When we first caught eye of Turtle Rock's Evolve related countdown yesterday we had no idea what it was for, though we got a clear indication when the game was removed from Steam a few hours later. It didn't take long for the studio to confirm our suspicions.
The studio co-founder, Chris Aston, has now confirmed that the PC version will go free-to-play. This will obviously lead to quite a few changes.
First of all it's worth noting that if you already own Evolve, you'll get what he calls "Founder" status and keep everything you already own. There will also be some extra gifts, rewards, and special access for the early adopters. Everyone else has to start from scratch when the beta starts later today. You'll then see that this isn't the same game that launched last year. He mentions some of the changes they've already made and plan to tweak even further:
• They're reworking the hunter classes to make the team less reliant on having experienced trappers and medics.
• Improving the maps and UI.
• Optimizing overall performance and load times.
• Working to improve stability and fixing bugs.
• Reworking the progression system and tutorials.
• Adding more customisation options.
These are just some of the changes, and there are more coming. The game is getting a "vigorous overhaul", and they want our feedback. That's why they're going to release the open beta on Steam later today. Then we'll see major revisions, updates and new features being implemented over the next months.
Mr. Aston admits that "The DLC shitstorm hit full force and washed away people's enthusiasm" for the game, and that he hopes this will give it another chance.
When we reached out for details about the console versions Turtle Rock's representative said they want to make sure the new PC version works perfectly before even considering changing the PS4 and Xbox One versions. They did not want to reveal how microtransactions are going to be implemented yet, so it'll be interesting to see how this revision develops.