Asymmetrical multiplayer shooter Evolve will be a free-to-play title on PC from today (7 July), following the game's recent removal from digital sales platform Steam.

Making Evolve free on PC is going to be a process that takes time and a lot of hard work," said Turtle Rock Studios founders Chris Ashton & Phil Robb in a statement on the game's forums. "We believe in Evolve and we believe in you, our players, and want to do what's best for both!"

Those who purchased the game on PC before its removal from Steam will be given 'Founder' status with all the content they already own – including DLC – still available to them.

"As long as we work on Evolve, we will show our appreciation for our committed fans and early adopters with gifts, rewards, and special access."

The game is now free-to-play in a beta form as Turtle Rock works on a major overhaul of the game – a 4 on 1 multiplayer shooter in which human hunters track down a player-controlled monster that evolves and grows more powerful as matches progress.

Turtle Rock lists a few of the incoming changes as follows:

  • We're reworking the hunter classes to make the team less reliant on having experienced trappers and medics.
  • We're making improvements to the maps and UI.
  • We're improving load times, overall performance, and getting you into the game faster.
  • We're focusing on improving stability and fixing bugs.
  • We're completely reworking our progression system and tutorials.
  • We're adding more customisation options.

The game launched in February 2015 to a tepid reception. A significant reason behind its disappointing sales – despite a pricey and widespread marketing campaign – was the convoluted post-release DLC plan that had been announced shortly before the game was released.

"When Evolve launched, the reception wasn't what we expected," said Ashton and Robb. "Sure, there were some good reviews. There were also bad reviews. Yes, there was excitement. There was also disappointment – for players and for us. The DLC sh**storm hit full force and washed away people's enthusiasm, dragging us further and further from that first magical pick-up-and-play experience."

It's true the game demoed fantastically well – and certainly impressed us – but the great idea didn't translate into a fun long-term game.

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