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Multiplayer-shooter ‘Evolve’ will be free to play on PC starting today

Turtle Rock Studios and 2K Games have announced that the asymmetrical multiplayer-shooter Evolve is going free-to-play. This change will first take effect on PC, with a beta being released on Steam today, but the new model is also going to be implemented across consoles.

Released in 2015, Evolve was among the first games to be unveiled for the current generation of consoles, and as such was well-hyped ahead of its release. Despite some interesting ideas about fighting alongside and against other players online, the game was met with middling reviews.

Reviews aside, however, it was the way that downloadable content was implemented that really soured audiences on Evolve. Players took issue with how much DLC there was on offer, and how expensive it was — Turtle Rock Studios co-founders Chris Ashton and Phil Robb describe the situation as a “shitstorm” in a frank message to fans posted to the company’s forums detailing the game’s shift toward a free-to-play model.

Related: Meet Evolve’s fourth monster and learn about upcoming DLC

In an attempt to refresh Evolve from top to bottom, the team at Turtle Rock is making all kinds of improvements to gameplay. The game’s progression system and tutorials are being reworked, its performance is being improved, maps are being tweaked and the UI is set to be tightened up — all in all, every effort is being made to convince players to give Evolve a second look.

Of course, fans who bought the game at full price aren’t being left out in the cold. Anyone who already owns Evolve will be granted “Founder Status” when the game goes free-to-play, which grants exclusive customization options, a portion of in-game currency, and access to all characters and skins that were purchased previously.

The new-and-improved version of Evolve will be available on Steam today. The console versions of the game will become free-to-play at a later, unspecified date.