Future of Evolve, Free-to-Play? Or something else..?


#1

This is what I studied for, and this is also the way we analyse problems regarding a company or product. This is also “me” who’s writing so expect this post to be long. Want a TL:DR version, read the title :stuck_out_tongue:

Also know that this is NOT a short term fix. This is going to take time and is a concept for the future of Evolve. It’s either this, or letting the game die. I think the latest this should be implemented is a year from launch max. It’s clear that the community cannot save this game on their own. It’s something that TRS and 2K need to do now.

With 400 hours of game-time on the clock, being top 200 world globally and still having a TON of fun with this game, the player base is creeping on my back with every ticking second. It’s Tuesday 16th of April today and the amount of players playing at this moment, almost 2 moths after release are at 900 players for PC (down from 20.000+ at first). I absolutely have no clue how the player-base is looking on consoles, but at this point it doesn’t matter. We need to start discussing what to do with our beloved game and how Evolve will survive the bad start it got. Because believe it or not, this game is dying and the playerbase, even the most loyal, is bleeding hard. I tried keeping my eyes closed, but at this point I can’t, not any more.

Evolve was in great luck placing itself just in front of all the other huge releases. Only a few games were released these two months and this game is one of the better ones. With GTA 5 released and The Witcher 3 on the horizon, Evolve is going to lose a lot more players. I feel like the DLC is a fix to stop the bleeding for a week or two, but it kept on bleeding none the less.


So what is the real problem at this moment? Looking at my close circle of friends I know that they find this game way too expensive. I’ve heard this argument a lot and I fully agree that the base game for 60 euro’s simply is too much. Next to that they find that the DLC have F2P prices on top of the base game. Way too much for their liking, I tend to agree with this argument placed on top of the fact that this game is asking full prices for the base game.

I also know that TRS have a contract (with 2K?) that they need to finish first their contract first. New DLC, maps, game-modes, hunters and another monster. Only after this they will rework current hunters and monsters, add more content etc. The question is: will they? Why support a game that you can’t earn more money from to support future support? I know I wouldn’t, even if I loved the project so much… So how do you safe a dying game? You make it free to play, or really really cheap.


Don’t read this as one of “those” posts. Making a game free to play comes with great risks as well. It can completely fuck a game up so bad that noone want’s to play it anymore. Good thing is, Evolve’s current business model is 50% of that of similar F2P games. And that’s not a compliment, but an opportunity made into something it already “wanted” to be.

Evolve has:

  • Experience to unlock progression
  • Experience to unlock masteries
  • Experience (in tiers) to unlock new hunters and monsters
  • Skins to customize your character
  • Pay to get higher tier characters faster
  • Pay to unlock new hunters
  • Pay to unlock new monsters

What Evolve still needs:

  • Ranked matches based on skill (not level)
  • Fixing the still existing game-breaking bugs
  • Reworking Nest, Rescue and Defend to make them viable for competitive matches (still too many exploits for easy wins).
  • Reworking the Matchmaking to make it more user friendly.
  • Include the ability to re-pick a perk when taking over a bot
  • Include the option to ‘NOT’ pick or exclude a certain class or monster, or only monster.
  • Include the option to filter games to prefer matches with players who have a mic
  • Include a vote system to ‘not start a match against a bot monster’, if 3 out of 4 players vote to search for a new monster again.
  • Include a system that gives you extra experience if you pick a class or monster that is needed in the matchmaking the most.
  • Rework of custom games
  • Add map rotation
  • Make the design much more user friendly. Players need to go back and forward between screens to change even the most minor things.
  • Reworking some character and/or monster skills to be viable for competitive play
  • At least 80% of all the monsters and characters need to be picked at all times, if they aren’t good enough they should be reworked so they are viable for competitive matches. Or at least make them viable with another character working as a tight team.
  • Reworking wildlife buffs so they are balanced in every match.
  • Also give an option/gamemode to remove them completely

Free to play isn’t something to do lightly. You either re-release the game in “early-access” but people won’t like that one bit, certainly not for a game like Evolve. If you release this Free to Play though, a lot of existing buyers need to be compensated for the money they put into the game. Better yet, they should be rewarded for supporting this great game from the start. Giving them exactly the amount of content they already bought + extra. If you invested in this game you should get everything you payed for + loyalty service. There are games out there (APB:Reloaded) that did the same, but dropped all paying customers when they went free to play. Lost all my respect for them eventhough the game was reworked by a different studio.

Evolve can include a experience “brake” on the game making it harder to reach higher levels and get those characters and hunters faster. Say 50% of the 100% we have now. They can pay a small price (say 10 dollar) to set this normal again. This method lures in players that want to play the game for free, it motivates a small ‘fee’ to get it to the regular version. Keep the same DLC prices tagged on, improve the matchmaking and bugs and keep adding small amounts of content every month to keep the existing player base intact.

