September and October, we have a new challenge. We need to prove that Evolve Stage 2 can become a profitable and self-sustaining free-to-play game.”

Ah. That’d likely be the problem.

2K assure players that though “no future updates are currently planned”, Evolve’s servers will stay up “for the foreseeable future”. They publishers said in 2015 that Evolve might gain a spot in their permanent franchise lineup for the full ‘endless sequels’ treatment but ah, this makes that look less likely.

If you never played Evolve, I’ll briefly explain: it’s a class-based 4v1 FPS with four hunters trying to track and kill a hulking great monster. Check out Alec’s twopart Wot I Think for more. I really dug the idea myself but never found a group of friends who were all into it and I didn’t much fancy playing a cooperative-ish game on my tod. How about you, gang?


  1. Optimaximal says:

    They killed it by fragmenting the player-base from day one. Modern competitive shooters need complete basic content parity – make your extra money with skins and other promotional tat.

  2. Herring says:

    I bought it and enjoyed it. It was a great game when you had a co-ordinated team and/or you had a personal stake in terrorising people so it worked best with friends.

    Online it was badly balanced due to the difference between “organised team of hunters” and “normal group of Internet randoms” so the online play was spotty. It varied between 10-second monster-I-cides on one extreme and Godzilla vs Kittens on the other. That plus the horrible monetisation system they had pretty much killed it.

    Loved it at LANs though :)

  3. montorsi says:

    If I can’t make sense of what you’re trying to sell me at launch then I’m not buying your game. This was utterly predictable.

  4. gulag says:

    I guess now we can look forward to an announcement of their next games day one DLC. Before they announce the game…

  5. Fnord73 says:

    I was looking at it on reduced price. Is there still any playercommunity to get into?

  6. Michael Fogg says:

    Best thing about Turtle Rock is their lead writer Matt Colville and the DnD youtube channel he runs on the side

  7. Bobtree says:

    They took out most of the maps when Evolve 2.0 launched (it only had 4!). This leaves the game in a very poor place. They need to at least re-enable all the maps.

    I just ran Evolve to check the map list, and it wants me to play tutorials AGAIN, for the 3rd time now. It’s a new hunt-mode tutorial, and can’t be skipped.

    There are currently only 5 maps in Hunt mode, out of at least 14. This is not what I paid for.

  8. IqbalS. says:

    Aw this is terrible. But this concept of game is hard to survive.

  9. avtrspirit says:

    I only played it when it went Free. It was glorious! Partly because the hunting, the stealthing, the juking was as thrilling as I imagined it would be. Partly because of the graphics: this is the first time I actually like the “grey” look of a game, because of the leathery textures of the monsters. And partly because Free was Free. Not free-to-play, not freemium, there was literally no way to give the game money.

    Of course, that last bit is entirely untenable from a business perspective. And try as I might, I couldn’t convince enough friends to play it instead of Overwatch and Rocket League. :(

  10. A Gentleman and a Taffer says:

    “…and so it goes”

    Kurt Vonnegut high five

  11. feartheway says:


    this is a bizzare situation.
    Such a cool game!

    Why on earth has this failed?

    I find it fascinating to see such a good game and

    awesome concept nose dive.

    my intuition is this.

    1) Elitist designer and player mentality.

    They designed it for ultra high spec computers.

    They designed it for ultra high skill competative


    I think the designers failed to grasp that the real

    art in these games is not the smash down win, its the

    on a tightrope win. The tug of war rather than

    slaughter. its the feeling that everyone fought the

    good fight.

    This immediately shut out huge amounts of players
    and still does.

    Not only that they designed it to punish noobs so

    hard they dont come back.

    Absolutely unforgiveable to shove noob players vs

    veterans without some sort of handicap system.

    Pug pvp needs extremely careful design to stop noobs,

    wannabe pros and pros from being toxic to each other.

    non class pref reward was pathetic. 25 coins vs

    backing out the lobby. 250 was fine.

    the need for self inflicted handicap with some


    2) Clueless monetisation. To be fair designers want

    to design games and not syphon money out of gamers.

    The core of any game after is it any good, is how to

    make money from it.

    I know its much more fun and creative thinking of new

    content. But when the money dries up there is zero

    new development. They had to sort out monetisation

    to get a revenue stream.

    I guess they were hoping for millions of concurrent

    users to fleece a little off.

    3) Why the drop off of users?

    a) lack of last man standing mechanic.
    lack of catch up mechanic. Formula 1 vs super mario


    when a noob player walks into a plant, or afks to do

    some real life thing, or rage qqs. There isnt any

    real come back.

    in arena, last man standing, there isnt any heroic

    1v1 finish. Its monster chases, pounces and kills

    the potential hero.

    b) healing lacks something, flexability, survival.
    as far as I can tell its a pretty horrible experience

    unless your in a decent team. Every rubbish player

    blames the healer or the tank.

    • feartheway says:

      I still dont think i have scrateched the surface of why this game hasnt taken ofjf.

  12. mumei_ says:

    I pre-ordered Evolve because I loved Left 4 Dead. I played it for a moment realizing I definitely needed friends to play with. Since none of my friends have it and I have a lot of other games to catch up, Evolve got set aside. Then Stage 2 came out, scrapping what progress I had made. So Evolve got pushed even further down my “to play” list. And now, after just months, they gave up on the game entirely. The makers of Evolve failed the players and that is why the game flopped.