Left 4 Dead and Evolve creators Turtle Rock Studios have announced a new co-op first-person shooter. Ish. A bit. They’ve announced they’re making one. The mysterious game will be fantasy-ish and, y’know, you’ll shoot enemies with your pals and oh, it’ll be free-to-play. While Evolve switched to free-to-play a year after launching but this new game will be designed as F2P from the start, which should work out better for it – and us. We shouldn’t expect this new game until 2018 at the earliest but I’m glad to know they’re still doing their co-op thing.Turtle Rock have teamed up with Star Trek Online and Neverwinter publishers Perfect World for this mystery game, they revealed in an interview with GamesIndustry.biz. As for what it is, company president Steve Goldstein said:
“What we can say is that we are definitely going back to our moment-to-moment gameplay roots with a huge focus on co-op FPS. There will be plenty of baddies to shoot up, but it is not a ‘zombie game’ or anything post-apocalyptic. What we can say right now is there’s a strong dark fantasy element to it.”
Turtle Rock recently finished supporting the F2P Evolve. This, and a lot of other decisions around Evolve, weren’t their call but rather the publishers’. It’s a shame that Evolve was so mishandled, with a deluge of DLC which, in all, cost far more than the base game. 2K were running it under a F2P model – a bad one, at that – even while charging full retail price for the game.
“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,” Turtle Rock recently said. It sure did.
Goldenstein tells GI.biz that F2P “completely changes the dynamic of how we make games”.
“With a $60 product, you only know if you are going in a good or bad direction from some focus test groups and then an alpha and a beta. There’s not much room to change course if you see elements that you want to work on based on how players are actually playing your game. At best, you can only hope to make these changes sometime post-launch and at that point, you’re probably knee-deep in DLC, because that’s what a boxed product needs to make a profit these days, given the insanely escalating costs of development, marketing and publishing those products. It’s not a very limber process.”
I don’t have a good sense of how well Perfect World monetise their free-to-play games, mind. Bad F2P monetisation can be more offputting to me than a £50 price tag, dragging a whole game down with nagging and irritation. I can’t say I’ve ran into that with any of Perfect World’s games but, in truth, I’ve found them boring enough to only play a little bit. So, er, what do y’all Perfectheads make of ’em?