It's the year 2016, and people are actually playing Evolve. What a world. Yesterday, Turtle Rock released Evolve Stage 2, a free-to-play, you know, evolution of the 4v1 multiplayer monster mash. Stage 2 also refreshes the game with a new progression system and mechanics. For now, it's only on PC.
This has resulted in an influx of new players. At time of writing, Evolve was sitting pretty (or ugly, depending on whether monsters get your loin engine all revved up) at number 17 on Steam's top 20 most-played games. So far, it's peaked at 25,167 concurrent players.
As PC Gamer points out, Evolve peaked at 157 concurrent users the day before Stage 2 launched. It's struggled to crack 1000 for all of 2016, hovering mostly in the low hundreds for the past few months. That's bad, bad news for a major triple-A multiplayer release. The switch to free-to-play was sorely needed.
Will this player count jump last, though? Or will Evolve come crashing back to Earth like so many Goliaths? Some people who previously owned the game seem pretty pissed about the gameplay changes and the progress reset that heralded Stage 2's launch, claiming that things like a new scanning mechanic make the game too simple for its own good. A select few are, mystifyingly, spilling salty whale tears over the fact that more people are playing their game of choice. The reason? Because they didn't have to pay money THEY DON'T KNOW THE STRUGGLE. Of course.
So we'll see where this all ends up. Necromancy is a dangerous art. Evolve is back (and free!), but at what cost?