Why did Evolve Fail?


Very poor marketing (hyping up the DLC capabilities put a lot of people off) and early Wraith. It just sort of hamstrung the game right out of the gate, and people thought all the hype was wrong and didn’t give it a second chance. Patching on consoles just took too long to stifle the problem.

That, and misinformed consumers. People thinking things like Bob was day 1 DLC because a YouTuber said so hurt as well.


I feel like Stage 2 was the push for this. It forced closer games by capping the damage done inside a dome and by revamping the dropship. Would you argue Stage 2 wasn’t enough? Keep in mind at the time good Legacy players were slamming every idea TRS had to make the game more approachable.

There were many factors that killed Evolve. The DLC “scandal” turned many people off. Then Wraith pushed the majority of players away… then the unbalanced DLC characters… people just lost faith in TRS and the community became toxic and bitter.

^ this is what ultimately did it though


Still depresses me that people think that TRS/2k hyped up DLC capabilities when they didn’t. Literally only said they learned from Left 4 Dead about being able to update, improve and add content to a game. games “journalists” then ran this as “They’ve built it as a DLC platform” and here we are with the myth-now-as-fact that the marketing hyped up DLC :’(


Well 2K is notorious for pushing DLC and Evolve’s original DLC options were confusing and overwhelming for people, it left a sour taste. There was a TON of ignorance too which made everything worse than usual; it’s funny because a lot of the stuff people hammered them for doing other games are doing right now and getting praise.

Anyways I am a firm believer that when they went F2P it would have actually done well. The big problem was things like their horrible matchmaker; that should have been fixed before launching the F2P version of the game. It was crippling problems like that, they kept new people from getting into the game because they would play 3 matches and it would drop like 3 hour players against 200+ hour monsters and they would of course lose, then quit playing and leave a negative review saying “Monsters are OP” or vice versa if they only tried monster.


I think this was a huge reason that Stage 2 didn’t do as well as it should’ve. Add to the fact that there were some monsters (or hunters) that had hours on console but jumped to PC because of Stage 2 made the matchmaking a mess.

Obviously it isn’t possible to have a perfect matchmaking system over night, but that surely didn’t help.

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I would, and did argue this quite strongly. As you pointed out, stage 2 did a lot to try and help a bit. Limiting how much damage hunters could do in a dome, removing the 1 dome and go home possibility, making the dropship drop hunters in quicker- etc.

But despite all this, we still saw many of the “same out comes” we saw before stage 2, during legacy. Say theres a really good set of hunters, versus a so-so monster. Obviously the hunters are expected to, and SHOULD win- How did it play out before stage 2? In legacy, they would dome the mosnter, wreck his face, and kill him in a dome or two- The monster struggling to get even a single down. How would it play out in stage 2? The hunters would dome the monster a couple of times, wreck him, and the monster would struggle to get even a single down. The big difference is it would happen over more domes, but it still never “felt close”.

Flip the tables, good monster, pub hunters- And the story is similar comparing legacy to stage 2. The monster would obliterate the hunters, often before they broke armor- and wipe them in to the dirt. Sure in stage 2 theyd come back sooner at the beginning, but the monster would skirt away, then come back and wipe them into the dirt again, often before breaking armor, or maaaybe taking a little bit of damage.

Stage 2 did a LOT to open the game up to casual players- And made the game more “intuitive” to play. No more missed domes. No more 20 minutes of hide and capture the sloth. Etc- But i dont think what they did addressed the frustration of 1-side stomps, which lead to balance perception issues.


It’s the one thing I wonder about what TRS may have taken away from the experience, and what they may be using as a new level of knowledge in their future endeavours… that games that have some level of complexity to them that moves away from the CS/Quake level of “essentially we’re all the same” cannot have a casual and a “competitive” scene that follows the same set of rules.

I’m in agreement that I’d love to have seen more done to dynamically level the playing field in general, casual, play… but we also know that anything of the sort was being heavily argued against by those looking for a “pure” and competitive experience. I feel there were avenues that could have been explored, given more time to develop.


Wow guys thanks for all the replies I wasn’t expecting such a large turn out at all I am really grateful the knowledge and discussion and I can clearly see now that this issue has much for facets and viewpoints to be considered

u guys know a lot and are pretty insightful, keep it up i enjoy the conversation and the info

anyways it would appear that issue would have been match making / balancing the monster versus the hunters in terms of skill/dmg

apparently thats not an issue that is easily fixable seeing how many things have to be taken into account.

for one thing I thought possibly having more objectives to fight over might help one side or the other have more of a chance to come back and also make for some more interesting games…but thats obviously not the only issue that needed attention.

