The Jimquisition: A Cautionary Post-Mortem Of Evolve

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Battleborn is not the only 2K Games release to have suffered indignity this generation. Evolve, more famous for its DLC model than anything it did as a game, was another multiplayer shooter that failed to do anything better than fail.

The fate of Evolve serves as a cautionary tale to any would-be project banking on additional content to make its money. Audience goodwill is a finite resource, and when you push for excess at the expense of quality, you might just find out how finite it is.

Nitrium
Guest
Nitrium

Jim, why don’t just get a green/blue screen? Would be waaaaaaaaay cheaper than the custom banner, and have the advantage of having zero glare issues etc, and have much more versatility (you can put on whatever backgrounds, including video, you like).

Polishfury5000
Guest
Polishfury5000

Interesting stuff. I haven’t thought about Evolve in a while, pretty fascinating the steps it took pre and post launch.

I wouldn’t mind seeing more post-mortem reports down the line, it makes for an enjoyable episode when there isn’t anything big going on in gaming.

Christoph Brinkmann
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Christoph Brinkmann

The best part of eVolve wasn’t even the game – it was the rabid fanboys defending it with their dying breath. They couldn’t fathom why people weren’t excited about a game which had the pitch of “DDDDAAAAAAAAAAAA DLC! LOOK AT ALL THIS DLC! WE’RE MAKING SO MUCH DLC THAT WE’RE GONNA HAVE DLC FOR YOUR DLC! DEE! EL! SEE! DEE! EL! SEE!” and so much paid DLC that you would actually spend more money on the DLC than the game itself.

Chris Mitchell
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Chris Mitchell
Benj
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Benj

The takeaway from this is that you can’t copy-paste your pitch to investors and put it out as marketing to the consumer with a couple of words changed.

JDK002
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JDK002
Evolve will forever be one of the biggest disappointments for me. It could have been something great, but 2K just couldn’t be bothered to give half a fuck about it. Opting for a cash grab instead. Then making Turtle Rock spend a year and a half on a corpse and pretend everything is fine. I was actually one of the people defending the game initially. Until they released the ENTIRE season pass all at once a month after the game came out….after insisting the content “wasn’t ready at launch”. Then proceeded to say the next wave of content (which was… Read more »
CrossOfSin
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CrossOfSin

WB/Netherrealm is doing something similar with injustice 2. They have preorders ready to go now featuring dlc characters before they’ve even revealed the full roster.

George
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George

But Jim you did a post mortem on Mighty Number 9 as well!

Thanks though. I enjoy your in depth critical analysis/ video essay work. I find it useful since it helps me make better and more informed choices when it comes to the products I like to buy.

<3

Cyvaris
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Cyvaris

Ohh Jim, thank you for including some glorious Nazi bashing in this.

Terriosaurus Hex
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Terriosaurus Hex
Yeah, 2K are a bit like WB a bit as in many peeps don’t see them as another EA (holy fuck, what is it with these 2 digit acronyms?), probably because they publish better quality games over longer periods. But they do sipple from the well of corporate desire like many other. Interesting stuff, I intend to support this patreon once my income maintains a reliable consistency not dependent on human trafficking and the needs of those indulging in personal pleasure. The value of obtained information to entertainment ratio is regularly appreciated by this asshole. Anyhow, I hear resident evil… Read more »
Gaealiege
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Gaealiege

Those little snippets of Richard Spencer having his teeth pushed into his throat….they warm my heart.

Nicholas W Sullivan
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Nicholas W Sullivan

Other reasons to hate on 2K – Always overcharge Australia/NZ for all their games. Which means all the DLC for those games is similarly over-priced, and often by the bucket-load as well (hello Civ 5).

And of course, they tried to region lock steam keys to prevent people from getting EU/North America ones via key-resellers and Green Man Gaming, but that seems to have died a swift death thank fuck.

galactix100
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galactix100

I love how Ubisoft’s justification for microtransactions is allowing greater customisation in The Division of all games.

