Earlier this week, Evolve pushed into what it calls “Stage 2” by re-releasing on Steam as a free-to-play game. And while some took this as a desperate move pulled by Evolve’s developer Turtle Rock Studios. However, it seems to have worked for them, since their playerbase has been increasing to almost its original launch size.

Prior to the re-release in June, the peak players online on Steam were a mere 234. Compare this to post re-release, where on July 8th, Evolve had 24,652 concurrent players, which has been rising ever since. At this rate, it might almost break the game’s initial concurrent player number when it first released in February 2015, which was at an all-time high of 27,000 players.

According to a post made by Turtle Rock Studios, they’ve stated that “stuff could break, and that’s our hope.” They’re goal is to test the waters out of this new free-to-play model and see how it affects the game’s playerbase.

“We want that magic back and we aim to make it happen. We’ve made a lot of changes, improvements and additions to Evolve over the past year and we’ve got a lot more coming. In short, we’re giving this game a vigorous overhaul.”

Currently, the free-to-play model is only on PC. “After implementing and testing these new changes on PC, if we find that players respond well to the changes, we would want to bring Stage 2 changes to consoles in the future.” Turtle Rock Studios continued. “But for now PC is our exclusive beta platform.”

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