With the rise of always-connected gaming platforms and digital purchases, it's becoming more and more common to see games that place a considerable focus on online multiplayer. While there are many games that succeed in this respect, it can be difficult to maintain a steady momentum. This can be particularly difficult for newly-introduced IPs. Having launched just over a month ago, Evolve is one example of a game that is starting to feel the pressure of a dwindling player base.
Pitting groups of Hunters against a lone Monster, Evolve has piqued gamers' interests since it was first announced. Released in the first half of February, the game was met with a mixed response (check out our review). From issues with transferring save data to $136 of DLC available at launch, the game has faced its share of controversy. For a game whose livelihood depends on a consistent and active player base, this can be a considerable issue.
According to Pixel Gate, the game's player base has been steadily falling over the last month on Steam. On the PC-based gaming platform, almost every day since February 11 has shown a reduction in the number of active players, revealing a disappointing trend for those who have stuck with the game. While it has the potential to be played as a single-player experience, it's undeniable that multiplayer is the intended focus, making this trend a significant blow.
This is not to diminish the decided success that the game found in the time leading up to launch when it went gold. In the time since that point, over 108 years of play time have been recorded, encompassing over six million matches. It's hard to deny the fact that Evolve made a splash when it launched, but it's discouraging to see such a quick falloff, particularly in regards to its location on Steam's Top Games chart.
As of March 9, 2015, the game had fallen to the 50th spot on Steam's Top Games. This is only representative of the game's current status on Steam, so one can only hope that the game's console counterparts will fare better in the coming months. In the end though, as unfortunate as this steady drop in player base is, it marks a very real risk that exists when releasing a multiplayer-heavy game in a market that moves so quickly.
As a franchise, there is a great amount of potential exhibited by Evolve. Should it receive a second iteration and focus more on building upon the game's intriguing lore, Evolve could very well become a household name. The game has been receiving steady support through patches but without a method of renewing interest among new and existing players, Evolve could soon find itself falling prey to the high-profile releases looming on the horizon.
What do you think Evolve needs to do to retain a steady and active player base moving forward? Would you like to see another game in the franchise that focuses more on single-player and story?
Source: Pixel Gate