Tobasco da Gama
Guest
I really, really liked Evolve Stage 2, actually. It was pretty good! Fucking shame that 2K took their DLC vehicle and went home without giving Turtle Rock a chance to really flesh it out, though. Stage 2 was a great thing for Turtle Rock, though. If they moved on to their next game with Evolve in its “Stage 1” state, I don’t think I’d give them the time of day regardless of who their publisher was. But the Stage 2 revamp honestly bought just enough good will from me that I’ll be taking notice of whatever they do next and… Read more »
Doublep
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Doublep
I don’t know, while all the bullshit pre-order system Jim mentioned is definitely true, Destiny was not particularly better, and people are still playing that. I think the problem is that the AAA industry has still to understand that a multiplayer only game is a “go big or go home” bet. Either you get a shitload of players at launch, or the fact that the community is small becomes a big problem to get more players to join in. In the end, if many multiplayer only games are released close to each other, only one (or none at all) ends… Read more »
Lies That Bind
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Lies That Bind

I wished I could convince myself to like this game more than I did. After paying $60 for it and getting maybe five hours of playtime from it I traded it back in for five bucks because the value of the game shot down so fast. It wasn’t even the dlc shenanigans that put me off, I just didn’t know what I was in for with the game but hearing that the left 4 dead guys were behind it was all I needed to know. It’s a struggle to keep playing that game.

Appretaur
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Appretaur

Is that a jimstain on the wall above his left shoulder?

Shui Gor
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Shui Gor

“Sometimes a fucked game is just a fucked game.”

Make that into a T-shirt, Jim.

Malidictus
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Malidictus
As to Oh Ubisoft: I personally don’t mind paying extra for extra content as long as the microtransactions are done well (read: not like in Overwatch). A game undergoing continuous development needs some kind of perpetual revenue stream beyond just retail purchases to support its developers and often server costs. Hell, back in the day we used to pay $15 a month for that, yet I’ve never seen a Jimquisition telling me I should hate subscription fees. Buying a game and owning everything it will ever offer worked back in the day when games were launched and abandoned. It doesn’t… Read more »
InfamousDS
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InfamousDS
I have no opinions on Evolve. It was, like you said, not worth investing in because it was asking me to spend on top of spend on top of spend. That and being a multiplayer shooter. Not even Overwatch has managed to maintain my interest beyond the first month, and it was one of the few MP-Only shooters I was able to convince myself to play. The real reason I am leaving this comment to congratulate you on the Black Tiger video. I think only FF7 is the thing to have used that music better. “Fight On” indeed. The Japanese… Read more »
Mark Davenport
Guest

I bet Microsoft regretted making Evolve share an image connection with the Xbox One as per the marketing campaign with exclusive beta’s and the having the console logo at the end of trailers ect. I remember seeing Evolve ads on the side of trams in Melbourne and a 5th of the image was saying Xbox One at the bottom.
Backed the wrong horse or should I say alien.

SilentPony
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SilentPony
Huh. I just realized how similar AAA devs are to Hollywood execs. Everything has to start a franchise, nothing can just be a stand alone product. Also can we all admit “pre-downloading on launch day” is the worst pre-order extra in the world? Like, the fuck? I don’t get to play the game early, but I get to download like 12 hours ahead of time, still wait for the servers to come up on launch day, don’t get any leg up on other players, and all it cost me was an additional $40! Pretty soon confirmation emails for purchases will… Read more »
succ
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succ

luv u thicc daddy 💦

SaburoDaimando
Guest
SaburoDaimando

Hey Jim, do you think you’ll one day have to do a Jimquisition over the Oragutan-in-Chief Donald Trump, especially if he chooses to attack Video Games?

09philj
Guest
09philj
When it comes to huge quantities of DLC, I always think of The Sims as the franchise that knew what to do. The main game was always a fairly expansive package, with plenty of content. The expansions that came after were always big as well, with new areas, new items, and more STUFF. Even the stuff packs which just contained furniture and/or clothes were generally good value for money. Then there was The Sims 4. The Sims 4 hasn’t just failed because the base game was gutted, with lots of content left out; it failed because EA failed to provide… Read more »