Left 4 Dead creators Turtle Rock making F2P co-op FPS

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?

21 Comments

  1. Plank says:

    The creators of Left 4 Dead are Valve. It says so on Steam “From Valve (the creators of Counter-Strike, Half-Life and more) comes Left 4 Dead,”
    link to store.steampowered.com

    And we all know that developers don’t lie on Steam right?

    • Crane says:

      They said “from”, which could quite legitimately mean “published by” instead of “developed by”.

    • aldo_14 says:

      Well, Valve bought Turtle Rock just before L4D released and renamed it to Valve South. So it’s semi-true.

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      Oakreef says:

      Turtle Rock were part of Valve at the time. Valve bought them while they were making Left 4 Dead, they released it and then they split away from Valve again.

    • Lumnario says:

      Actually, Turtle rock was the people to make the game, they just sold the game to valve at the last minute, I could be wronge just that is what I heard last time this kind of thing came up

  2. LexW1 says:

    Western-oriented Perfect World games tend to have moderately annoying but not “Fuck this” monetization. Like you genuinely can play and have a good time without paying, but there is going to be some seriously fun-enhancing stuff monetized, like inventory space or followers. And none of their games have been fun enough that I felt like I wanted to give them money (unlike, say, GGG and Path of Exile, where the monetization is less offensive AND the game so fun and complete that I felt like a thief playing for free – entirely unprompted, too!).

    Still, if the game is designed from the ground up to be F2P coop, it stands at least a chance of being decent, and Vermintide showed dark fantasy is a good setting for an L4D-type game.

    Personally I hope it’s not “Urban Fantasy”, though, i.e. set in the modern world but with supernatural elements, as I suspect it will crash and burn or not even survive initial focus groups/alpha playtesting, like every other game that tried to do coop urban fantasy.

    • FriendlyFire says:

      At least F2P coop removes a lot of issues with matchmaking, skill levels, etc. You’re no longer at the mercy of the community to enjoy playing.

      It’s worked out pretty damn well for Warframe, so maybe other devs are finally waking up to it?

      • LexW1 says:

        Well, it doesn’t entirely remove those issues, but it de-emphasizes them. With good co-op games there will still be a skill gradient though and you want some kind of (hopefully self-imposed) separation to keep it fun for everyone. ME3’s MP (which was pure co-op) had Bronze/Silver/Gold (maybe later Platinum? I forget) difficulties which did that.

  3. Frank says:

    You introduce “Perfect World” out of nowhere in the last para. Never heard of it…

    • Alice O'Connor says:

      Oh for… sorry, something had got lost in editing. Have added it back. Ta!

    • DEspresso says:

      “Turtle Rock have teamed up with Star Trek Online and Neverwinter publishers Perfect World for this” ?

      • JB says:

        Yeah, but I’m fairly sure that wasn’t there when the article first went up

  4. klops says:

    Steve Earle from The Wire!

  5. crazyd says:

    Welp, that’s a guarantee I won’t play. You’d think that F2P completely failing in their previous game might be a sign that the mechanic doesn’t work for them. If I can’t pay a single, reasonable fee and get all content, I have no interest.

  6. nimbulan says:

    This sounds like a recipe for instant failure. It was nice knowing you, Turtle Rock.

  7. April March says:

    I feel that, despite everything, I’ll always regret that during the short time that Evolve existed as a game I didn’t have a computer that could run it.

    We’ll always have that brilliant logo.

  8. sneetch says:

    They missed so many marks in evolve, I’m curious to see what they’ve learned from that. I hope they’re not going to bring out a game that spends forever in “early access”.