Co-op monster hunting FPS Evolve is in the dog house with its fans. The game has been fractured into a thousand tiny pieces of pre-launch DLC and then scattered across dozens of retail exclusives and special editions for players to find, collect and reassemble. Certain hunters and monsters are being sold separately, and developer Turtle Rock stands accused of having stripped content from the full game in order to squeeze extra cash out of its players.
This, naturally, has been frustrating fans who’d rather hand over an agreed upon amount of cash for what all parties consider to be a complete product. Turtle Rock’s Phill Robb has taken to the game’s forum to defend the studio’s decision to nickel and dime.
In an impassioned forum post titled “Turtle Rock. Your promise.”, player ElvenNeko takes the Left 4 Dead developer to task over its surprising new DLC policy, saying “you split the game apart even before release, selling parts that are cut off as a DLC? That would be totaly expected from someone with a horrible money-grabbing reputation like Electronic Arts/Ubisoft, but you – you were the last people on the earth from whom would I expect things like this.”
Phill Robb, the studio’s co-founder, took to the thread to defend Turtle Rock’s position, making it clear that the DLC is not on the game disc, is not finished, and is still being developed.
“If we thought we could have finished all those monsters and hunters for ship we would have put them in the box … Hunters and monsters are a pretty big undertaking, they cost a lot of money and time to make. We’re hoping that once people see how much new hunters and monsters bring to the game that they’ll feel like they got their money’s worth.”
Robb goes on to say that Turtle Rock are trying to avoid segmenting the player base by charging for new maps and modes, but are instead allowing players to continue playing together with those who’ve purchased the new monsters and hunters. Any new maps and modes, Robb promises, will be made available for free.
“Our number one rule for DLC is never split the community. Never. So we worked it out so that any DLC maps are free, any new game modes are free. Then, recognizing that not everyone wants to buy DLC, we made sure that even if you didn’t purchase any of the paid content, you could still play with people who did!
“So if I buy a new monster or hunter, and you don’t, we can still play together. You may not want to buy it, but your original purchase of the game will be enhanced by it anyway because you can still get into games with people who wanted to buy them. Hell, you can even set the DLC characters and monsters up as opponents in solo games.”
Robb also goes into some detail about how life at Turtle Rock has changed since the studio left Valve, hinting that one significant difference is that they’re no longer sheltered from the economic forces of shareholders.
“We then have to trust our publisher to make the best decision on how to sell that game,” Robb says. “We’ve done everything we could to keep this stuff as open to choice as possible and despite how it may look to some, there isn’t anything here that forces people to spend more money than they are comfortable with. We feel like all of the Evolve bundles that 2K announced just offer people choices, and having choices isn’t a bad thing.”