Whenever I see a game becoming over-hyped, I can’t help but think “you are going to fail and it will be hilarious”. A few big launches have turned out this way and I can’t help but think I have a pretty awesome superpower. One day in the future, I’ll talk about the remnants of Wildstar, Elder Scrolls Online and SimCity, but today I will focus on Evolve.
Or, as it has been rebranded now – Evolve: Stage 2.
Evolve immediately turned me off at announcement, when the developers seemed to spend more of their time plugging the downloadable content as opposed to actually programming their game – granted, the downloadable content made up 95% of the game, so maybe they just had a lot of spare time. Monster packs, hunters, weapons, all sorts of shill were thrown up on websites and at conventions as a way to entice their audience – the game was a shopfront for a load of assets they were throwing together.
We live in an age of gaming where we don’t actually get a full game at release. We pay a large upfront cost for most of a game and then expect to buy several add-ons to pad out the experience a little. Not every game is like this, but the industry does seem to be moving in that direction. It’s got to a point where companies are just selling a game and a ticket for the extra stuff, further down the road. I am referring, of course, to the Season Pass.
For me, Season Passes just appeared out of nowhere as the new thing, directly in front of the game I wanted to buy. I didn’t know what it was, and I didn’t really care, so I ignored it. But, as companies have come to realise that it’s an excellent way to add another half of the profit on with each sale, they’ve become more and more prevalent. Almost any triple-A game with have a little card for your lifetime’s supply of whatever the publisher thinks you’ll enjoy next, ready for you to pick up immediately.