2K's expansive DLC plans for its upcoming asymmetrical shooter Evolve has left many fans confused and skeptical.
The publisher's vast post-release content strategy was revealed in its pre-order, pre-purchase, and season pass announcements.
Evolve will have a season pass called the Hunting Season Pass. It will give purchasers three additional Monster skins at release. The pass will also give players access to four new Hunters when they're released as DLC in autumn. If bought separately, the Hunters will cost US$7.49 each.
The Digital Deluxe Edition of Evolve includes a copy of the game and the Hunting Season Pass.
Players who pre-purchase (rather than pre-order, which can be cancelled) either the regular or Digital Deluxe Edition of Evolve will also receive the Monster Expansion Pack, which includes the recently announced downloadable monster, Behemoth. If bought separately, Behemoth will cost US$14.99.
Next up there's the PC Monster Race Edition, which appears to be a PC exclusive. The PC Monster Race Edition includes the game, the Hunting Season Pass, a fifth unannounced Monster, two more Hunters (for a total of six), and four Monster skins that will be timed exclusives to PC for 30 days.
Players who pre-purchase the PC Monster Race Edition will also receive two Monster skins when they're released, for Behemoth and Goliath respectively.
Players on Xbox One who pre-purchase Evolve can pre-load the game from today, and will be able to access the open beta. Pre-purchasing on Xbox One will instantly unlock the Wraith Monster and all Tier 3 Hunters without grinding. Pre-purchasing on Xbox One will also grant players the Monster Expansion Pack (that's the one featuring Behemoth).
Many gamers expressed concern and skepticism about the volume of content not included in the retail edition.
Turtle Rock boss Phil Robb said he believed that the post-release content plan for Evolve was in-line with other games from other publishers. Nonetheless, he said the decision to price and plan Evolve's post release content this way was made by publisher 2K.
"Ultimately, TRS makes the games, we don't sell them," he said, "and as the developers we've done our best to make a game that people want to play. We then have to trust our publisher to make the best decision on how to sell that game."
"The bundles are options, nothing more," Robb said. "IF you plan to buy all that stuff anyway then you can get a bundle with all that content at a discount. Not a new concept, businesses have been doing that since money was invented. I've bought passes for games where I felt burned and I've bought passes for games and was happy with my purchase. But that's a personal choice, as is any purchase. All of those different tiers are there to provide options."
"We've done everything we could to keep this stuff as open to choice as possible and despite how it may look to some, there isn't anything here that forces people to spend more money than they are comfortable with. We feel like all of the Evolve bundles that 2K announced just offer people choices, and having choices isn't a bad thing."