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Evolve: Phase 2 Goes 1 vs. 1 Against Newcomer Dead by Daylight

Turtle Rock's Free-to-Play Update Spikes Evolve's Player Count by Over 36,000% on Steam

July 21, 2016 by

Only a few weeks ago, we were reminded of Evolve when Starbreeze’s Dead by Daylight launched and proved that there was still interest among gamers in the 4 vs. 1 concept. One of the most talked about games in 2014 and 2015, Evolve‘s player count dropped to an average of under 100 players per hour on Steam only a year after its launch – a horrifically low number for any triple-A title… especially for a game with as much marketing as 2K Games put into Evolve.

So with almost all of the game’s players gone, 2K and Turtle Rock decided to throw out one last Hail Mary in the form of completely revamping some of Evolve’s core gameplay mechanics and making the entire game free-to-play. The reward? Well, just 48 hours after the F2P model was launched, Evolve’s player count values shot up over 36,000%.

Going from an average of around 100 players per hour before the free-to-play announcement, Evolve skyrocketed up to 19.4k players per hour on Day 1 of Stage 2, 31.4k pph on Day 2, and peaked at 36.8k pph on Day 3 — placing the game as high as #6 on Steam.

Evolve: Stage 2's Player Count per Hour

Evolve: Stage 2’s Player Count per Hour Daily Average

However, since Day 3 of Evolve: Stage 2, the player count numbers have quickly declined by 50% over the past two weeks with the game currently sitting at around 18.3k players per hour and coming in at #16 on Steam… a bad sign for the future of the game. Still, the impressive relaunch numbers have been enough for now to help Turtle Rock take back the 4 vs. 1 throne from Dead by Daylight, which currently sits at #21 with an average of 16.3k players per hour.

As Evolve’s downward trend continues, it’s likely to fall back out of the top 20 games on Steam in only a matter of days. Meanwhile, Dead by Daylight has been maintaining its playerbase and even showing signs of minor growth that indicate it will pass Evolve very soon and remain as one of the most played games on Steam.

Dead by Daylight's Player Count per Hour

Dead by Daylight’s Player Count per Hour Daily Average

Weeks ago we wondering how long the hype could last for Dead by Daylight after comparing the game’s launch to Evolve’s history… but now we’re even more interested in seeing how Evolve‘s free-to-play evolution will play out. Will Evolve maintain enough of its recent influx of F2P players to stay relevant after its huge comeback? Or will history repeat itself with the playerbase completely dying out a year from now?

With players no longer required to buy Evolve to play the game, Turtle Rock should be able to keep more players around this time… that is, if the developer plays their future microtransaction cards right… but for now, it looks like Dead by Daylight is still going to be the winner among the two in the battle of the 4 vs. 1 genre.