Start this trajectory with a few free weekends and only 15-20$ price for the game and work towards that point where the game WILL become free to lure in a bigger player base. My hypothesis is that they will earn more money on this game if they make it free to play with a 5x bigger player base than they will if they keep going on this route.

Evolve needs more love than it is getting. We need the parents of their child to stop focusing on making their kid the way they want it to be, but letting the kid be accepted by a bigger audience with no restraints.


[update]

Free to play games need a few things that make the successful. For Evolve these points might be crucial and not to be ignored.

  • You need something to lure new players in.
  • Making the game 100% free is a good start
    • This will invite casual Youtubers back as well
  • Doing a well planned promotion period in which gamewebsites pick up Evolve again and give the F2P version another re-“review”.
  • Competitive scene will promote more games and keep this scene up
  • Player to player advertising will work great for a initial tryout.
  • You need something for players to come back too.
  • Giving each player 1 token each month to unlock 1 hunter to play with for free (with the condition that they logged in and completed a match each day for 7 day’s). Saving up 3 tokens to unlock a monster. This is 5 euro a month “saved” most people wont even bother and buy it anyway.
  • Playing for 14 day’s in a row will give you one random free skin that you don’t have yet
  • Introduce monthly events that reward players for their imput and reward them for their effort (similar system to the challenges now)
  • Have a Ranked system that drops your rank every other day you don’t play
  • You need a “Dutch” pay model
  • A model that makes it possible to not pay a single cent if you commit to the game for longer than +/- year and be able to unlock everything in that time. No 2K bullshit. In this year free publicity from 30% of the players makes it worth it.
  • Fire everyone who brings up the idea to pay for time played. Or letting players who bought the game pay extra.
  • A model that promotes buying things as an investment over time played. See token example ^
  • Have a LOT of content available (base game) to play with once you downloaded it. But make the unlocking process take longer for people who haven’t paid anything yet.
  • Set a minimum of 10 euro’s invested in Evolve to give players “normal” unlocking speed. This promotes more sales in the future since the first buy barrier has been broken. First investment is hardest for most F2P games. This applies to:
    • Experience (Personal Perks)
    • Masteries (even for DLC characters that have been bought with tokens)
  • Need constant support, updates and patches for balance
  • Because the game will get more money in, balance fixes, updates and new content should be released on at least a 2-3 month schedule timeframe. Make this event BIG, promote it, hype it a little by sending out a lot of teasers.

Free to play in the eyes of a “Dutch” person is only free to play if it is. No involuntary paywall, only voluntary. Make everything unlock able within a reasonable time-frame and make it so people buy things because they want it (sooner). Any trick, any method that shows the colors 2K showed for the actual game on release and you will get burned again.


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#2

You’re forgetting that in a f2p structure, everything is technically unlockable without ever paying a dime. They’d have to rework the games masteries to allow for this. Then theres the matter of recalling all hard copies of the game and reimbersing companies like gamestop for the losses. Which is a high risk for no gurentee that the f2p transitions. What about the insultt o those who boughtt he game? Are you going to reimburse them?

Thr playerbase is stronger on consoles due to the lack of existing choices. Which iss omething that PC suffers from, too many options that is. Then consider, that evolve is a niche game theory to begin with and that all triple A games suffer from player loss as soon as a new game arrives. Currently mkx, in a month or two something else.

Following your thoughts, the transition is far more expensive with huge backlash, why not release as f2p to begin with. Honestly, the best way to increase the base is to offer tournaments along the lines of LoL and their prize structure. To add ranked or league play and the riskiest move? Cross platform play, with windows 10 around the corner… games did it early 360 days so it is feasible.

When the game goes down in value, encourage your friends to try it, theyre making excuses. You love this game? Make an effort, dont complain, whine or bitch to 2k or the devs. Actually try to bring new blood in, its emberrassing otherwise.

New content and supporting the competitive scene thatll do more than a single post on a forum will. Enlighten others on the game, try streaming try hyping it up . I’ve recently convinced 3 people and they are die hards now… im just saying


#3

When profits start dying out, the company will be forced to lower its price, hence bringing in additional players.

When profits die out completely, it would be logically more feasible to let it go F2P.


#4

Making it free won’t help if they don’t fix all the issues the game has, sure it will get people to download it and try it but if all they experience is bugs and problems it won’t keep them around, which is why there has been such a huge decline in the population anyways, but at least if it was free they wouldn’t feel ripped off once they realize how broken it is…


#5

Consoles are doing fine


What is the future of evolve?
#6

Once F2P fails, TRS will be forced to pay people to play.