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It was definitely an amazingly difficult game to balance. But even more difficult is answering the question, WHERE do we balance the game for? They could sit there and balance things so nearly every character is at a 50/50 overall win rate, but then you basically destroy the balance at a competitive level. You start buffing characters that are strong at a high level, but have high skill ceilings- making them appear “weak” in overall telemetry because 9 out of 10 players cant use them to their fullest, making them even STRONGER at the high level (We saw this with kraken. For quite some time he was arguably over powered at the competitive level, but had very low win rates overall, because many of the combos/techniques that made him so powerful were not only difficult to pull off, but un-intuitive).

Or the opposite can happen- Nerfing characters who were actually weak at a high level, because they over performed at a low level- Giving them an inflated win rate overall. And again we saw this with monsters like behemoth. He was almost unanimously considered trash at the competitive level, because competitive hunters knew how to exploit his weaknesses to CC and terrain, negating the majority of his damage, while taking advantage of his size and mobility to punish him like crazy. Even with his massive health and armor pools, competitive players could melt him before he could even threaten these hunters with a down, let alone reliably secure a down.

But pub hunters? They couldnt do this. They didnt know how to negate his damage, utilize terrain against him, and typically lacked the amount of damage output competitive hunters dished out. Ignored behemoth had high burst potential, and could wombo combo people in to a dirt nap with ease if left unchecked. So to THESE players, behemoth was a nightmare. Not only could he quickly burst them down, but he had so much hp/armor hed snowball against them in no time- And theyd find themselves at the relay with a monster who had a dozen + bars of hp left. This was amazingly daunting.

So right back to the problem- Where do you balance it for?

Which is always a catch 22. Balance for high level, and you destroy pub play- With some characters being too weak or strong based on skill ceilings. But balance for the overall and not only do you destroy it at the high level, imagine what happens when players decide theyre having fun, stick around, git the proverbial gud, and then realize the balance of the game they enjoyed is actually trash because joe shmo doesnt know how to play. Damned if you do, damned if you dont.

But that touches on what was mentioned before- The REAL issue with balance, is the PERCEPTION of balance. Its hard to respect the fact that behemoth was underpowered trash, when he obliterates your face with ease every time you see him.


I wouldn’t go as far as for call Evolve a failure. This game had an uphill battle from the beginning, some of the things were justified and some were not.
Like somebody in here said, whoever is in this forum, probably is a fan of the game, so our view of things are skewed. For that reason, I’ve rewatched few reviews that were more critical of the game (AngryJoe and Jim Sterling, I follow those guys). Anyway, I remember watching them and finding some incorrect statements but in the grand scheme of things, it didn’t matter, now I see that overall tone of the reviews wasn’t aimed at me because I already was sold on the game, I played it since closed alpha and loved the concept, their reviews were aimed at an average player - more on that later. What I’m trying to say is that we really don’t know what failure means in the context of Evolve. After all, last time I checked, it did sell at least 2.5m of copies, but when Tomb Raider sold over 3m within the first month, it was deemed a failure so who knows… What I think that Evolve failed at, was attachment rate. I do firmly believe that for an average player concept of Evolve was too difficult. At first glance, it’s just another shooter, unfortunately, players were not ready for what they got themselves into and/or just didn’t have the time to invest to learn it. First of all, it was 4v1, such an unusual concept at the time (still is!). It required actual thinking and strategizing on the fly, where the majority of games are most of the time reactionary, Then Evolve also required paying attention to details like sound queues and knowledge of the map, but what was worst, was that it required cooperation with other players (when playing as hunters of course). We all know how frustrating it was to play for well over 10 minutes, sometimes even upward of 20 with a new/bad player just to lose at the relay. It felt like wasted time, it was off-putting. It created so many of the OP/UP topics that were populating this forum so much. Another issue was with matchmaking including, but not limited to joining mid game and random DC also let’s not forget the numerous bugs, but I also believe that on its own, those things weren’t that bad (not saying they were good!) It’s just that combination of all those things paved the way to compiling frustration. Also, there is this DLC thing, and at the time, it was a really hot topic for gamers, we were at the boiling point of anger at publishers/developers for cash grabbing and Evolve just was the last straw. It all became a “perfect storm” and it created this mentality of “it’s cool to hate” on it.
I would say that’s actually a short answer to the question, why it failed. I think that there could be a book written about this topic because it relly was a unique situation but that’s if from me.
It’s really interesting to see what people think now, knowing how things played out.


For me personally it was how the console userbase (the largest userbase) was completely abandoned.

No reason for me to keep supporting the game if I’m not valued as a customer.


