When it was first announced Evolve swiftly became one of my most anticipated releases of the near future. As a big fan of the Left 4 Dead series, Turtle Rock Studios’ tweaking of that formula and replacing zombies with otherworldly monsters seemed like a sure-fire hit.
However, as more information begins to trickle out of the studio regarding the game, I’m becoming more and more uncertain as to whether it will live up to my expectations, and more scornful of the seemingly anti-consumer business practices being exercised by the developer.
The recent revelation that Evolve‘s season pass, which will give the player four new Hunter character and three new Monster skins, will cost a whopping $24.99 is incredibly off-putting. Players in the UK will be left even more out of pocket, as the DLC costs £21.99 in the region, roughly equating to $34. That’s without mentioning that another monster, the Behemoth, is being given out as a pre-order bonus but according to Turtle Rock has a “retail value of $14.99.” Which retailers are these developers talking to?!
Evolve‘s Behemoth monster is valued at being worth $14.99 by Turtle Rock Studios.
Needless to say, that’s a ludicrous amount of money to request from the consumer for not even a handful of new characters and a few Monster skins. Then you have the issue of the pre-order deal Turtle Rock is cutting with players, which will see all of the game’s characters being unlocked automatically if the game is pre-purchased.
This isn’t so much a nice little bonus as it is a tactic to put those who haven’t pre-ordered the game at an immediate disadvantage, convincing them prior to the game’s release that if they want to keep up with the herd, they’re better off plumping down their cash for the game before reading any reviews that may otherwise prove to turn them off the game.
Such an obscenely anti-player pre-order bonus will have only been laid down for a reason.
This is my other concern. Such an obscenely anti-player pre-order bonus will have only been laid down for a reason, and to me it seems likely that the reasoning behind it is that Turtle Rock is cautious in regards to what the critical consensus of the game will be.
Those who have managed to get some hands-on time with Evolve have had mixed reactions, meaning that if Turtle Rock and publisher 2K Games isn’t confident that it will receive a hugely positive reaction upon its release, they’ll be looking to find a way to generate as many purchases as they can before the inevitable reviews roll around.
Evolve’s “pre-order bonus” leaves those who haven’t pre-purchased at a disadvantage.
What’s even more annoying is the statements released by 2K and Turtle Rock regarding the DLC. “There’s nothing that pisses me off more than useless DLC,” Turtle Rock creative director Phil Robb said, apparently unaware that bonus characters and extra skins is an industry standard for DLC. “It’s got to mean something – it’s got to add something significant to the game…and that’s what we’re shooting for with our upcoming Hunters and Monsters.”
Overpricing your DLC and then acting as though you’re saving us money suggests you think we’re far more ignorant than we actually are.
“Considering that if you bought them all separately, all of that content will run you about £30,” a statement from 2K reads. “Stash that extra £5 in your pocket as a thank you for joining us on the hunt.” Overpricing your DLC and then acting as though you’re saving us money suggests you think we’re far more ignorant than we actually are. Valuing a single Monster character at $14.99 and the Hunter characters at $7.49 each isn’t a reasonable deal for players, and although the DLC maps will be available free of charge, that hardly compensates for the other dodgy business practices being employed by the game’s publisher and developer.
As it was previously one of my most anticipated games of 2015, I hope Evolve turns out to be a great new multiplayer shooter. However, given the recent news emanating from Turtle Rock and 2K, I am reluctant to put down the cash for a game so geared towards forcing money out of the pockets of the consumer. Its pre-order bonus is perhaps the worst we’ve yet seen in a game, and its DLC so astonishingly overpriced that it makes 2K’s claims that they are somehow saving us money feel like something of a slap in the face.
Evolve may well turn out to be as accomplished as Left 4 Dead, but right now I don’t feel like giving Turtle Rock my money and feeding this rather unsightly, money-grubbing beast.