#7

I think companies should just stop making games for pc because most of the players just seem to want to moan about everything and seem to think everything should be free. I hope TRS pull the ig on the pc and just continue with the consoles because we’re all pretty happy and the player base is high :+1:


#8

If F2P should fail for Evolve, then the people who make that model should be fired and work in retail with a burn mark telling others never to let them work in the F2P gaming industry. Evolve is an amazing game that would really pull in a lot of players that have some serious doubts about this game. Most people actually fear investing in a game that is going to stop existing in a while. While this might be just or unjust, it is an actual problem.

Free to Play Evolve might be the thing that this game needs. Already enough sales to make up for the base game, and a long lifespan with a greater audience, maybe even a sequal in the future.

Remove 2K out of this equation and the only thing I see is a game that people are forgetting because of all the noise. Remove the noise, let them try, let the media pick up on Evolve going free to play and see the attention rising again.


Because if Evolve goes F2P, it’s one of the best ones out there by a long shot. people will still pay 20 euro’s for the 4 new hunters and they will still pay 15 euro’s for a monster. More people playing, buying because they don’t wanna get left behind and still make 35 euro’s per player that sticks to the game. Then there are still the skins, F2P costs that come for faster progression. The potential is enormous, if they don’t fuck it up :stuck_out_tongue:


#9

I think this is very true with regards to PC, you hear what’s said on the forums (thanks doomsayers) and check out the stats and you can easily misinterpret this as meaning the game isn’t worth putting the money in for. I don’t agree with that analysis, but I know it’s something that people are thinking unfortunately :frowning:


#10

I was really pondering asking this topic to be merged with the other one with the same name… but it has a lot of points on it’s own that I think are great.

That you’ve hit 200th in the game and are still having fun… I wish I had your skill&optimism. I seem to find my way to one abusive match to another, even on weekends where events are supposed to be happening. Being in the top 200th on Bucket at one time, the exploits seem to be landing in almost every match I play, and it’s bleeding the fun dry for me.

That being said: I agree with you.

  1. The game needs to fix it’s exploits. Evolve players that get “expert” are choosing combinations and monsters that are known for being too strong, or bugged because it increases their win chances… The amount of times I see the same “flavor of the month” kraken, or tier4 hunter combinations that have been complained about since their release… is absurd. IF only 3 hunters and 1 monster are being picked ALMOST EVERY MATCH, something isn’t right. I’m derailing myself here, but to be fun:
    a) They need to balance their characters. All of them. To increase gameplay diversity.
    b) They need to fix their monster, or attach a game balance system that temporarily tweaks monsters stats until it’s balanced for it’s bugged build.
  2. The game price can be a sticking point, but it doesn’t have to be. I just did a google for Evolve and found it online for $15 from Dealscube.com… I bought Limitted Edition (which included behemoth) for just $36 from GamesDeal.com. The prices are waaay low on everywhere but steam. The problem with steam is that Valve takes 75% of it’s profit… YUP! 75% of everything you buy on steam… goes to Valve… So shop around, and activate your CD keys on Steam.
  3. Now onto the kicker… I envy you that you’re still having fun… Many are not. The reasons may differ… but the point for the moment is… many people aren’t having fun. Making this game free won’t solve the problem… you have to fix problem 1 first, THEN to free to play or reduce the cost.
    a) Going free to play too early (like at this point) will generate some small interest, and ultimately a revolving door of players as they move along; frustrated by the same bugs/balance issues that hit the forums regularly.
    b) Going free to play will require a complete re-work to their in-game market, and progression system. I’m not creative enough this early in the morning to make suggestions on that, but DLC will be the sole income at that point…

I really look forward to the games future patches and balances, and I think a lot of people will come back once this is worked out. Ranked mode may help out as well… But I suspect all that will happen is that we’ll see the same mechanic abusing, broken feature choosing people at the top, the higher you go… and at that point: What good has ranked matches really done.


#11

I think this is an assumption that is really risky to state, because you don’t know. They really need to invest quite a large sum of money to do another research project on the likelihood that new players will join. Since they haven’t send out a single signal that they know what’s going on, + they are pushing through the same marketing strategy they used from the beginning. PC players just rest on a soft pillow at the moment being pampered with free skins and whatnot.

Sometimes you just need to accept that you have passed the point of no return. I won’t say that Evolve is there yet, and before the 2K contract has ended they won’t even remotely think about it. But if this game doesn’t go free to play a year from release, it’s going to die on PC. New maps, new gamemodes, new hunters, new monsters. It won’t matter. The game won’t lure in new players with their current strategy.

