It’s been an interesting few months for games, with releases seeming to happen every other week, from the bone-demolishing blows of Mortal Kombat X, to the deathly and decaying streets of Yharnam in From’s Bloodborne. But one release has gone from a great deal of fanfare, to just another whimper. Turtle Rock Studio’s Evolve had such promise, and when it released; it reviewed favourably, it was well liked for good reason. Evolve is not just good, it’s great. It’s a great game. Well, it was. Evolve may be the first AAA game to suffer from the pheonomenon that a good game can be killed with microtransactions. If you still have your copy, you can go and dust it off, stick it into your platform of choice, or you decide to boot it up again if you’re one of the many steam users who own the game.
The first thing you’ll see is microtransactions everywhere. DLC here, skin packs there. There’s nothing wrong with DLC, but the way that Evolve presents it and prices it, is absolutely ridiculous. Though there are other reasons too, like the lack of diversity in the frankly, one note game-modes; and the tedious unlock system. After a quick glance, it begins to become clear why this game is at the bottom of so many people’s piles.
Which is funny, because to say all of Evolve‘s downloadable content practices are abhorrent would be utterly false, as some of these packs are absolutely wonderful. Such as the four new hunters, and the Behemoth, the newest monster that players are given to use. The preorder bonus was a free code to download the Behemoth, in fact. These are great DLCs, the only problem is that they’re being presented with all the terrible ones. Why does this game need skin packs? What does it accomplish? Are customers really so desperate to appear as a slightly darker shade of brown when they play as the monster? If you were ask me, I’d tell you they couldn’t care less. I doubt that the skin packs have even sold a total of one-percent of Evolve‘s retail sales. We can’t check this though, as the figures have not been released.
The issue for this however, is that because some poor sap with more money than sense decided to buy a skin pack, whoever suggested it will think that it’s justified. It’s more likely to be 2K than Turtle Rock, due to the relationship the studio attempts to hold with their fans, like releasing every single map for free. It’s incredibly credible to assume that 2K demanded microtransactions instead of map packs, because of the policy that Turtle Rock chose. This was a bad choices, dear fellows. This is what killed your game. Those measley pennies ‘justify’ what has happened to Evolve, has already happened to Battlefield, and in the future, will likely happen practically every game on the market.
Microtransactions may gain a little extra revenue, but the cost of doing so is a black hole in the making. Microtransaction DLC in AAA games loses the trust of the fans. For every game that does it, the sales of their subsequent games, and longevity of the game that said DLC is included in; drops dramatically. It should be obvious, but gamers do not like it. It’s a simple; “oh, all the games are doing it.” The final words before they lose the core audience, and with it; the franchise. Those pennies are looking pretty shiny now, I’m guessing.
Evolve isn’t dying. It is dead. And it was killed by corporate greed, and misplaced kindness from those who birthed it. I think I’m going to play it one more time. I think it deserves that much.