Well, we can all blame good old 2k for that shit.


That was 2K’s job to implement the update on the console versions. But they didn’t for unknown reasons, which is terrible from them


I played Evolve when it came out on consoles. Despite it’s faults I enjoyed the game and when I heard about stage 2 I loved it even more. I can’t claim to know what specifically caused it to fall into it’s current situation but these are some of the issue’s I had against the game.

1: The biggest and most important for me was the learning curve. As a hunter I felt I was being punished for being a team player instead of being a monster. As a hunter all it takes is 1 newbie or 1 person to make a mistake and the match is over. I was either getting the crap kicked out of me or I was winning so much it was no challenge. There were very few times where the match was neck and neck and I didn’t know who was going to win it. Most of the time I could point to a specific moment and say “That’s game”

2: As much as TRS tried to balance things all the characters clearly weren’t. I feel this should be 2 topics.
A: As far as monsters went og Goliath was king. I liked playing wraith because i like being sneaky. Kraken was unique because he was ranged but it felt like the game was meant to be played brawler style. I did like the rework to Wraith. I felt super nova needed that buff and isolation stacks were a nice touch but I always felt there were more pressing issue’s that needed addressing. Like abduction’s slow speed that can be dodged without jet pack. I wanted a little more variance. I enjoyed trying to win by being sneaky but instead of trying to improve that aspect of Wraith they tried to make her do something she wasn’t designed for and that made her feel like a weaker Goliath. After awhile I felt if I wanted to win as monster I “had” to play as Goliath. I only got to play as anyone else when I was having fun.
B: Now for the hunters I felt their biggest weakness was having to rely on each other to know what they were doing. How many times have you seen a Hyde use his chain gun 24/7? Or a T.Hank that only shields during combat, or a Hank that doesn’t shield period! With so many hardships playing as a Hunter it made me want to play monster just so I didn’t have to depend on others. I always got matched with lower lvl people and the game assumed my lvl would make all the difference. Spoilers, one hunter isn’t beating the monster. If I wanted to “play” I could bring whoever to the match but if I wanted any hope of “winning” I had to bring Sunny/Hank, I had to bring Slim, I had to be Griffin, or whoever was the current meta. I wasn’t allowed to play the game and have fun. PUGs demanded I bring my A squad every match. I don’t want to recall all the times I tried to lvl up Torvald in random parties -.-

3: The darker side of the community. I absolutely hated people who told me to switch characters. When stage 2 came out I posted on these forums how much I love playing Kala but I got so many people telling me she’s UP, never gonna win with Kala, pick Sunny. It’s not just my choice of characters but people don’t want to hear us when we try to give constructive advice or they don’t like our answers. If I destroyed a group as a monster I try to tell them what they were doing wrong. “If you do this it makes things much easier” but I get slapped with a STFU! Or people come to the forums to ask us for advice, which is perfectly fine. I encourage that behavior. I don’t approve of people getting upset when we tell them your doing nothing wrong exactly you just need to “git good” then they complain because there was no magical solution for them to win matches. They had to invest time into the game instead of instantly getting better.

4: As much as I liked the adaptions I would have preferred TRS would have worked more on balancing the existing content then giving us more stuff to try to keep us interested. You introduced a new Cabot? That’s neat but I was hoping for an adjustment to Jack’s re-pulsar so it can actually be useful when fighting Kraken. I’d rather improvements to existing content then additional content. Try to make more characters viable.


so maybe it wasnt the best idea to try to sell Evolve as a competitive game then?
Then again it only side steps the problem, because there will be a disparity between the good-pro players and the beginners or the casuals.

And ur right many games struggle with this and its always a problem the balance between balancing for great and beginner players. Other moba’s such as LoL struggle with this, and I know that they try to combat that by lowing skill ceiling and skill floors where they can, putting a cap on what can be done, and making it easier for begineers to pull of a few of the things that pros can (even if not on the same lvl)

But its very hard to compare with Evolve being SO different. I mean what can you balance around?

Theres also a rubberbanding effect that I have know developers to put into games that can help out the losing side a little bit and make a comeback more possible, there are different ways to implement that.

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In my honest opinion any game with a competitive scene should absolutely be balanced around high-level play. Because it is in high level play where almost all nuances of a game’s roster are fully explored. Sure, it would have made the learning curve for newer players higher, but I honestly don’t think Evolve would have ever been a game that casual players would have found easy to get into regardless of the level of play the game was balanced for.


Yes I agree with you on the Adaptations thing.
I think TRS definitely made the wrong decision when they decided to pursue the Adaptations over working with what they had.