Please don’t state inaccurate information :slight_smile: Steam only takes about 30%, but they have free right to claim however much they want. There are even simple stories going that this balance is only 15%. Sites like Kinguin for example sell new games for half the price. This means they only earn a few euro’s per sold game. Making retail come close to 40-50%. For an online platform 75% is just suicide.

So then what is the actual problem? You can’t help people who don’t like this game. If “the hunt” including everything like running and chasing doesn’t speak to you, you will never like this game.

Fresh buyers will not fall from the wagon because of balance, bugs, etc. They will get scared from the learning curve, the matchmaking, playing with random players, no filter for searching with microphones etc.

All the things that are frustrating from the start need rework. New players only care for the first impression. If that is right, they will stay, if it isn’t they will leave. How much do we hear from H1Z1 atm…?

Keeping players is a second priority for a fresh game, and it is only to keep players who play, playing. You can improve this for longevity, but it will only get a minimal amount of players to the game for great support.

Would you be interested in World of Warcraft if I told you the endgame content is fantastic. You only need to play the game for two months before you can have access to it. Most players ask what they need to do in those two months, and don’t even bother.

If evolve has a good matchmaking, ranked matchmaking, more gamemodes, more casual gamemodes, removed all gamebreaking bugs and fixed the balance, THEN a good F2P marketing strategy can pull this game to a next level.


#12

Not at all.

If Evolve went F2P there would be zero reimbursement for people who have already paid to have this game, I’m not sure where people are getting this self-entitlement from but they need to get over it.

Pretty much all of my friends on Steam refuse to buy Evolve because of the fully fledged price tag on a game that’s severely lacking in content.

Making the game F2P or going on sale will give an injection of players but it wont solve the issue that Evolve can’t retain players because there’s not much there. What makes it even worse is the metagaming which makes the little content seem even less because you’re seeing the same Hunters every game.


#13

This thread should just be closed


#14

And your post should just be deleted because you’ve contributed nothing to this discussion.


#16

The future? This game will be deserted at the end of the year.


#18

Make your own damn game if you want all these features, hire your own developer team too. Attract all the F2P noobs you want.


#19

Kinda and kinda not… Depends on the game. In Evolve this would mean complete access to tier 3 hunters and monsters. Have all masteries unlocked, maybe play a month to earn enough “bio-mass points” to unlock a new hunter/monster. This game leans in very well for a delayed unlock mechanic where you can pay an ‘x’ amount of money to have normal experience gain. Maybe pay 20 euro’s for full access to every aspect of the game normally. Everything else can be passive and on the side.

Also an assumption. What would be the dumbest thing to do for Evolve? Fuck over the existing playerbase. If you do that, TRS can just buy a torch and burn everything on the game. So in order to make this safe, you need a strategy that rewards existing players for paying for the game. They should have everything their heart asks for because they are quite literally the founding investors of Evolve F2P.

Same here, loops back to my original point

The injection would be nothing a few years back, but today, with the right amount of publishing and marketing towards bigger names and websites this can actually boost Evolve pretty well. And it doesn’t make it seem even less, because you can play it for free… What does League of Legends has to offer that Evolve doesn’t have? Meta speaking ofc. 1 map, 1 gamemode, and a fuckton of characters and perks. Evolve does more than that.

Once it’s free the competitive scene will become bigger, the playerbase will become bigger, people will ask ALL of their friends to play and they will ALL try, because it is free. Bad players leave, matchmaking will keep the good players clean from noobs. I see no downside really.


#21

Please go pick up and play Call of Duty again, let a man enjoy his free day by talking about something he finds interesting. Condescending little prick… pfff


#23

The only thing I can say is this game probably should lower the price to like 40 dollars to attract more folks. thats what it should have been worth originally imo


#24

I’m Dutch, it’s Kingsday in the Netherlands, like a national holiday really. Noone is working. Second, I never insulted you, you are acting like a ‘condescending little prick’ telling others what to do, without knowing them. Assuming they spend too much time inside writing about things they like, telling them to go out and get some fresh air. Then why are you on a forum? For a game that

you seem to not care about that much. Then you start to flame me for my mental capacity. Something I really don’t worry about. Stating that you might play CoD is aiming at your attitude that is more welcome in that game. Average age is much lower than here. If you take that as an insult, maybe you should rethink and buy that game anyway. Seems more like your type of game.

And there he comes with an actual reply to the topic. Took you some time, didn’t expect less now you showed a few of your colors. The “imo” bit though makes everything you say reek of shit though. Nothing of value that shows you have any clue of how this market remotely works. But kuddo’s for trying.