The chairman and CEO of Take-Two Interactive – publishers of such games as Grand Theft Auto V and Bioshock: Infinite – Strauss Zelnick, has disregarded any indication that the criticism of Evolve‘s DLC plan has damaged the game’s commercial prospects.
Last month, it was announced that the asymmetrical co-op shooter game would give Xbox Live players who pre-purchase the title instant access to some of the later in-game rewards and that there was also a huge amount of DLC planned for release, which will be available either via the season pass or from purchasing each aspect individually. This caused uproar amongst fans, who insisted that developers Turtle Rock had taken out a large amount of the game’s content before release, so they could sell the features at a heightened price later on, despite the company’s protests that done of the DLC wouldn’t actually be finished when it came to its February 10th release date.
Of the controversy, Zelnick told Benchmark Company’s Mike Hickey in an earnings call (which was transcribed by Seeking Alpha), “There was some controversy start-up by an online post. And I guess, controversy, generally speaking, is a good thing. People can argue about the business model. I think we’re delivering a fantastic title that’s well versed with consumers who will pay for it. And all signs are extraordinarily positive.”
He continued, saying, “I never like to claim success before it’s occurred. This looks to be a good news event. I’m going to leave it at that. Hopefully, in our next call, we’ll have great news to report. But certainly [Evolve] won Best of Show at both E3 and Gamescom that’s never been done as far as we know in the same year and the buzz is massive. So we’ll wait till consumers tell us what they think. And all our body parts are crossed around here.”
And it looks like the game is going to be at least fairly successful. The open beta for the game generated a big response, with over two million games having been played during the time, and an average game taking just under ten minutes to complete. At the end of the day, Evolve is currently four years in the making, and seems to have influenced quite a few upcoming games (upcoming games from Lionhead Studios’ Fable Legends to Bioware’s Shadow Realms come to mind). It will be interesting to see exactly how it will be received.