I honestly think that was when the downfall started. They made a bad decision then; going for quantity over quality. Fix what you have before u add more stuff.

I think they might have turned the game around if they had focused ALL of their attention on the issues at hand
working on balance. Improving and developing the match making system for Monsters vs hunters and the Hunters team.
Improving maps, deleting bugs, developing a player behavior support system (reward sportsmanship, punishing unsportsmanship)

They also could have definitely reduced the burden of knowledge, they might have tried too hard to make the game realistic, a few things here and there could not been implemented.

Perhaps they could have implemented some obvious goals for hunters the gives some instant gratification for working together and makes it obvious about what should be done, and how to play better such as:
1.) when hunters are withing a certain range of each other they gain extra HP regen or dmg reduction
2.) when hunters dmg the monster together they get a dmg buff
3.) when hunters support (shield/heal/any buff) another hunter that is dmg’d the support is buffed

They also could have worked on strengthening monster strengths and weaknesses. Goliath shouldn’t be a decent all-around-er each monster should be good under their own unique circumstances that either they create or the Hunters put themselves into.

Wraith should be rewarded for being sneaky, but it shouldn’t be overbearing.

Honestly that how all the characters should work, good in some situations not in ALL.


Man all I wanted was to see more Monsters…what can I do for that? Is there anywhere where they would just release or talk about tiers they were working on?

Or did the adaptations waste all their resources?

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I can’t find it but I remember somewhere on these forums someone posted “ideas” TRS were considering before 2K pulled the plug. Among them was Kali. It was suppose to be a Kala turned fully monster. I would have wanted to see that so I could use my chick to beat up the hunters who disrespected her /kefka laugh

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As I said before, Evolve was developed with support studios helping TRS with brute manpower when it comes to the cold hard coding and modeling stuff in the engine. Stage 2 was solely on TRS’ back and adaptations were the best they could do. It may not have been the big motivation to bring influx of new players but boy it sure was amazing for the regular players who already loved the game and could never get tired of it when we knew almost every week we had something to look foward to. That was one of the craziest content ratio I’ve seen on a game of this port out of a main development cycle.

I used to think like that too “boy, why don’t they give us a new map this time instead? It’s been a long time!” but then they shared with us there were only two guys actually well suited for map revision and they were working on it since stage 2 release, but CryEngine is a beast. The very fact the adaptations were mainly creative and art department related they could give us a bunch of gameplay content with what they could produce.

Creating adaptations also didn’t really kept them from balancing the game. (apart from the new introduced characters) Balancing itself is the task hard enough to be done. I followed League of Legends development and balance discussion by the devs themselves and it is crazy how harder it is then it seems. LoL has some of the best balancing teams I’ve seen and even them have a hard time adjusting stuff. Sometimes they believe something is the right thing to do despite 80% of the community begging for other changes and later on they are wrong. Many other times the community tells how stupid some decisions are and then 2 months later turns out the devs were right all along.
This happens on a long e-sport tradition game with a huuuuge number of players, telemetry and the top skilled professionals giving data to work on. Evolve didn’t have nearly enough players to account for reliable statistcs regarding different skillsets.
I’d say we didn’t even have truly “professional” teams capable of extracting every single meta abuse that highly popular and competitve games end up spawning as the top players start entering the human performance limits.

A lesson I’ve taken from watching balance discussion from RTS, FPS and MOBAs: this is such a complicated beast that sometimes when everyone thinks a character is being problematic and should be nerfed, sometimes the right aproach is not even touching the character but adressing a metagame strategy which the character excels but otherwise he is fine. Many champions on League risen and fallen from the top tiers without a single value change to them because the meta shifted around their strenghs or punished characters capable of shuting them down from the game.

As @Nasha842 said, games should be balanced around the high end. This is not really an option to be made between casual and average players versus high level ones because as @Sidewaysgts talked about on other ocasions -
rightfully so - If a game is trying to balance around players not optimally utilizing their gameplay tools in a competent way to adress their enjoyment, then the whole process of sticking to the game and gradually becoming better at it will lead you to a degraded experience as the better you get, the worse the game becomes.

Once again: Evolve had a terrible time dealing with this dilemma because on 2v2s, 3v3s, 5v5s or 32v32s players games you may simply get those novice players to battle each other and even if there is a roflstomper OP thing on lower levels, both sides can abuse the same of it till some of them start figuring out how to deal with it. On Evolve each side had different learning curves.

Even when you have asymmetric objectives on Overwatch that different skillbrackets deal differently (in OW lower skilled players have a much lower winrate on capturing the second point as it requires a coordinated team wipe instead of killing the enemy one by one) it gets evened out as after a round teams switch side.