2K Games is hosting a second alpha – dubbed the “Big Alpha” – for its upcoming sci-fi shooter, Evolve, but finding an invitation might just be as difficult as hunting down monsters in the game. Attendees at this weekend’s annual PAX Prime event in Seattle were the first to receive their invitations if they lined up to play the game at 2K’s booth.

For those who did not attend the convention, there are other ways to join. Fans can follow news about Evolve on TwitterFacebook or the Turtle Rock forums for chances to earn an invitation although we don’t know when the Big Alpha is happening. It is a selective alpha however, so not everyone who enters is guaranteed a spot.

This follows an initial alpha that went live the first week of August. Later that month, it was announced that Evolve would be pushed back from its original October 21, 2014 release date, hitting shelves instead on February 10, 2015. Regarding the delay, 2K released the following statement:

“As stated on the Take-Two Interactive earnings call, 2K and Turtle Rock Studios are extending the development of Evolve by a few months to allow enough time to fully realize the vision for Evolve and meet our collective standards of creative excellence. We are encouraged by the press reaction and fan excitement coming out of a very successful E3, and we are now certain we are headed in the right direction with the game and we are confident in delivering a genre-defining product when Evolve launches on February 10, 2015.”

The move may also benefit the game financially. Evolve is an original IP, while the holiday season is filled with many high-profile franchise releases (i.e. prequels and sequels). In October, Evolve would be competing against Alien: Isolation, Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel and Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor, while November will see the release of the next Assassin’s Creed(s)Call of Duty and a remastered Halo bundle.

Still, a first quarter release may not be as beneficial this year as it has been in recent years. Several other games, such as Batman: Arkham Knight and The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, have also been delayed to a February release, crowding out what is typically a less competitive quarter. Read all about the pileup of delayed games in early 2015 here.

While Evolve hasn’t yet established a broad promotional campaign, it has consistently received strong critical acclaim everywhere it’s showcased. At E3 this year, Evolve won “Best of Show,” in addition to awards for “Best Console Game,” “Best Action Game” and “Best Online Multiplayer Game.” This was determined by a composite of 29 media outlets following the event.

Critics highlighted the unique asymmetrical gameplay as the core reason for its success. Four player-controlled hunters fight against an alien monster, controlled by a fifth player. Hunters are tasked with killing the monster, while the monster has the option of taking down all four opponents, or surviving long enough to complete a secondary objective, such as destroying a power plant. All from the makers of Left 4 Dead.

Evolve releases for PC, PS4 and Xbox One on February 10, 2014.

Source: Turtle Rock