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Turtle Rock hopes to recapture spirit of ‘Left 4 Dead’ in new free-to-play shooter

Turtle Rock Studios, creator of the teamwork-driven first-person shooters Left 4 Dead and Evolve, announced Wednesday that it is developing a “new triple-A game IP for PC and console” that channels the spirit of the studio’s past successes.

Developed in partnership with Perfect World Entertainment, Turtle Rock’s next project is a free-to-play first-person shooter that “features intense online cooperative action, bringing Turtle Rock back to what it does best,” according to its creators.

Founded in 2002, Turtle Rock Studios initially produced several ports and expansions within Valve’s Counter-Strike series, including the popular Counter-Strike: Source. The studio later developed Left 4 Dead, a first-person survival horror game that put teams of players in the middle of a zombie apocalypse.

Despite featuring cooperative gameplay in a similar vein as Left 4 Dead, the studio’s most recent multiplatform release, Evolve, failed to earn the same level of critical acclaim. Players criticized the title for its reliance on paid downloadable content, and publisher 2K officially ended its support for the game in October.

Turtle Rock Studios pitches its next project as a return to form that recaptures what players loved about Left 4 Dead.

“We are developing a new franchise set in an all-new universe that leverages the style of gameplay our community loves and expects from Turtle Rock Studios,” studio co-founder Phil Robb said. “We’re focusing on what we do best — heart-pounding, moment-to-moment online co-op FPS action.”

Robb continued: “With Perfect World Entertainment as our partner, we will always make sure that our players come first by listening to them and growing the game based on how they play and interact over what we hope are many years to come. We cannot wait to show them what we have in store.”

While further details regarding the upcoming release are not yet known, Turtle Rock Studios President Steve Goldstein notes that the project “is not a ‘zombie game’ or anything post-apocalyptic.”

“What we can say right now is there’s a strong dark fantasy element to it,” Goldstein said.