When I first saw that Evolve was going to be delayed until 2015, my initial response was one of disappointment. Evolve was likely my most anticipated game of 2014, and its delay made my fall lineup just feel that much less exciting. After a bit of thought, however, it made perfect sense for it to be delayed.
Let’s go back to the day right before Evolve was announced just a few short months ago. It was a fairly impromptu announcement, with GameInformer teasing that something huge and revolutionary would be announced the very next day. Indeed, the announcement was a pleasant surprise for many, and anticipation caught like wildfire. Evolve was touted as one of the truest examples of next-gen gaming, as it was exclusive to next-gen consoles (and PC). A game with that much force and energy behind it would certainly end up being in the headlines every day… right?
Well, not quite. While news and updates on Evolve had certainly not been nonexistent, they were significantly less frequent and imposing as those of other large AAA titles. It certainly begged the question of why Turtle Rock and 2K had been as quiet about Evolve as they have been. One possible answer to the question of a lack of news is the simple likelihood that maybe Turtle Rock just wasn’t ready to show everything they might have wanted to show. Again, news on Evolve had not been nonexistent, but for such an allegedly-huge game that was supposed to launch in just a short two months, word of it was uncharacteristically quiet.
And of course, that brings us into the most obvious reason for delays of a game: more time to work on, improve, and fine-tune the product. This type of idea should not come as a surprise to anyone, but that doesn’t make it any less important. For those who may have been following the goings-on surrounding the alpha version of Evolve on PC, you’ll have known that, for reasons undisclosed, invites to the alpha were delayed roughly three weeks. Something odd must have been going on with either Turtle Rock or 2K (maybe even both). Retrospectively speaking, with the official knowledge of the delay in tow, maybe the alpha’s delay was evidence that Evolve simply wasn’t as ready as Turtle Rock assumed it would be by now.
It is also important to recognize that, prior to the delay, Evolve was scheduled for an October 21st release, smack in the middle of the fall games rush and the holiday shopping season. While Evolve would almost certainly have sold well on that date, it did face fierce competition from such other fall titles as Destiny, Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare, Halo: The Master Chief Collection, Assassin’s Creed Unity, Assassin’s Creed Rogue, among many others. Unfortunately, most people only have a finite amount of money, and not everyone can buy every game.
Pushing Evolve to February, however, leaves it facing competition mainly from The Order: 1886, The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, and potentially Batman: Arkham Knight (a release date of its own pending). While certainly formidable competition, Evolve will likely have an easier time proving itself among those games as compared to such established titles and series as Assassin’s Creed, Halo, and Call of Duty. While there really is no doubt in my mind that Evolve will be a commercial success, it’s hard to deny the impact that such fierce competition may have had on its own sales.
As a fan in anticipation for a new game, it is a bit disappointing to realize that I will have to wait that much longer for such a cool game. But as a fan who legitimately cares about the quality, development, and success of the game, I am glad 2K and Turtle Rock were confident enough to bite the bullet and say “we need more time.” Here’s to hoping that Evolve will be an even greater experience when it releases in February 2015.