The asymmetric FPS Evolve has struggled pretty much from the moment it hit the ground. We actually liked it, but six months after our review it had fallen out of the top 100 games on Steam, and its peak user count today is just 157. According to Steam Charts (because Steam itself doesn't go that low), that puts it just below Bus Simulator 16 and the 13-year-old Star Wars game Jedi Knight: Jedi Academy. But it ain't dead yet.
The top of the Evolve website is now festooned with a ticking countdown, currently with just under 24 hours left on the clock, labeled #StageUp. There's no sign of what that might mean—the most recent news post was last week's “Parnell's Pro Tip Tuesday,” in which Parnell explains that if you're playing as the monster, you should probably act like a monster—but it is worth remembering that not too long ago, Turtle Rock began looking for an animation programmer for a new game.
That listing (which has since been joined by postings for a narrative director, senior character artist, and technical artist) is for an “unannounced new IP,” which would presumably exclude anything related to Evolve. But possibly not, depending on how far you're willing to bend the semantics of "new IP." At a bare minimum, the timing is curious.
We'll found out the truth soon enough, but in the meantime I put it to you: After more than a year of release, punctuated by two season passes, an abundance of pricy DLC, and widespread gamer indifference, can Evolve bounce back?
Update: Evolve is still listed on Steam, but is not currently available for purchase. Could it finally be making the transition to free-to-play?